Designing for Diverse Recruiting
Designing an improved job posting experience for recruiters or hiring managers, that helps them attract and recruit relevant candidates for the position.
One of the many uses of Linkedin is job hunting, where candidates, employers, and recruiters post and look through job openings on company pages, keywords, and/or their connections to open their next career path.
The "As-is" Situation
I started out by seeing what was available currently to post a job on LinkedIn. Going through the process, I wondered what it would be like to post a job as a non-professional, since most Linkedin users that I personally connect with are mostly white-collar. Therefore, I went into the portal with a mindset of an employer at a local, family-run bakery back in my hometown, looking for an assistant baker.
Some pointers I noticed here:
- I couldn't find or add "Natale's" or "Assistant Baker". Am I an anomaly?
- Seeing the number of members was reassuring that there are several potential candidates with this job title.
- The rest of the page had a professional and slick feeling to it, but I can see how the images feel tailored to only white-collared workers.
- The page felt so different from the previous one. It almost feels as though I'm on a third-party website...is this a good or bad thing? I figured I'll find out from my research.
- At this point, I'd be a little worried about whether or not my position and/or business is "relevant enough" to Linkedin. It felt a little discouraging to put down "other" under "Job function"
- What does a job description entail?
- I was surprised that this is its own page. Checking the box and seeing the preview price was helpful, however.
- "Wow, that was fast". I was surprised that it was pretty quick, but at the same time I wasn't sure what I was expecting during the process.
- Here, I had a lot of trouble understanding this payment system. What does it mean if I buy 5 skilled & hourly job posts pack? Does this mean I'm making the same post five times?
I decided to look at the problem a little differently; the word "recruiters" entails someone in a Human Resources department scouting for candidates for a mid-to-large company or business. I decided to expand the definition, and targeted my research to a variety of not just those in white-collared workplaces, but also in small and local businesses/companies that are looking for candidates in more skilled/hourly positions. Again, Linkedin could have huge growth for those in blue-collared workplaces.
I also found value in the phrasing of "attract and recruit relevant candidates". What are the kinds of information that would draw in potential applicants? Recruitment is a double-sided interaction; there is need for interest on both ends in order for a candidate to accept an offer.
I made a survey for candidates, and was sure to target people in various industries. For recruitment, I reached out to have interviews and conversations to get an idea of their process.
For candidates, I asked:
- Which area of business do you tend to look for employment?
- Do you use Linkedin for job searching?
- If not, why?
- List the places you go--digitally and/or physically--to search for employment.
- What are the first three things you look for in a position?
- What are the first three things you look for in a business/company?
- What do you wish you knew about the business/company that you normally can't find on job listings?
Over all, I wanted to get a sense of what attracts them to a company/business and what keeps them using or not using LinkedIn. Of the survey I sent out, I got nine responses from those in industries ranging from performing arts, pre-med, and food service.
From candidates, the biggest takeaways were how candidates were most interested about not only the company or business' type of work, but also the culture/environment. In terms of their job, there was curiosity about their own advancement and opportunities while working there.
On the whole, candidates really care about not only advancing in their career path (pay, opportunities), but about their social interactions and emotional well-being (culture).
"[I wish I knew] how committed [the employers] are to get you the experience you want."
"[I want to know] how they treat their employees, and how often they promote from within."
"[I'd be looking for] opportunities to learn/make something meaningful and interact and learn from upper-level employees."
Moving onto the recruitment side, I conversed with four different subjects in different areas of employment. With one of them, I got to do a usability test of the current Linkedin Job Posting experience, as they have never posted one previously.
With them, I asked the following:
- Which industry is your business/company categorized in?
- How do you--or your business/company--announce open positions? (i.e., Linkedin, your website, an actual bulletin board, a piece of paper on the main entrance, etc)
- What kinds of basic information do you put on those announcements?
- How often do you (or your business/company) post new jobs?
- What are the first three things you look for in a candidate? (degree, language, skills, experience, etc)
- How much of your time do you spend looking for or talking to candidates? (type N/A if inapplicable)
The largest insight I gathered was for any area of business--there are usually certain requirements that absolutely are needed to be eligible, but there are also recommended skillsets as well. Interestingly enough, a popular reason that Linkedin Jobs wasn't used by these people was for relevance; employers would go to job portals where all candidates have that skill in common. There is plenty of trust in the platform already, but searching for candidates Linkedin could give these employers lots of irrelevant applications to sort through.
For example, an employer of a small business may not be looking for so many skills for a certain posting, but it was absolutely imperative for candidates to be completely fluent in both Korean and English, as they were dealing with customers from both backgrounds. For this reason, they would only use a portal that is used only by native-speaking Korean-Americans. Another example is in the education industry, where all teachers use a job posting portal that all candidates with certain college degrees use for teaching opportunities.
"I didn't think people with both qualities [in speaking fluent Korean and English] are looking at conventional job searching websites."
