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Vacancy Lab Blog Posts

Update 1.77

17th July 2018

Summer is on with full blaze and while some of you might be away on your well deserved Holidays, we are releasing a new version update for Vacancy Lab!

Version 1.77 includes requests of changes to the system alongside minor bug fixes. 
Read on to find out about the changes in more detail!

Search for cells containing no data in Advanced Find (NULL value search)

When you are looking for no entry cells in a column, now you can leave the condition value empty and Vacancy Lab will use NULL value to search, listing the appropriate results.

This feature will further boost the Advanced Find search function and can also be combined with other criteria to produce individual search patterns!

New Notice period field in Add Candidate Wizard

Add current notice period of your newly registered candidates! Select from days/weeks/months or years from the drop-down menu!

Optimise Candidate/Client Ad-Hoc Search results by showing or hiding columns

When using candidate or client ad-hoc search select the "View" menu for "Show/Hide Columns" to customize the result's appearance!

Further fixes include:

  • Email logging error for MS Exchange 2007 fixed
  • General Report: consultants report 1st and 2nd interview display fixed
  • Candidate employment histories altering candidate records fixed
  • Event Log Report Error - New Interview filter removing certain results fixed
  • Ajax error when mail merging - logic check fix
  • CV sending from the Contacts Tab of a Clients Record fixed

    Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or feedback!

Update 1.74

28th February 2018

We have just released a new version for Vacancy Lab. Version 1.74 includes requests of chages to the system alongside minor bug fixes.
Read on to find out about the changes in more detail!

New 2018 postcode data
Vacancy Lab’s postcodes have been updated to the latest dataset available from the UK’s leading national mapping agency, the Ordnance Survey.

Uploading documents alongside parsing

Documents can now be uploaded to the system even if they do not contain data that can be parsed. You can drag them across or select them manually for upload.

Record current salary of a new candidate

A new option to record the existing pay rates of a candidate has been implemented to the Add New Candidate Wizard.

Delete skills easily when creating a new vacancy

A right click option of ‘Delete Skill/Attribute’ has been added to creating a new vacancy to help customizing.


Tweet characters increased to 280 for longer descriptions and more content.

Client contact Duplicates

New option to switch how client contact candidates load, which can help with large datasets.

Further fixes include:

  • Adhoc Candidate Search
  • Candidate internal rating now correctly appears as an the value rather than it’s ID on the main grid
  • Client Adhoc Search will now have the same scroll bar on the side as Candidates Adhoc Search if the window is resized
  • Clients can be found in lookup even if the they don't have an address
  • Manually logging MS Exchange emails from the logging report now includes a body for the emails, not just the subject
  • Business area loading time optimized when no business area is selected in employment history
  • ALT shortcut keys fixed in Vacancy card for candidates
  • Graphical issues fixed on logging report after matching a record

Update 1.73

16th November 2017

Vacancy Lab 1.73 is now available! This is patch is intended to reinforce the speed improvements of 1.72 on larger datasets.

Resolved Issues:

  • Bug Fix: Resolved Journal Timeout Issue
  • Bug Fix: Resolved an issue where large numbers of contacts were taking too long to load

Update 1.72: More Speed!

1st November 2017

Update 1.72 of Vacancy Lab has just been released. This is largely a patch of bug fixes, but we've also made some changes to the speed of the system. By rewriting some of the database code, we've managed to improve user experience and lower page loading times. For a full list of changes, please see these below.

Resolved Issues:

