Introduction: LinkedIn is frequently used for job hunting. Companies pay to post a job, and market their opportunities to qualified candidates. LinkedIn job seekers may search for jobs through keywords, company pages, or via their network of connections.
Prompt: Design an improved job posting experience for recruiters or hiring managers, that helps them attract and recruit relevant candidates for the position.
Before diving into the research process, I spent some time setting out goals that I want to achieve in this one week design challenge:
● Understand the passive and active applicant’s thought process when it comes to job seeking
● Identify main competitors and how LinkedIn could leverage its existing features to differentiate itself from other job boards
● Make the job posting experience more inclusive for smaller companies or new recruiters that don’t necessarily have much experience in recruiting
● Update the UI of the job posting experience to match the current LinkedIn’s interface
● Deliver a thoughtful and polished redesign for LinkedIn’s job posting experience
For my first step, I did walkthroughs of the current job posting experience on LinkedIn and various job boards to have a grasp of what the experience is generally like. Understanding the target audience is essential for any design projects. In this case, even though the users for the redesign are recruiters, the target audience that we want to attract would be the candidates/job seekers. So in order to help the recruiters attract and recruit more relevant candidates, I want to understand what a potential candidate’s thought process would be like when they look for jobs.
I started my research process with gathering information and statistics about recruiting from various sources. The most helpful sources for understanding recruiting methods and candidates are from LinkedIn themselves. The four documents that I came across were:
The Ultimate Hiring Statistics
Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate
Why & How People Change Jobs
Case studies from LinkedIn Talent Solutions
Through these documents and various online sources, I had a glimpse into how recruiting can be done effectively, as well as a general idea of an active job seeker’s thought process.
To further confirm and expand my findings from online research, I wanted to get more information from actual people I know around me. I sent out a survey to twenty people, anyone from students to active professionals in order to really learn how they approach the job seeking process.
In the survey, I wanted to find out:
● What is the highest degree have you have achieved or actively pursuing?
● Are you actively looking for a new job/internship?
● How do you learn about new job opportunities?
● Where do you get information to prepare for interviews?
● What appeal to you the most in an online job post? (select 4)
● How often are the job opportunities suggested to you through LinkedIn relevant to what you want to do?
● What do you like/dislike about LinkedIn when it comes to job search?
● Are there any alternative options besides LinkedIn that you use for job search?
I also tried to reach out to recruiters I have worked with to set up user interviews, but none had time to meet within a few days notice. However, I have already written out questions I wanted to ask if I was able to get in touch with a recruiter:
● Have you ever posted a job on LinkedIn?
● How often do you post jobs on LinkedIn?
● Are there any features that you hope to have in job posting experience through LinkedIn?
● How do you decide how much to spend on a daily budget?
● In your recruiting experience, what are some of the most appealing qualities that you try to promote to attract potential candidates?
● Besides LinkedIn, what are other ways you reach potential candidates?
● Are there any features that you hope to have in job posting experience?
So just by using the information I gathered from the research survey and online research, I approached affinity mapping in order to identify any pattern or potential areas I could explore. The breakdown and analysis of my finding will be shown in the Information Synthesis section below.
Essential to any redesign, the designers need to understand what the current issues are in order to improve upon it. For the current interface usability test, I asked three volunteers to put themselves in the recruiter's point of view and upload a job post on LinkedIn for the first time.
You’re a recruiter who has never uploaded a job post on LinkedIn before. Please navigate from the LinkedIn homepage to upload a job post. You are encouraged to speak aloud your thought process as you navigate through the task.
For the most part, the participants did not find it hard to navigate from LinkedIn homepage to LinkedIn Jobs since they could spot the “Post a Job” tab pretty easily. Overall, the job posting process was very straight forward, and the users did not encounter any big pain points. However, throughout usability tests, the participants and I were able to identify some areas that could be improved with the current experience:
Based on my survey, I found out the most common alternative choice besides LinkedIn for job search is Glassdoor. When asked, the users said they liked Glassdoor because its job posts offer insights into the salary range submitted by other users, as well as ratings and reviews submitted by past employees. Because Glassdoor’s known as the main platform for current and former employees to submit anonymous reviews of their companies, Glassdoor could use the data collected to add an edge to their job posts. With this in mind, I was thinking about how LinkedIn could leverage its popular professional network into the job posts in order to recruit more relevant candidates.
I began affinity mapping in order to synthesize all of the information I collected from the research process. Through affinity mapping, I want to be able to narrow down to scope of this project and identify an opportunity area the redesign could benefit from. I broke down the information into these categories:
● Jobs outreach
● Interview prep information
● Job appeals
● Likes/dislikes of LinkedIn for job search
● Alternative platforms/competitors
How do candidates hear about new opportunities?