"Educators use the online job sites as opposed to Linkedin because every school district posts to the online job sites."
"[Psychology professionals] use Linkedin's professional groups to get in touch with others with common skills."
Afterwards, I went through the process with one of my interviewees of posting a job. We ran into similar issues, but there were other points brought up such as:
"It's hard to say what the 'function' is..." (selects 'other' under "Job Function")
"I'm looking for a wide range of applicants, so I need to select multiple options."
"I felt like there's not enough pace to explain what qualifications I'm looking for."
In addition to the surveying and interviewing, I did some competitive analysis with Ziprecruiter, and Indeed.
Ziprecruiter has been advertised frequently through the radio lately, and was recommended by a few of the employers that I interviewed. I took a look at their website for a quick overview.
I noticed that their landing page mostly discusses the perks of using Ziprecruiter as its own platform. Having a question about employee count also allows inclusion of various companies of all sizes as well. This would make employers feel comfortable being in the same platform as corporation giants.
The user is directed to create a free account, where a lightbox appears. By first glance at the progress bar, it's easy to tell how the process will go on this screen. I felt that for a job posting, using this interface would not be the best solution since lightboxes suggest quick and fleeting interactions.
Asking about how many jobs to be filled would be helpful for employers in need of filling multiple positions at a time. I kept a mental note of this for the future.
Indeed has more of a Craigslist vibe to it, but is very step-by-step and easy to understand. Although there are more questions and blanks on Indeed, there is more specification about required skills and a progress bar indicates where the user is in their process. This may not be a problem for someone who makes a job posting on occasion, but it could become repetitive for an employer trying to fill multiple positions.
There are suggested prompts under Job Description which nudges the user of what kind of content to input. This could be a feasible solution for my issue with Linkedin's jobposting experience, where there was only a blank. Additionally, there were a few questions about required fluency in certain languages, relating back to a few of my interviews.
Job posting can be stressful for some employers! I realized that having a preview included in the procedure is reassuring to make sure there isn't any missing and/or incorrect information as well.
The user flow wouldn't be too complicated; I decided that if an employer is adding a company that wasn't in the suggestions, it would be an opportunity to start a company page on the way to creating job posts. Many subjects discussed wanting to know about the company culture and background before applying to a position. Of course, the employer would have the opportunity to return later to edit and complete more information.
I decided to play with the "Pay" section and combine it with a "Preview" section as well; my subject who walked through their process on Linkedin left still not understanding how the packages functioned. This left room for a redesign of their payment page as well.
Here, I explore different iterations of each page. Some pointers I kept in mind:
- An option to add a company
- A welcoming landing page that sets expectations for the job posting process.
- Questions asking about both company culture and opportunities
- Absolute requirements: the candidate would not be able to apply unless they have that skill or degree in their Linkedin profile
This is where we introduce Lauren, our persona.
"You need these qualifications, but I can help you with the rest."
Lauren recently opened a small florist business, Modern Petals, in San Diego CA, and has lots of jobs to post. They're more skilled & hourly positons, (secretarial, assistant) but as an active LinkedIn user, she wants to try her luck at Linkedin Jobs to see if any potential candidates would be interested for a part-time or full-time job. It doesn't take too many skills to be qualified, but living in an area with so many Spanish speakers, Lauren would need candidates who are absolutely fluent in both Spanish and English. Knowledge in Microsoft Office is preferred, but she can always teach them once they are hired. A lot of her applicants haven't had these qualifications, so she feels stressed and a little frustrated that she's been spending time reviewing candidates when she could have been working on her business strategy.
She's a little nervous and intimidated about this, since most of the job openings she has been seeing hire for larger companies and corporations. She also has some doubts here and there about whether or not her business is "there" yet. Regardless, however, she's excited to see who she can find.
Lauren starts off here. She already trusts LinkedIn, and was only curious about what she should expect during the job posting process. Here, she learns that she can add her business, since she couldn't find hers in the drop-down.
Because she added a new company not found on the dropdown, Lauren is taken to this page where she is welcomed by the platform and invited to jumpstart on her company page. She feels more like a part of the community, and has a sense of belonging.
Lauren decides she will edit her company page later, and moves forward to add a position. She feels reassured seeing that there is a section for required and recommended skills, and knows that candidates applying for the positions available will be eligible.
Because this is also her first time posting a job on LinkedIn, she feels prepared to describe the position through the prompt shown in the box. There is also enough room to add different employment types for the same position, so she can have a full time and a part time option as well.
Lauren is on the last step of the process and is ready to confirm and upload the job post.
She decides not to sponsor her job for now.
To make sure she did everything correctly, she previews her information. Lauren is given a mockup of how her job post will appear to potential candidate, which makes her feel excited and reassured that her business is so close to being "part of the system"! She chooses the 5-post-pack (since she knows that she will be posting more later), and is ready for her first post to go live.