1 week, Fall 2018
Design an improved job posting experience for recruiters or hiring managers, that helps them attract and recruit relevant candidates for the position.
I have only been in the position of being hired, so it was essential to wear the shoes of hiring someone else for this exercise. The first thing to do was to understand the hiring experience from the users, and familiarize myself with the current process. I addressed the main research questions I wanted to learn through my research.
What is the motivation behind posting a job?
What are the pain points of the current job posting experience?
How could LinkedIn Job have specialty over others?
→ What are the additional business opportunities within the job posting experience?
I was able to interview three recruiters from different companies—a large tech company, mid-sized agency, and a recruiting firm.
First, I asked them for an overview of their recruiting process, the challenges they face, and any tools or resources they use.
Then I specifically delved into how they approach job postings. I was curious how they write the job description, when and why they post them, and how they identify relevant candidates among the applicants.
Despite the differences in their recruiting strategies I recognized some overarching patterns that apply to all.
Every job post serves a different goal
“General openings are often due to legal obligations and have low urgency while some have immediate needs.”
It’s much harder to find relevant candidates through online applications
“One of the hardest thing is, sometimes we are not attracting the right candidate” “There’s a lot of noise in job boards”
Hmm in the end it sounded like online job boards are usually not the main source of hiring, nor the most efficient way to hire quality candidates.
I began to recognize that online job postings and other recruiting methods have different strengths and weaknesses. Based on the interview, I compared job boards to traditional recruiting methods.
Instead of trying to improve parts that job posts are inherently disadvantaged at (e.g. evaluating soft skills), I decided to explore designs that highlight job posting’s strengths in quantity, speed, and distribution.
Now time to see how LinkedIn is doing. I evaluated LinkedIn’s current job posting process by noting impressions, concerns, and questions I had as I viewed the interface. Within the entire process, Step 3 for budgeting required the most amount of clarification for me.
I recognized that the budgeting step lacks clarity in what the user is paying for and what he or she gains from paying more.
This reminded me of some comments I received from the interviews about the struggles of increasing a job post visibility.
“The downside of it is you really have to sponsor more and more money in order to have a more visible job posting and if not it gets buried"
It got me to think about ways to enhance users’ satisfaction in their payment of job postings. How could the user set an appropriate budget to effectively achieve their hiring needs? How could LinkedIn Jobs inform the user on the benefits of increasing their budget?
With these questions and insights in mind, I highlighted areas I want to focus for this challenge!
First, I deconstructed all the elements that comprise of the job posting process and sorted them to categorize which elements should go together at what stage of the process. The revised user flow is intended to follow the recruiter’s goal of posting a job on LinkedIn.
When I was reconstructing the user flow I realized the current step 2 only lets the user sort the candidates through skills, years of experience, and level of education. However there are numerous other qualifications that the user may be looking for.
I developed a feature of Must and Nice to have qualification lists, which the user can use as filters in the applicant tracking system. This way, the user can have personalized parameteres and easily identify qualified and relevant candidates despite the large volume of applicants.
Another feature of the new user flow is that the recommended daily budget is influenced by the number of desired hires and hiring date. The user’s recruiting goal and the typical budget for similar job postings are consolidated to calculate the appropriate visibility for the posting. I wanted the user to understand why a certain amount of budget is recommended for them and make more informed decisions on budgeting for their job post.
Iterations on the budget bar
Scenario: Angela is a recruiter at Sahara, a tech startup in Seattle and as the company is rapidly growing there is an urgent need to expand the team. She needs to hire about 10 more software engineers within two months.
Whenever Angela starts her job post with LinkedIn, information about her and Sahara are automatically filled in for her. Angela references the job description she received from her hiring manager and enters relevant information in the form.
When she pastes the job description she prepared, the system provides a selection of qualifications she can also add to the filter.
She drags “Software Development” and experience requirement into the Must list because the team is looking for experienced engineers. She adds other preferred experiences and skills to the Nice to have list.
Angela leaves the recruiter profile option checked and otherwise the job post has everything she wants to add! She clicks continue. Again, her email is already filled in. She is unsure when the hiring will end so she does not set the end date.
When she fills in an estimated number of people she wants to hire and the desired time of hiring LinkedIn suggests a daily budget of $22.The recruiting team has a sufficient amount of funding left for this season. Angela increases the budget to $24. Once she receives an enough number of applications, she plans to lower the budget.
After reviewing the budget and the payment information, the job post becomes successfully live! While Angela waits for the applications, she plans with her hiring manager to attend upcoming events to network with experienced engineers in the area.
Within a week, Angela receives 45 applications. She has been busy attending career fairs and networking events in Seattle. She wants to quickly look into some qualified candidates she can reach out to who are not in the area.
Angela selects “Software Development” in the Must list as a start. She begins to review resumes of the 12 candidates.
Through this exercise, I not only learned so much about the back stories of the recruiting process but also recognized how difficult it is to find who you want to work with. Following are some comments I received during my on-site, which opened up more discussions regarding this problem space:
What could be the potential risks to my proposed budget page redesign, and how could it influence the business?
Are there any implications of over-confidence in the budget page redesign that may mislead the user into thinking LinkedIn guarantees a certain accomplishment of their hiring goal?
The journey of finding a good mutual fit consists of many interesting challenges. The exercise I worked on deals with only a fraction of this challenge, but being able to peek inside this rich problem space was indeed a great learning opportunity.