Referrals are the top source of quality hires, and is one of the most popular ways people discover new jobs.
People who work in the same industry usually know each other, thus, by promoting and targeting candidates within that person’s network, the job post will be promoted to more relevant candidates.
Alumni network and school’s career portals are also popular choices.
How do candidates get information for interviews?
According to my survey, most people go to the company’s websites to learn information about the company. By adding a quick access link to the company’s website/career page, it could make it faster and easier for prospective candidates to learn about the company.
What appeals to the candidates in a job post?
Although company’s culture is ranked as the third most important appeal in my survey, users have to scroll all the way down to spot the company’s profile in the current LinkedIn’s job post. By intergrating this information into job post, it could improve the recruiter's company brand image and attract more relevant candidates who relate to the company’s mission and culture.
What are the likes and dislikes of LinkedIn?
Most people like how they could see who in their professional/alumni network is currently working at in a particular company.
The most common dislike about applying for job through LinkedIn is the users do not know how to keep track of their applications. Another common dislike for LinkedIn is that it’s not great for smaller companies, startup, or studios since a lot of advertised and big companies come up first on the job board.
What are the alternative platforms/competitors for job search?
As mentioned above, the most common alternative for job search besides Linkedin is Glassdoor.
I approached the ideating phrase knowing that I don’t need to do an end to end redesign since the current flow proved to be working really well. However, I think it would be beneficial to make tweaks to the current design and add features in order to achieve the goal of getting more relevant candidates through the job post.
The LinkedIn Job’s landing page is the first impression the recruiter will have with the job posting experience. Once the recruiter comes on the page's current design, the only visible elements are the Job Post box and a quote. The current interface doesn’t queue the recruiters to scroll down to see the rest of the page, even though the value props are located at the bottom of the page. Even if the recruiter reaches the bottom of the page, there’s not CTA sign or button that encourages the recruiters to post a job. In my redesign, I want to emphasized the UI aspect on the landing page. Through visual elements, I want to highlight LinkedIn Job’s effectiveness and create trust.
During my ideating phrase, I noticed that there are different wordings to the same word in the job posts (i.e. responsibilities, essential duties, position purpose). Because of variations, I explored the idea of separating job responsibilities, qualifications, and company’s information into different input boxes in order to create a more unified language. This way, the job seekers can process the information faster and easier when they go through a large amount of job posts. However, since the recruiters will probably have to copy and paste the same information to various job boards, separating this information into different sections will create a pain point that did not exist in the first place. Therefore, I did not move forward with this idea.
The current job posting experience is pretty straight forward. However, the intention for separating the three steps is not clear enough for the users. Additionally, the Budget and Payment page are separated from each other even though they share similar information. As a result, I reorganized and labeled all of the information into three categories: About the Job, About the Candidate, Budget and Payment. This way, the recruiters will have clearer idea of how the information is being organized through out the experience.
Because recruiting is more effective when there’s a personal aspect, I made the copy of the job posting experience more conversational, queuing the recruiters to make their copy the same way (i.e. changing “What job do you want to post?” to “Tell us about the job”). I also included a Review page as two out of three participants for my usability tests mentioned they want to review all of the information before purchasing the job post.
One of the main goals of the redesign is thinking about how to utilize LinkedIn’s professional network in order differentiate itself from other job boards. According to LinkedIn’s Hiring Statistics: "companies can expand their talent pool by 10x by recruiting through their employees’ networks”, and referrals are the top source of quality hires. Additionally, the user survey research informed me that LinkedIn is not great for smaller companies, startups, and studios. The reason for this is because a lot of big companies could pay for advertisement to put their job posts on top. As a result, I came up with a feature that could ask people in your network to give out unofficial referrals without actually having to ask them.
On the About the Candidate page, the recruiters can promote the job post to their connection’s network. This feature will give the recruiters suggestions of whose network to target, and the suggestions will be based on people in the recruiter's network that has the same title as the job post. And since people who work in the same industry usually know each other, by promoting and targeting candidates within that person’s network, the job post will reach to a more relevant pool of candidates.
For the redesign breakdown, I want to use a persona to justify my design decisions better. The persona's qualities are formed based on the findings from the affinity mapping process. Meet Aaron!
I was very worried when I first got this assignment for several reasons. Although I’m a frequent LinkedIn user, I am completely not familiar with the recruiting or job posting tools offered through LinkedIn. Additionally, I don’t know many recruiters or hiring managers who could help with my user research interviews. But as I approached the research part of my process, I found a lot of resources and information that I could use to bypass the lack of direct user research for recruiters.
Due to the time constraint of the exercise, I have decided not to do usability testing for the redesign. However, moving forward, I would want to test it and find out if there are any accessibility issues with the redesign.