Introducing the Go Locum Map View
How we Built a Map of Real-time Locum Jobs
If you want to see what we're up to, check out Go Locum - the medical workforce marketplace.
For a while now my co-founder Phoebe and I have been frustrated by the lack of transparency in the medical locum recruitment space.
Job opportunities are often vaguely and incorrectly described, at nameless hospitals with unclear requirements.
There are many reasons for this. Some are:
- Hospital administrators and recruiters that are advertising vacancies often don't have this information readily available
- Contracts sometimes prevent the advertising of hospital names, because they don't want to broadcast the extent of their willingness to pay for certain positions
- Large recruiting companies wish to prevent inquiries directly to their client, instead of through them
At Go Locum we believe that we can provide a smoother locum experience for doctors by using technology to add transparency to the recruitment process. Today we're announcing the Go Locum Map View, which is an important piece to that puzzle moving forward.
Using this map, you can find job vacancies in real time, making it far easier to arrange locum work in geographic areas that interest. This functionality is perfect for doctors who want tight links between authentic travel opportunities and high-paying locum work.
How we built this
To begin with, Phoebe and I indexed over 650 of Australia's 1300 public and private hospitals. Our hospital database now covers the vast majority of sites that generate locum vacancies across Australia, and is growing every week. This includes information like the hospital name, the state, the longitude and latitude, the address, and so on. We sourced this information from a combination of publicly available documents, as well as a fair bit of elbow grease via Google.
Once we had a big library of hospitals indexed, it became a matter of finding a way to tie incoming locum job advertisements to the relevant worksite. This is a surprisingly complex problem, as there's no standard way for hospitals to describe their vacancies.
Some hospitals use plain-text emails, others use large tables that are updated daily, others using living documents like Google Sheets. When you consider that there are hundreds and hundreds of hospitals, and many dozens of recruitment agencies all trying to organise this information, you quickly realise how much of a pain this becomes.
This is still very much a developing space for us, although we have been able to find ways of managing this complex stream of information with very little effort.
Displaying the gathered data
With the dataset built, displaying the information in a Google Maps-esque widget is a relatively straightforward task, development wise.
We set up a Google Maps API key, which is basically a short sequence of numbers and letters that Google users to keep track of all the requests we send to their API.
Every time someone loads our web page or browses our map, we access Google Maps to retrieve information about the roads, terrain and places of interest that should be shown at the place where the user currently has the widget camera.
Once we had access to Google Maps, we needed to display that information somehow. Thankfully, there are various open-source libraries that exist to facilitate this. We settled on Leaflet JS which is a completely awesome library by Ukrainian developer Vladimir Agafonkin.
Leaflet has an awesome Quick Start guide, and a handy marker() function that made adding our worksite pins to the map an absolute breeze.
We've got plenty more ideas for how we're going to use technology to improve the locum experience for doctors in the future, both via the map view and other initiatives.
If you're looking for high-paying locum work without the headache, and want to be part of the revolution coming to the locum industry, leave your details here.