Recruitment Genius

Move to ElasticHosts sees online recruitment company achieve scalable, PAYG cloud hosting for 1/10 of the cost

About is the UKs largest online recruitment company. Continually expanding and developing its offering, the company now fills over 195 new jobs every day for organisations across the globe. Enabling candidates to upload CVs, search for jobs and apply for positions online, IT is core to its business. is therefore under pressure to ensure the website and the services it provides are able to cope with the current workload of approximately one job application every 0.4 seconds.

In addition to simply coping with traffic, the applications running on the site often require a great deal of processing power. For example, the company’s powerful CV filtering system, nicknamed Einstein, puts systems under strain as it intelligently searches each CV based on a complex semantic algorithm. Such constant activity means a lot of extra pressure is put on the website’s servers. To help manage this, the company had worked with a traditional hosting provider who claimed to offer the ability to scale server capacity up or down as needed. However, despite that promise, found itself locked into a 12-month contract with very little flexibility.

Geoff Newman, CEO at explains: “For our business to be successful, we need to know all of our core functions – such as the website and all of the services we are offering on it, are running perfectly. Core to that is the ability to change server capacity to react to any booms in website traffic, or to quieter periods where capacity can be lowered and costs reduced. This cannot be something that happens a day after we need it. We need instant scalability and true cloud hosting. The rigid approach of traditional providers just didn’t work for us. So we began looking elsewhere.”

Server elasticity for improved business efficiency

Looking at the challenges it was facing, decided that cloud hosting offering instant server elasticity and a pay-as-you-go model was the solution. This need was even more urgent as the company had recently completed an acquisition and required a lot of server capacity for a short period of time while it migrated over data from the acquired business. Having looked at a number of different cloud server providers, they decided to opt for ElasticHosts. Providing platform-agnostic hosting to organisations across the globe, ElasticHosts offers PAYG, on-demand, scalable cloud servers. With an easy-to-use interface allowing customers to log-in and scale their own server capacity to suit their business, the offering provided the kind of instant flexibility was looking for.

“We chose ElasticHosts because we knew it could provide the server agility we needed,” commented Newman. “We wanted to achieve all the benefits of cloud – such as reduced capex costs and improved efficiency. Ultimately, we wanted to improve service to our customers. In addition, we are always looking to develop and expand our offering. As such, we need to develop and launch new services as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, each application requires varying server power. With traditional hosting, we have to make upfront investment in new servers and need to ensure that the application is coded perfectly in order to use as little computing power as possible. This way, we limit expense but with cloud, such precaution isn’t needed. We simply develop the application, host in the cloud and launch it. If we find that service is popular and is using more computing power than expected, we can tweak the coding to address that issue. It means we can gradually create the most efficient application without wasting a huge amount of resources.”

Another requirement was to ensure the website was running as effectively as possible. To ensure the search functionality was as quick as possible, wanted to be able to cache data in memory. This was virtually impossible with traditional hosting as you would not be able to scale memory to the required levels. However, a move to the ElasticHosts cloud model has enabled this and resulted in a far more responsive search function for candidates.

True cloud hosting for a tenth of the cost

Having decided on ElasticHosts, began its transition. Working across both Windows and Linux environments, the company now uses ElasticHosts to run 10 Servers totalling almost 20GHz CPU and 20GB RAM to run applications such as its website and search engine. ElasticHosts is also used to run internal systems such as Einstein, as well as intuitive application tracking system that clients use to receive CVs and score and process all candidates. In moving away from its rigid hosting structure, is now able to scale up or down easily by logging into the ElasticHosts user interface.

The company is no longer spending money on unnecessary server capacity. It has also improved the performance of the services themselves as the website always has enough capacity to handle visitor numbers. The result is that the company has cut hosting expenditure by 90%.

“The flexibility we now enjoy has results in vast financial savings. We don’t have to pay out for new hardware every time we need to scale up and we don’t feel tied down to an expensive contract. Ultimately, we are more efficient and both ourselves and our customers are reaping the benefits,” said Newman. “The business has grown a lot and a big reason is the scalability cloud has offered us. Previously, when we launched a new service, we would have to predict how many unique users would use that application and make upfront investments in infrastructure. Now, we don’t need a crystal ball. We just react as traffic changes. In addition, we are able to create and launch services without initial expense. Ultimately, working with ElasticHosts has put us in a better position to improve our service and expand as a business.”