  • Resolved an issue where the Credate was not being added correctly to vacancy uploads through MySQL interface.
  • Resolved an issue in consultant screen that prevented the user from returning to the summary tab after going to details tab.
  • Resolved an issue where the candidate record summary screen was missing tasks and journals (initially).
  • Improved user experience issue that was hiding the menu bar when accessing a candidate record from within a vacancy record.
  • Resolved an issue where the MYSQL connection to web candidate registration produces an ever-growing list of candidates.
  • Increased the processing speed when adding a new client contact to prevent typing speed from causing letters to not be entered into a new client contact's surname.
  • Resolved an issue with shortlisting candidates to vacancies at a company they have worked for in the past.
  • Resolved an issue with client contact tasks and journals start date appearing as blank.
  • Resolved an issue wherein the Tasks & Journals screen would display as completely blank until 'Reset / Show All' was clicked.
  • Resolved an issue preventing links from being added to pictures in email signatures.
  • Resolved an issue where adding a journal from Tasks & Journals tab of a vacancy doesn't automatically link to the vacancy.
  • Resolved an SQL error when adding two-word skills.
  • Resolved an issue wherein the advanced search was not storing 'Additional Criteria'.
  • Users can now add double quotes to skills.
  • Resolved an issue where single quotes separated by a space fires an error in skills.
  • Resolved an issue in the 'Add Vacancy Wizard' where double clicking on a possible duplicate would open a new 'Add Vacancy Wizard'.

Update 1.71: More Convenience and Information at your Fingertips!

4th September 2017

Update 1.71 of Vacancy Lab has just been released. We think that the new features will improve your experience so we've picked our favourite three to describe below.

Additional Client Information When Adding a Vacancy

When you add a new vacancy on the Vacancies Main Grid, the location of your clients now appears. This gives you additional information in case your clients have similar names and limits human error.

Postcode For Contacts in Main Grid

You can now configure the Contacts Main Grid to show your contacts' site postcodes. This is managed by selecting Tools > User Fields > Contacts Area and then selecting the check box next to "Site Postcode" under the "Include in Main Grid" column.

Mail Merge a Candidate from the Candidates Record

You can now do a mail merge from inside a candidate record by selecting Actions > Mail Merge Candidate. This allows you to easily employ your mail merge templates with fewer clicks!

Other New Features

  • FEATURE: 0001671: We've made some general style improvements specifically for chrome users.
  • FEATURE: 0001649: Show positions in the positions sought area
  • FEATURE: 0001664: The Candidate Ad Hoc Search now returns Salary Sought and Current Salary of the candidate.
  • FEATURE: 0001683: Mail merge a candidate from the candidates record

Resolved Issues

  • Resolved an issue with processing PDFs in the Bulk Parser.
  • Resolved company documents all changing modified date if one of them is changed or added.
  • New interview automatic task no longer contains a reference to all vacancies.
  • Resolved duplicate ID's in employment history breaking the candidate search for vacancy.
  • Resolved udfFreeText2 error when editing mail merge templates.
  • Resolved an issue in which several main grid fields were displaying "&" as "amp".
  • "Send Email" button now closes the email window as expected.
  • SMS character limit now displays the correct number.
  • Resolved an error in which the KPI graph displayed incorrect information.
  • All files added to journals now generate clickable links as expected.
  • The preview pane now updates when a new document is uploaded.
  • Calendar year range increased when adding entries to Candidate Employment History.
  • Shortlisted Candidates that get moved to the review or exclude sections of a Candidate Search now get removed from the vacancy shortlist, too.
  • Company Document Upload no longer hangs if the company document was empty.
  • Moving a client contact to a new client no longer breaks if a replacement contact isn't selected.

Update 1.68: Company Documents, Multiple Signatures, Text Message Templates and More!

28th June 2017

Update 1.68 of Vacancy Lab has just been released and we’re really excited about some new features that we think you’ll really like too. Our favourite three are explained in detail here, but don’t forget to check out the list of new features that we include below.

Company Documents

By going to Tools > Company Documents under the “Administration” section. You can set up company documents that all your consultants will have access to. Then, when you send an email, you can easily attach these documents.

Multiple Email Signatures

By selecting Tools > Options > Email Client from within the Vacancy Lab system, you can now set up multiple email signatures. Then, when you send out an e-mail, you can choose from them, sending ever more tailored emails to your clients and candidates.

Text Message Templates

Having had such positive feedback on our templates for emails and documents, we’ve decided to expand the SMS functionality to include similar features. This means that you can now, quickly and efficiently, send out multiple groups of text messages without having to re-write your templates.

