intoCareers: Revolutionizing the career search with Zoho Sites
Job seekers often find themselves navigating a complex maze of classified ads and URLs before reaching the right opportunity. Seeking to make this rigmarole of job hunting simpler and more effective, US-based intoCareers developed a powerful and comprehensive database that offers information, guidance, and resources to help individuals become career-ready. However, building such an information system and making it accessible to thousands of people is no small feat. intoCareers accomplished this task with the assistance of Zoho Sites.
Around 50 years ago, the University of Oregon championed the creation of Career Information System (CIS), a platform dedicated to empowering students and adults with career assessments and real-time insights into diverse professions, job openings, educational paths, financial aid resources, and training opportunities. This system was developed by intoCareers, the outreach unit of the University of Oregon, College of Education.
intoCareers users can explore 650+ career and industry profiles that represent 95% of the US labor market. They can research local wage and employment outlook data and search for jobs. Each career profile provides details on necessary preparation, including education and certifications. Users also have access to information on over 5,000 schools, more than 650 programs of study, and can create financial plans using a database with 2,700+ scholarships and related activities.
The challenge: Navigating the complexities of creating multiple portals
Stephanie Fountain, Training and Account Manager at intoCareers, explained, "We focus on promoting research-based, best-practice career information services. Our CIS spans over 30 states, serving a staggering two million annual users."
intoCareers serves a vast audience by providing tailored career development resources. Aspiring individuals can access local labor market information and school program data, giving them an understanding of the opportunities available within their communities, their state, or on a national scale.
However, the challenge emerged when they wanted to develop customer-facing websites (portals) for different states and stakeholders.
They aimed to build their sites on a website builder supporting custom scripting to add login controls. They wanted to replicate a few common website elements while incorporating fresh images or colors to differentiate one portal from the other. Security, including SSL certificates, was also a top priority.
They had two major requirements: a consistent portal design with flexibility for adjustments and customer-facing portals with login fields. intoCareers found the ideal solution for both in Zoho Sites, which also addressed their other needs.
"We reviewed several solutions, and Zoho was the easiest to work with. All the development controls were straightforward and user friendly, making website creation and maintenance a breeze. The controls for adding sections and pages are easy to use and intuitive."- Stephanie Fountain, Training and Account Manager
They appreciated that the development process required no specific implementation knowledge and allowed quick portal publication.
Fountain added, "We were able to build a single page that met most of the needs of our sites and then have Zoho Sites copy the template for each site we needed. After the clone was copied, the theme was established. This method saved valuable time in getting the portals up and running."
Benefits and ROI
Before transitioning to Zoho Sites, intoCareers relied on an in-house solution that demanded a special server, expensive software, and a good deal of knowledge of the system.
"We had to call in programmers more often than we wanted because the system was too complex. Zoho Sites is much simpler, making changes easier. We employed the help of technical staff only to set up the login scripts and DNS routing."
- Stephanie Fountain, Training and Account Manager
After launching their portals on Zoho Sites, intoCareers received positive feedback from their users. "Our network of partner agencies, schools, and organizations provided feedback that they found the new portal pages intuitive and user friendly, and they appreciated their clean design," Fountain mentioned.
intoCareers streamlined their portals, ensuring consistency in design and user friendliness. This approach benefits all those who rely on them to get their hands on resources and knowledge that will make them clinch the right job.
You can check out the website of intoCareers here: https://intocareers.org/