How Kester Search Group almost tripled the number of placements coming from their database

A DaXtra Technologies Case Study

Kester Search Group is an executive recruiting firm that specializes in the permanent placement of commercial operations roles. 

Kester excels in helping clients with national sales expansions, upgrading the talent of a current sales team and quickly filling open replacement positions. Lee Kester and his team have extensive healthcare recruiting experience, successfully placing 750+ professionals over the past 7+ years, with a 95% retention rate for clients who have selected them as their exclusive recruiting business partner. 


As a boutique search firm specializing in placing medical professionals using a white-glove approach, Kester Search Group was interested in figuring out where automation was needed in their workflows. They didn’t want to sacrifice this conscientious, white-glove attention to total digitalization so needed to know where to automate processes and where to maintain more human control to preserve the high-level, hands-on service they were used to delivering.

Most of the goals set forth had to do with their database and cleaning the existing and incoming data, getting more candidate profiles in their database and making sure that incoming records were as complete as they could possibly be. 

Kester knew they needed to unlock the value that lies within their Bullhorn database. They wanted to have more powerful parsing capabilities. Realizing their database could be a great source of good candidates, they needed to find a way to get the unsearchable data into a searchable format.

Another challenge faced was using the job boards more effectively to realize a better return on their investment. They wanted to get more value from their marketing spend on job boards. 


Once the challenges were identified it was determined that a solution that would be able to better manage candidate data was what was needed. They needed a solution that would bring in clean, complete candidate data and update existing profiles.

DaXtra Capture was a solution that promised to do all of this and more. It automates the process of directly loading resumes viewed on the job board into your database. DaXtra’s parser is a powerful candidate data management tool that works full circle. It not only loads in fully structured data but actually updates candidate profiles instead of just attaching new resumes to existing records.

Kester evaluated a couple of solutions but the overall capabilities of DaXtra Capture along with an attention to detail, Q&As and thorough follow up by DaXtra experts were the factors that tipped the scales in favor of DaXtra as the chosen solution provider.


Kester knew they wanted to retain a hands-on, personalized approach to recruiting. A solution that would allow them to do this was a key concern. They needed to be able to pick and choose where their workflows were automated, and DaXtra Capture was able to do this for them.

Sarah Byrd, Senior Executive Recruiter and Account Manager, with Kester Search Group commented, “The team at DaXtra worked with us to figure out where total automation was needed and identified where we could maintain more human control.”

She has a unique perspective of the views on automation used in a small team environment and relates to how automation can seem scary to those who don’t already use automation in their processes. “What DaXtra offers is flexibility in the way their solutions are used,” commented Sarah.

By using DaXtra Capture Kester Search Group was able to realize their long-term game plan, including:

  • automating the process of loading candidates from job board views
  • getting more candidates into their database
  • cleaning the existing and incoming data
  • making sure records are complete on the front end
  • updating records within the database
  • making more placements directly from their Bullhorn database.

All of Kester’s candidates go through the DaXtra parser which Sarah says has been a real game-changer for their small team who works with a limited tech stack. With DaXtra’s parsing, they have been able to customize fields to work better within their niche market. This is something that other out-of-the-box parsers can’t offer.

Recruiters used to have to manually input skills and other data that is pertinent to their market. Many times, under time limitations, they were not able to do this.

With DaXtra Capture they now can customize fields so information deemed important is automatically pulled into the system. For Kester Search Group the critical information they desired was skills and source. These fields are automatically populated. This equals better data and better search results.

“With DaXtra Capture, we’re now capturing candidates that we were missing before. And those records are coming in with complete information, so the searches we run are able to find those candidates because all their fields are complete and their keywords are tagged.”     — Sarah Byrd

Getting the basic information into the system was important to Kester. Sarah went on to say that many parsers out there are not proficient at capturing even the basic information — name, company, title… “DaXtra does a great job of capturing the information we’re looking for.” Not just the basics but skills and specific keywords – niche terms like medical products, medical call points and similar things that were important to Kester Search Group as a boutique medical executive search firm.

Kester Search Group has now more than doubled the number of candidates coming into their database. DaXtra Capture has built and strengthened their Bullhorn database allowing them to make more placements from it locally rather than rely so heavily on the job boards. It has essentially made the database more functional.

“The number of placements coming from our database has more than doubled — it has almost tripled since using DaXtra.” — Sarah Byrd

Sarah explains that she uses analytics to see what job boards are performing. The quality and number of candidates coming in are easily viewed and compared. This allows for evaluation, and redistribution of marketing spend — essentially reallocating more funds to the better performing job boards.

When it came to better utilizing their marketing spend and realizing more return on investment, specifically on job boards, DaXtra Capture made drastic improvements.

Statistics show that Kester Search Group was getting 44% of the candidates viewed on job boards into their database. After implementing DaXtra Capture, they are now pulling in 95-100% of their job board candidate views. Keep in mind that these are views they are paying the job boards for and vastly improving the ROI of their marketing spend.

“We have more than doubled new candidates coming into our database every year. Then over the long term that actually allowed us to make more placements from our database.”  — Sarah Byrd

Astounding improvements and better results with no increase in marketing spend. The number of candidates being brought into their system has now more than doubled allowing them to make more placements from within their database.

“We don’t always get an immediate placement from DaXtra, but by building out our database over time, the number of placements coming from within our existing database has increased from about 10-15% historically to now 30-40%, and our time to client submittal has been cut in half.” — Sarah Byrd

Sarah Byrd, Sr. Executive Recruiter & Account Manager

Sarah Byrd_headshots 2021Sarah is a 2011 graduate of Clemson University with 10 total years as an Account Manager, and for the past 6 years as an Executive Recruiter and Account Manager with Kester Search Group in Greenville, SC. 

Kester Search Group is a boutique executive search firm, specializing in placing high-level commercial operations positions throughout the US for a variety of healthcare and technology companies. 

Sarah has been a Bullhorn client since Aug 2017 and a Daxtra client since October 2019.