Other New Features

  • The “Holidays” field can now have any number of days instead of weeks
  • One can now add client contact directly in email logging
  • Added  send cv to main grid right click searches
  • The default email font size is henceforth set to 12px
  • Changed the name of "Position" to "Position Sought" on Candidate Grid
  • Added a right click > Add journal in Adhoc Search results
  • Added new Candidate search criteria for vacancy fields: Current Position & Position Sought
  • Added filter to triage closed vacancies when selecting vacancies
  • Changed Journal security - administrators can set user level for editing journals
  • Task reminder popups now include phone number of contact
  • Current Employer is now viewable in the Candidates grid
  • Salary now available in Vacancies and Candidates grids
  • Added current employer to Add New Candidate Wizard
  • New event programmer parameters to add Map Links to new interview events
  • Added New Administrator Permissions for access to Journals



Resolved Issues

  • Resolved a Microsoft Edge bug in event programmer: the parameters always appeared in the top left and not where the cursor is.
  • Resolved an issue preventing 'Source' from being found when using the Advanced Find
  • Resolved an issue with sorting by Client in the Email Contact selector
  • Position Sought on candidates grid no longer displays ampersands as &
  • Resolved an intermittent issue with losing Consultant name during saving
  • Resolved an issue with too many characters in Facebook posts causing an error
  • Pressing ALT+N in currencies and user manager now opens a new window as expected
  • Resolved an issue where not all names were appearing in the mailing list when selecting a new mailing address in the email window
  • Add contact as candidate now adds a new candidate as expected
  • Resolved an issue wherein the Adhoc Search would refresh when sending an SMS
  • Resolved a minor issue with Open All/Marked for Archive only showing closed vacancies
  • Resolved an  issue with emailing more than 100 candidates which used to cause an error to fire
  • Closing bracket no longer disappears when saving search in the Ad Hoc Search
  • Resolved an error when sending many SMS messages
  • The multiple closed vacancies in journals bug has now been resolved

Update 1.67 - New Location and Candidate/Contact/Client/Vacancy selection tools

5th April 2017

Version 1.67 of Vacancy Lab has just been released and we wanted to let everyone know what is included in the build. This update mostly includes requests to the system as well as various minor bug fixes.

New Location Selection

The new location selection tool allows you to quickly select multiple locations. It also gives you the ability to search for locations by name - each matching occurrence is highlighted in the view. The tree of information is also expanded if the search results are further through the hierarchy.

Revamped Candidate, Client Contact, Client and Vacancy Selection

You can now easily add or remove Candidates, Client Contacts, Clients or Vacancies with the updated selection feature. It's easy to make simple changes like removing an entry and not losing your previously selected entries.

More information in the right places

Extra information shown for records as requested:

  • Candidate grid: Shows all positions sought (not just one)
  • Email grid: Client Contact Position
  • Email grid: Candidate Position sought
  • Shortlisting Candidate: Client Vacancy Reference

Other Improvements

  • Improved error reporting for WordPress plugin
  • The ability to quickly select thousands of Client Contacts via the Client grid when emailing or mail merging


  • 'RPT: Candidate Full Name' parameter now specifies that it returns all candidates relating to the vacancy
  • 'Skills Training', 'Skills Qualification' and 'Skills ComputerLiteracy' parameters are only displayed when they can be used
  • SMS word counter fixed for RedSMS customers

Update 1.65 - Set Height of Headers and Footers, Default Opening Tabs

14th February 2017

Version 1.65 of Vacancy Lab has just been released and we wanted to email everyone to let them know what is included in this build. This update mostly includes requests to the system as well as various minor bug fixes.

Set the height of Documents’ Headers and Footers

We have now added the ability to create headers and footers with customisable sizes. This feature stops headers and footers from covering the body of the document by automatically fitting the body outside of the chosen fitter area.

Select which Tab in the Clients, Contacts, Candidates or Vacancies to open by Default

Several Vacancy Lab users have requested that certain tabs open by default when double-clicking on a value within the one of the main grids. With this new feature, each user can decide which tab is open by default within the options menu.

