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Case study.

Kortext was founded in 2013 and in five years has become the UK’s leading personal learning platform and supplier of digital textbooks. Headquartered in Bournemouth, UK, Kortext works with over 1000 publishers, supplying over 500,000 ebooks to millions of students worldwide. ​

Kortext works with three core audiences: students, institutions and publishers. Students can access the textbooks for their courses in one place without the burden of carrying heavy textbooks around campus, with the ability to highlight, write notes and bookmark pages, making studying a breeze. Educational institutions can also take on Kortext to offer textbooks to their students with the ability to analyse how students are interacting with the content. Publishers and partners can distribute their textbooks through Kortext to give students and institutions easier access to their content. ​

Their well-built team is key to ensuring Kortext reaches their target audiences and grow their business.


Kortext had been searching for an SEO expert for six months and finding it tough to find the right person.

This was a key hire as their SEO strategy was at the heart of ensuring their product was easy to find in order to grow their business.

Based in Bournemouth, they were struggling to find suitable talent to fill the role, so this is where Aspire stepped in! Consultant Lisa Barwood took over, determined to find Kortext their SEO expert.

Key Objective

To quickly fill a tricky SEO hire for leading personal learning platform based in Bournemouth.


Day 1: Project starts – Kortext contacts Aspire for support on finding candidates.

Day 6: Kortext came to London for a briefing meeting at Aspire’s head office. In this initial meeting, Lisa booked out dates to deliver a candidate shortlist, also booking the dates out for interviews with a deadline for an offer date.

Day 10: Consultant Lisa Barwood and her manager, Luke Cox, then went to Bournemouth to check out Kortext’s great premises.

Day 11-25: Lisa met all the candidates face to face and ensured they’d been thoroughly put through their paces to make sure they really were SEO experts.

Day 25: We arranged a ‘Hire’- Aspire’s group interview process - in the office in London where the team interviewed four London-based SEO experts that they’d selected from six great CVs. Our expert talent resourcer had been fully briefed so he could identify amazing candidates for us.

Day 32: Two rounds of interviews were held, and star candidate Henrik was offered the role, and of course he accepted!

Day 35: From briefing to offering to Henrik, the role was filled within five weeks after the business had been searching for six months.


  • The demand for high quality SEO talent is high and as digital sector booms the supply of high quality talent is at a premium.

  • Bournemouth is a great place to live with the sandy beaches and lower cost of living but is not a hotbed of SEO talent. So even though there was a large degree of flexibility for the candidate Bournemouth is still the base. ​

  • Henrik had a two-month notice period Lisa had made sure a number of contractors had been contacted to check their availability to step in to support the team whilst they waited for their new hire…if they needed it.

Why This Case Is Unique

Everything went ahead exactly as planned; except for one part. Kortext were introduced to Henrik six days earlier than planned and he joined the team much sooner than his original start date! Henrik joined the business on the 1st February as he’d been able to negotiate his notice period, which was a massive bonus to the Kortext team.

Client Testimonial

"We were in need of an experienced SEO professional and had spent some time trying to find someone via our own networks. I had approached Aspire for advice regarding the experience and salary we should be offering as we went through our own direct process. We were not confident that the people we had met direct were the best qualified for the role and being based in Bournemouth we also understood that there was a location challenge even though we were open to a lot of flexibility. ​

We had to make a positive move on filling such a key role so we contacted Aspire and asked for their best solution. We agreed to retain them for a search and were pleasantly surprised at the speed they acted in visiting us in Bournemouth, consulting on the brief, shortlisting candidates and then hosting a series of interviews in their London offices. ​

The speed of the process was impressive and the quality of candidates inspiring. We are delighted with the outcome and performance of the person we hired. I would not hesitate to use Aspire again in the future should the need arise and highly recommend them."

Jeremy Duckworth – Chief Financial Officer, Kortext

Candidate Testimonial

"I'm really grateful for Lisa as she helped me finding my next venture. I work for Kortext now, a Bournemouth based startup. I've been looking for a long time for a remote job where I don't need to carry my laptop into central London to sit down in an overcrowded flagship office of a big international brand. I instantly knew the very first split second when Lisa mentioned that she has something 'WFH' that might be of interest to me. ​

I'm really pleased Lisa introduced me to Kortext, where I can combine no-commute with working together with like-minded, career-focussed peers and top management. Lisa was really helpful and supportive, guiding me through the hiring process. She also had a lot of ideas and recommendations on how to prepare for the interviews and what to highlight and look out for. ​

Overall I'm really happy that she found me my new job as I feel like a new person, naturally happy and enjoying the benefits of 'WFH'. I would obviously recommend Aspire to anyone who is not scared of really thinking out of the box and making a bold next move in their career and life."

​Henrik Tunyogi, Global SEO Manager, Kortext


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