AWS Partner Story: Building the Next-Generation Platform for #1 Hospitality Career Site

Leila Catic

HCareers — the largest hospitality recruitment and career platform in North America

Virgil Holdings Inc. owns and operates HCareers, the world’s most comprehensive career navigation, and recruiting platform. The HCareers platform utilizes proprietary machine learning algorithms and micro-assessments to match job seekers to the perfect career path, employment opportunity, and developmental resources. They serve a diverse customer base including individual job seekers, corporate recruiters, job boards, higher education institutions, trade associations, workforce agencies, and nonprofits. Virgil’s mission is to create greater transparency in the career navigation process for all job seekers.

With years of experience in running a well-established career platform, Virgil wanted to revolutionize the job search in the hospitality industry. The plan was to merge the existing Virgil and HCareers functionality into a next-generation platform featuring improved infrastructure and user experience.

Virgil selected Maestral based on the recommendation of a past Maestral client. With no existing team that was familiar with the next-generation technologies, Virgil was looking for a single product development partner with the capacity to run User Experience Design, Development and DevOps.

HCareers 2.0

The new improved technical solution was to make it easier for hospitality job seekers to find ideal opportunities matching their career goals, while also helping employers find the right talent quickly and easily.

The vast majority of infrastructure we used in building the new platform was provisioned as a fully managed service by AWS.

AWS was chosen as the cloud computing platform for its capacity to enable fast and reliable product delivery through a comprehensive set of services. The platform offers a wide range of benefits that were a perfect fit for building HCareers 2.0.

  • The platform security and reliability are unparalleled
  • Flexible costspay-as-you-go model allows for cost optimization
  • High availability ensures continuous delivery of value to users
  • Auto Scaling helps maintain steady, predictable performance at the lowest possible cost
  • RDS Automated Restoreprovides piece of mind for data continuity

Leveraged AWS Technologies

Apart from using standard cloud services such as AWS S3 for object storage and AWS EC2 for virtual machine workloads, we decided to use AWS Fargate as a container orchestrator, AWS RDS as a managed RDBMS, ElasticSearch for real-time data access, SQS for Message Queuing Service and SNS for sending various notifications to Message SQS.

  • AWS S3 Buckets — Used to store common files like database seeds, job seeker resumes, the company’s image gallery and public application images.
  • AWS EC2 Instances — Used to host an Open VPN Server that provides external users access to resources provisioned on private internal subnets.
  • AWS Fargate — Used to achieve scalable and managed service for Docker containers without the need for maintenance of underlying virtual machines. AWS Fargate enabled rapid development and testing, and then seamless transition into production.
  • AWS RDS — With automated backups, retention, and restore point in time features, AWS RDS enabled easy and fast access to the database for development, staging, and production workloads.
  • ElasticSearch — Used to support advanced searches by job seekers and real-time scoring calculations to determine user/company fit based on data input from users.
  • SNS and SQS — Leveraged to keep all services in sync and for various background tasks. Both services are easy to set up, maintain, and consume by custom apps and services.

AWS services are by default highly available, configurable, stable, flexible, and scalable with automatic data backups and data retention options. Development teams prefer them since they are easy to use and consume, and even more so because they are easy to integrate with other services. The collection of AWS services cost-effectively enable rapid prototyping, development, testing, and continuous integration/continuous deployment.

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