Make a Contact into a Candidate

It is now possible to make a contact into a candidate if required. This feature comes as requested, and gives the option to change between contact and candidate through a right-click on the required name on the 'Add Candidate' screen.

Other Improvements

  • Bulk Client Import
  • The ability to select which default telephone number is selected when adding/parsing candidate
  • Character counter for SMS
  • Ability to display currency e.g. GBP, EUR in the word press plugin
  • Commission now is not required to total 100%


  • 'Send CV' now attaches required document even if the candidate does not have an email address.
  • A space in a username will no longer break email signature images.
  • Headers on the second page of the generated CV PDFs don’t hang-over the second page body text.
  • Multi-line footers display in full when generating a pdf CV.
  • Adding a new position or job category does not error when adding in white space.
  • Can now import skills from .PDF documents in candidate documents.
  • Fixed the shortlisting candidate from a vacancy time-out issue.
  • Town parameter on CV generator no longer comes out in capitals unless specified to.
  • Adding a new currency – Errors when saving the currency are now fixed.
  • Context menu in blank area closes when selecting an option or left clicking off it.
  • In the main grid, total number of clients/candidates displays 0 if there are no results.
  • Problems with RedSMS originator are solved.
  • When you create a PDF mail merge, the system now creates a journal for all records rather than just the first.

Update 1.64 - Context Menu in Table Area and Task, Events and Journals Updates

29th November 2016

Version 1.64 of Vacancy Lab has just been released and we wanted to email everyone to let them know what is included in this build. This update mostly includes requests made by our clients for the system as well as a few minor bug fixes.

Context Menu in Table Area

Several clients have requested the ability to right-click in the space around data tables, to open the associated context menu, without clicking on a row. This has also improved functionality in areas of the system where there are no rows to click on.

Tasks, Events and Journals Updates

We listened to your feedback about our major update to the Tasks, Events and Journals tab in the Clients, Contacts, Candidates and Vacancies. You can now view all entries by clicking the ‘Reset / Show All’ button. In the appropriate sections, ‘Client’ is now a returned data field.

WordPress plugin update

The WordPress plugin has been updated to work in harmony with the latest major version of PHP(7) as well as having a few minor tweaks.

Other Improvements

Other improvements to the system include:

  • Main grid archived candidates no longer turn black when a non-archived candidate is changed.
  • All fields correctly exported from the Ad-hoc searches
  • A filter has been added to Ad-hoc search to allow for candidates without documents to be removed from the search results.
  • Instant searches are saved when switching between grids.


  • Special character ‘ñ’ can be used in the CV name.
  • Empty row added for non-shortlisted candidate.
  • ‘&’ can be used in template descriptions.
  • New client contact is now added to the client box.
  • ‘#’ can now be used in addresses.
  • Error with logging sent items has been fixed.
  • With no social address, right-click lookup on LinkedIn/Facebook/twitter fails

Update 1.62 - New Summary Tab Layout & New Consultants Report

19th October 2016

Version 1.6 of Vacancy Lab has just been released, bringing with it a wide range of improvements including speed increases, an update to the summary tasks tabs and a great new reporting section designed to give your management team an easy to digest overview of each consultant’s performance.

New Summary Tab Layout

A number of clients felt that having two tasks, events and journals windows was not the best use of space for the summary tab when you opened a record. In the new layout, the second tasks, events and journals window has been removed making space for the first window to be expanded. The expanded window has then been updated to provide additional information about the tasks, events and journals being displayed.

Updated Tasks and Journals Tab

To improve the speed of opening a record, we have been adjusting how the record is loaded. One noticeable change is that we have stopped the data in the Tasks and Journals Tab from loading unless it is needed. This data was causing a significant delay in opening times and was rarely used in comparison to other parts of the record. The Tasks and Journals tab will now only start to load the data when you search for something.

New Reporting Section

The new reports have been designed to show a range of KPIs for any given consultant over a range of time periods, allowing you to easily identify how well they are performing and any areas they may need improvement.
The KPIs used in the report include:

  • Vacancies added 
  • CV's sent 
  • 1st Interview arranged 
  • 2nd Interview arranged 
  • Candidates under offer 
  • Candidates accepted 
  • Candidates placed 
  • Earned commission 

Along with historical performance, the new reporting section also shows forecast statistics based on the number of currently open vacancies and the number interviews booked for the coming weeks.

