Programmers Develops and Deploys

Notifications System for HR Tech Company Weeks Ahead of Schedule

Our client in the HR tech industry offers a comprehensive suite of tools for companies to hire and manage employees. That includes systems that streamline recruiting, hiring, onboarding, handling benefits, and tracking employees’ work hours. 

After collecting customer feedback, the HR tech company realized it needed to add an alerts and notifications system to its offerings. This would allow employers to remind their workers of lunch breaks, team meetings, and holidays. Plus, it would quickly let employees know about hazards in the workplace, such as gas leaks or inclement weather. 

The HR tech company asked Programmers to turn this mission-critical idea into an intuitive new feature. We used our fast-to-value Agile Experience process to produce a high-quality result in the shortest time possible.

Our client’s customers enjoyed a robust alerts and notifications system weeks ahead of schedule. We were also able to add key improvements in subsequent sprints that expanded the digital product’s value proposition. 

Below, learn more about this solution and the Agile Experience process that made it possible. 

Building an Employee Database

Before managers could send alerts and notifications to their employees, we needed to know who these workers were and their contact information. We built a database using Azure’s Cosmos DB that would serve as the single source of truth for employee data. Throughout development, we ensured that this database was compliant with each company’s respective privacy policies, as well as all federal and state regulations. 

We also had to keep this information up-to-date and avoid human error. With that in mind, we built an application that automatically scans our client’s SQL databases regularly to detect new employees or updated contact information. 

Young male professional with black baseball cap and cup of coffee coding as part of agile development
Phone notification alert for incoming emails

Push Notifications, Text Messages, and Email

With our Agile Experience method, we always ensure the most important functionalities of a new digital product are live as quickly as possible. In this case, employers and managers needed the ability to send text, email, and push notification alerts to their employees. 

We leveraged the Courier API to connect each manager’s request with the relevant employee information in our database. For example, if a manager said they wanted to send an email alert, the Courier API found the applicable email addresses and sent the message.

Our dedicated teams always work closely with our clients’ internal staff. This leads to clearer expectations, better business results, and more efficient processes. For this initiative, we collaborated closely with our HR tech client’s mobile application team to ensure seamless push notification delivery. 

Notifications Sent When and How the Employer Wants

Another function this product needed to have at launch was the ability to either send messages out immediately or schedule them for later. For example, if the notification is about a staff meeting, the employer may want to deploy the reminder two weeks from now. But an alert about flooding near the worksite needs to reach employees immediately. 

For urgent messages, we ensured the Courier API instantly delivered the alert to the correct recipients. For notifications planned proactively, we leveraged Hangfire’s Delayed Jobs function to make sure the message waits until the date and time the employer chooses.

Black and white image of a storm
Man in blue button-down shirt with watch on checking phone at coffee shop counter for alert from worksite

Minimizing the Time to Value 

Our client’s original timeline to launch alerts and notifications was early September. However, we managed to deploy the product in mid-August, weeks before the scheduled launch. 

This was possible thanks to our dedicated teams’ close partnership with the client. Credit also goes to our Agile Experience process, which ensures our clients have the right tools, teams, metrics, methods, and coaching on day one to maximize the effectiveness of agile development. 

“By the end of the sprint, managers went from being able to send alerts to only 80 employees to instantly reaching 2,000 at a time.”

Male and female professionals reviewing agile sprint on computer

Iteratively Improving the Product 

Digital products are never static, always requiring new features to match the rapidly changing needs of customers and the industry. We use the same Agile Experience methodology to deploy new features in record time.

At launch, the size of the push notifications meant that each employer could only send 80 messages at a time. However, we knew this would reduce the range of customers our client could offer the product to. 

With that in mind, we prioritized optimizing the push notifications’ code in our next sprint. By the end of the sprint, managers went from being able to send alerts to only 80 employees to instantly reaching 2,000 at a time.

Additionally, we added a translation feature to this product, leveraging Azure’s Translator function. Now, employees more comfortable receiving messages in either Spanish or French can get alerts in those languages. Employers can even preview how their message will appear in Spanish and French and make any necessary adjustments.

Long-Term Partners in Innovation

The alerts and notifications system is far from our first initiative with this HR tech company. Our dedicated teams have helped facilitate end-to-end digital product development for them over several years, dating back to 2016.

We serve as trusted advisors on the most efficient ways to innovate. Our teams know the HR tech company and its goals well, allowing us to recommend ways they can better serve their clients through digital systems.

Programmers’ Agile Experience

Many organizations love the idea of leveraging agile methodologies to see value from application development quickly. However, it is often hard to compile the right teams, not to mention giving them the support they need. 

Programmers’ Agile Experience is a robust solution, combining the methods, teams, tools, coaching, and metrics necessary throughout development. This allows clients to see value quickly from their new digital product. 

Having the right experts, tech, and methods for agile development also makes it easier to dynamically add new features to applications. That way, you can meet the emerging needs of customers or comply with new industry regulations.