Hydrogen Group

A bespoke open-source platform to drive company growth


Hydrogen Group is a growing global recruitment consultancy with ambitious plans to double in size by 2016. To realise those plans in the competitive world of recruitment it’s vital to attract, develop and retain the best talent.

Saffron Interactive is proud of winning the argument that a bespoke, open source platform, rather than an off-the-shelf-solution was essential to this aim. Hydrogen Group employees needed to feel that the development platform was specifically attuned to their needs and culture. An off-the-shelf user experience just wouldn’t cut it.


Hydrogen has a demanding, competitive, and time-pressured learner-audience. So they needed to build a platform which could capture and keep the attention of recruitment consultants. The primary focus of this audience is to get back to the business of earning commission, and not necessarily learning that would improve their performance.

Though fast-growing, Hydrogen is a small to medium sized enterprise, with only 350 employees. Budget for the project was limited. To create a sustainable solution, we needed to work with an existing open source platform, Moodle, within a limited scope for development work.

Why Saffron?

After researching other LMS providers, Hydrogen approached Saffron because of our innovative approach to LMS development and design.

The open source aspect of our technology solution appealed to Hydrogen as it didn’t tie them into any expensive licence fees and restrictions.

We based our solution on the Saffron Grow distribution of Moodle. We wowed the client with a fresh design approach was inspired by the Windows 8 Metro tiles, which made use of existing brand iconography.

Our Approach

Our theme completely transformed the home page of Moodle into a personalised and colour-coded dashboard, inspired by the Windows 8 Metro style. The design is responsive for tablet and smartphones.

The central purple tile immediately directs learners to the elearning pathway in which they are enrolled and notifies them of pending activities. In addition, a live feed of selected content delivered via an RSS feed keeps learners updated on insights from the L&D team.

Whilst budgets were limited, Saffron found innovative design solutions which allowed us to use functionality native to Moodle, and existing tools to produce a corporate level of functionality on a much lower budget. Our development included:

  • Learning organised in a bespoke, pathway course format underpinned by personal development plans
  • Rating functionality, so content can be improved through social peer review
  • The ability to ‘Add-a-note’ at any point, and also to print out a report which contains all the evidence of learning. This is ideal for the weekly performance reviews with supervisors that consultants need to attend
  • A team reports block

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