Once you have received the new update, you will find the new reports by open the tools menu, clicking on general reports then selecting the consultants tab. 

Other Improvements

  • The Next Available date can now be included in the candidate’s main grid.
  • Tasks can now be marked as complete from the reminder window via the right click contextual menu.
  • New Vacancies can now be added via the vacancies tab of the client contact window.
  • The search in the tasks and journal tab will now search the whole journal text and not just the subject.
  • A link to the client website can now be found in the client’s preview pane.
  • The way the web publishing handles location has been made more flexible.
  • The outbox now turns red if there has been an error sending an email.
  • Users can now sort the Tasks Events and Journals grids in the Client, Contact, Candidate and Vacancy records.
  • The vacancy selector table accessible through the tasks events and journals window is now sortable.
  • The Journal summary screens now show if an email has an attachment.
  • Emails now display names with the first name followed by the last name.
  • Capacity of the export main grid to CSV has been improved.
  • Export CSV can now be used to export closed vacancies and archived records.
  • Reporting of errors when publishing vacancies to a website has been improved.
  • Is client contact / is candidate have now been added to the relevant main grids.
  • Has agency CV can now be displayed on the main grid and ad-hoc search.


  • Resolved an issue where spaces at the end of email addresses could sometimes cause logging issues.
  • Resolved an issue where profiles names in the event programmer could be left blank.
  • Resolved an issue that was causing male to be selected as the default sex.
  • The order of the ad-hoc search columns now remain as they were left rather than returning to their defaults.
  • The warning to alert that a candidate may already know the client when shortlisting them to a vacancy now works as expected.
  • Double clicking a linked vacancy ref in a task, event or journal will now open up the vacancy in a new window as intended.
  • Resolved an issue that was causing the ad-hoc search to error when the text search contained a mix of quoted and unquoted search phrases.
  • Using the "send CV" event to generate an email to the candidate will now attach CVs as intended when sending multiple CVs at once.
  • Adding skills to an ad-hoc search now works as intended.
  • Resolved an issue that sometimes prevented email attachments from being added to the journal.
  • Exporting ad-hoc search results to CSV now works as intended.
  • Resolved an issue that was causing the IMAP logging to mark emails as read.


New Agency CV generator, Improved Email System, Updated Text Editor, Logic Melon Integration and Social Lookup for Candidates and Contacts

21st June 2016

We are currently deploying a series of updates that will take Vacancy Lab to version 1.58. These updates include a number of significant new features and improvements along with the normal bug fixes making it one of the largest updates we have released so far, so large in fact that we had to split the update into several patches.


Agency CV Generator

We are very proud to announce a feature that we have been wanting to bring you for some time, the Agency CV Generator.

The Agency CV Generator means that you can now create professional branded CVs that follow a consistent structure and pattern based on the data stored in your system. CV templates can be created via the template manager based on the new Candidate CV merge fields. New CVs can then be created from within each candidate record. As with all generated documents, generated CVs can even be edited retrospectively as required. 


New Email System

We have completely redeveloped the email system to remove some of the functional limitations being experienced by some users. Where the previous email functions attempted to pass emails directly to your email provider, the new email system employs an outbox so the system can send your emails in the background while you move on to other things.

The new email system means that that users should now only be limited by their email provider or system resources when sending large numbers of emails and mail merges.


Updated Text Editor

We have updated the WYSIWYG text editor user throughout the system to make it easier to use and more intuitive. Along with the new editor we have also added number of improvements to the PDF generator (including the ability to have headers and footers and the much requested support for Calibri!)


Logic Melon

We are proud to announce that we now integrate with Logic Melon alongside Broadbean and Jobmate. A number of clients requested we add support for this award winning job posting service and we were happy to oblige.


Social Media Lookup

Another feature that has been requested by a number of clients was the ability to quickly lookup a candidate or contacts social media profiles.  The right click contextual menu for the candidate and client contact grids now include options to lookup someone's Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook profiles which will open in a new window.


