National Association of Colleges and Employers
When the National Association of Colleges and Employers began its partnership with Pantheon, it was using an in-house system to manage membership information. Its website at the time was done entirely in HTML and consisted of about 6,000 pages. Members had a hard time finding the information they needed, and updating the site was a labor-intensive, time-consuming process.
NACE, which forecasts job market trends and tracks legal issues that impact employment, job hunting and hiring practices, connects more than 5,200 career services professionals at more than 2,000 colleges and universities and more than 3,000 human resources and staffing personnel. Its internal structure includes full-time staff, a board of directors and 14 committees. The association’s top product is Job Outlook, a report on hiring trends for new college graduates that is popular among career counselors and potential employers of new graduates.
NACE initially asked Pantheon to build a new content management system for its website and integrate an association management system. The CMS would give NACE tools to easily update its website, while the AMS would provide ways to streamline member communication and integrate functions like purchases into the association’s website.
Pantheon launched the project with extensive fact-finding and meetings with NACE staff.
“They wanted to know who we are, what we do, our strategic mission,” said Amanda Kaiser, director of marketing for NACE. “They took a very strategic approach from the beginning, and gave us a lot of ideas to react to. They did a great job of explaining technology to many people who don’t make their living in technology.”
At the time, NACE’s website didn’t allow staff to directly interact with members. New tools were added to allow NACE staffers to communicate with membership and quickly respond to inquiries, and NACE’s social media presence was integrated into the site. Information on the site was reorganized into four categories that NACE and Pantheon determined would make the most sense for members. The new design also took into account the needs of stakeholders beyond general membership. Committee members, for example, could now use sections of the site to communicate with one another and share and edit documents like agendas, reports and other materials.
NACE appreciated Pantheon’s strategic thinking, industry knowledge and expertise regarding best practices and procedures. The last few months of the project were particularly busy, with NACE making many content changes every day. Pantheon’s flexibility helped keep the project moving forward.
“We did a lot of scope changes, particularly near the end, and Pantheon just rolled with the punches,” Kaiser said. “They were fairly unfazed and hit their deadlines.”
Reactions to the new site started rolling in soon after it was launched. NACE Marketing Director Amanda Kaiser reported that the vast majority of feedback was positive. “We got a flurry of emails from members who said they loved the navigation, site simplicity, new look and features,” Kaiser said. “If our members want to find something, they can find it. If we get questions, we can respond almost immediately with the feedback forms Pantheon installed.
“During the course of the project, we saw that Pantheon excelled in up front strategic thinking, in site architecture and design as well as the process of mapping the pages,” Kaiser said. “They allowed us to tap into their expertise regarding best practices, how-to, and more. They truly are Web experts.”