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Making Meaningful Connections: The Redesign of Recruitladder's UI
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Making Meaningful Connections: The Redesign of Recruitladder's UI


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This is the presentation I gave at Enterprise Search Summit Fall 2010 in Washington DC (also known as Knowledge Management World 2010). It describes the challenges of designing and enterprise search …

This is the presentation I gave at Enterprise Search Summit Fall 2010 in Washington DC (also known as Knowledge Management World 2010). It describes the challenges of designing and enterprise search solution for recruiters and hiring managers and the process took to redesign its RecruitLadder product.

Published in: Design

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  • Two parties knowing approximately what they’re looking for but uncertain, put out poorly filled-out profiles and hope that somehow, someway the “magic” of the internet will connect them AND that they’ll be right for each. There are as many components of “fit” in dating as there are in the job search and getting them all right based on profiles, job descriptions and a little boolean skill rarely guarantees the right fit.
  • Example: vice president is a very common term, especially in financial services. In certain contexts, the title VP connotes a position of authority and leadership and in others, it’s one of many rungs on the corporate ladder. How do you differentiate this in an interface?
  • The word vice president appears in many places on a resume but are you in fact looking at a vice president who has actually been vice president? Or are you looking at something else?
  • Job descriptions come and go from the site with regularity. Some get filled. Some get pulled down. Some expire. But the database is constantly updated with new jobs, descriptions, terminologies and keywords.
  • There is no standardized format for job descriptions and despite consistent upload/posting forms on the site, the data comes in various places with random amounts of meta-data, descriptors and actual value for the database (not to mention the job seeker).
    Anecdote about recruiter who had such niche listings that struggled to meet 100 word minimum. Did it by writing white on white text.
  • There is no standardized resume format. Job seekers submit information in every way they can think of to differentiate and get noticed. Parsing this data and then attempting to match it up with the non-standard job description data becomes a big challenge as well.
  • Posting a job means hundreds of applicants. Each of those applicants falls in a different spot on the spectrum of viability. How can the recruiter quickly figure out who to focus on and who to discard for this explicit job search?
  • We ran multiple waves of user research to understand where things were working and where they were not. In addition we wanted to understand how recruiters did their jobs and how we could integrate into that existing workflow (since we’re not big enough to get them to adjust their workflow).
  • Old site: search buried on the homepage, bad design, not clear call to action or direction on where to start.
  • Old site: search results – unclear if recruiter should click on an candidate, extra clicks = extra time, something recruiters don’t have. Unclear why some had resumes and others didn’t.
  • Old site: candidate view…
  • So we put the four primary search fields (learned through multiple user studies and phone calls with recruiters): Keywords, Location, Radius, Job Title and Company in our global header (on every page).
  • Start with as broad or narrow a search as you need from the top navigation bar – all the key criteria is there and it support boolean queries
  • We also took on the advanced search page. The key challenge was figuring out how to show drill down facets in the taxonomy without overloading the UI.
  • Once the user gets to search results, they can then filter through any and all facets on the left rail. The challenge here was to show all the controls, again, without overloading the UI. The twisties help limit how many options are shown by default and give the user control to make as complex as needed.
  • Beyond the basic items, was there another way to bring core information into the search results UI? Enter the jobgraph.
  • Even if you did end up with no matches to your query, this was only the beginning of the exploration.
  • 57% of all searches on our site begin with the persistent search bar
  • 15% decrease in the amount of times a recruiter would use only one search
    field (80% to 65%).
    (as of 8/09 to 12/09)
  • What the final product actually look like…
  • What the final product actually look like…
  • Transcript

    • 1. Making Meaningful Connections The Redesign of
    • 2. Who is this guy? Other people let him speak to them before. He must be smart. Jeff Gothelf Currently: Director of UX at Previously: Publicis Modem, Webtrends, AOL, Fidelity and an assortment of startups Blog: Twitter: @jboogie Email: jgothelf@theladders.c
    • 3. Job service for professionals earning $100k or more and the recruiters/employers looking to hire them.
    • 4. Online job searching is like online dating Post and pray
    • 5. Challenges: You say tomato, I say tomato (but I want ketchup)
    • 6. The title “vice president” is ambiguous. Does it mean the same thing on two resumes? Jeff Bewkes Former VP of Time Warner (now CEO) Anonymous (hint, it’s me)
    • 7. Challenges: I say tomato, you say tomato (but you want marinara)
    • 8. Both of these people have vice president on their resume Does it mean they both have vice presidential experience?
    • 9. Challenges: Like the mighty Mayfly, job requisitions die young.
    • 10. Job listings expire after 8 weeks Which is 28x longer than the Mayfly
    • 11. Challenges: It’s a free-for-all.
    • 12. Job listings are not standardized No way to reconcile the necessary data into a consistently usable format
    • 13. Challenges: It’s a mess on the job seeker side too.
    • 14. Resumes come in every size, shape, color and layout Getting machines to understand where to pull which data elements is…a challenge.
    • 15. Challenges: Recruiters have no time to read resumes
    • 16. Every job posting equals hundreds of applications How does the recruiter figure out which ones to focus on?
    • 17. Wow, that’s heavy. So where did you start?
    • 18. Radical idea: Talk to your customers
    • 19. Call them. Bring them in. Watch them work. After all, you’re solving problems for them.
    • 20. Tactic #1: Search from anywhere with most important fields always visible.
    • 21. Tactic #2: Enable two usage patterns: surgical/targeted searching (boolean/advanced) as well as broad searching and zeroing in (filtering)
    • 22. Tactic #3: Visualize core information
    • 23. Tactic #4: No dead-ends (i.e., zero results)
    • 24. Success!
    • 25. 57%
    • 26. -15%
    • 27. What does it look like now?
    • 28. Thanks! Ask me some questions. Here. Now. Or later: / @jboogie