Other changes and bug fixes

  • Skype ID has been added as a social media field for candidates and client contacts
  • You can now archive candidates from the Adhoc search results
  • Closing a candidate window by pressing enter no longer causes a duplicate candidate to be created
  • You can now correctly add notes to position sought
  • You can now create an editable document when there are no existing documents for that candidate or client contact
  • "Do not contact" now functions as intended
  • Send CV events now correctly overrides the default send CV action
  • IMAP logging should no longer pick up occasional spam emails
  • Re-ordering of To/CC/BCC lists in the email client now works as intended
  • Other smaller bug fixes and performance improvements



As this is an especially large patch we will be rolling it out to each client one by one so we can go through the changes with you and answer any questions you may have. This process has already started and will be continuing over the coming weeks.

As always we would like to thank all our users for the amazing feedback we have been receiving. While we cannot promise to include every suggestion we receive, it all goes towards helping us understand how the system is being used and evaluate which areas to work on next.

Keyword Highlighter

3rd March 2016

We have just released an update to Vacancy Lab taking us up to version 1.53. This update is predominantly bug fixes and performance improvements but also includes an enhancement to the adhoc search for candidates.

When using the text search section of the adhoc search, the system will now highlight the keywords and phrases you are using in the preview pane of the candidate’s CV making them far easier to find. Each keyword will even get its own colour so you can differentiate between duplicates.

Other improvements include:

  • The template manager can now handle far more user defined fields
  • Some of the icons have been updated
  • You can now shortlist candidates that are already placed
  • The candidate status should now persist when being edited through more than one window
  • Programed events and tasks now use the current date as the default

There are also a number of other small fixes and improvements

Vacancy Lab Recruitment Software Launched

20th January 2016

After several years of development, we are proud to announce the public release of Vacancy Lab, our new web based recruitment CRM and ATS. Designed to be a replacement for our existing offering, the Palustris Recruitment Software, Vacancy Lab has capitalised on the years of feedback we have received from our existing users and combined it with the latest web based technologies to provide a powerful and intuitive Recruitment Software solution.

Vacancy Lab comes with all the features you would expect from a mainstream recruitment software package as well as a few higher level functions that are more unique:

Automated CV Processing

Vacancy Lab includes a powerful CV processor that will take all the work out of adding new candidates. Just drag and drop the CV file into the window and Vacancy Lab will upload it to the system, pull out a range of contact and personal details, identify any skills that are relevant to you and process any employment history it finds. If you deal with so many CVs that even that sounds like hard work, Vacancy Lab also includes a bulk processor that will allow you to process hundreds of CVs at a time!

Task Automation

Vacancy Lab will help you cut down on those repetitive everyday tasks that eat into your valuable time by allowing you to automate them. Be it generating welcome emails or setting important reminders, tell Vacancy Lab what you need and when and Vacancy Lab will do the rest. Not only does this feature save time but also helps with compliance to ensure that all clients and candidates get a consistent experience no matter who they deal with.

Exchange Integration

While Vacancy Lab includes the ability to email people through the system, we recognise how much people work form mail clients like Microsoft Outlook. Vacancy Lab can automatically log emails you send and receive through outlook against the relevant clients and candidates in the system. This means you can maintain a complete email history in Vacancy Lab even when you are using outlook. 


For a more comprehensive list of features, click here to see our main features page.

While Vacancy Lab has been completely redeveloped, we have carried over many of the strong features from Palustris such as the easy to use interface and right click menu. Another featured that has been retained is the ability to host Vacancy Lab yourself. Unlike most web based systems where you have no choice but to trust the software provider with your data, Vacancy Lab offers you the opportunity to host it on your own server, be that a cloud server from someone like amazon or a server in your office. This mean that Vacancy Lab users can benefit from a number of different hosting options that are not available through other software providers.

To celebrate the launch of Vacancy Lab, anyone who has a demo of the system will qualify for free installation and setup if and when they decide to signup. Click here to use our online booking form to book your demo now.