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Ace ux hiring with applied design thinking

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The UX field is exploding with an ever increasing demand and there is also a plethora of UX talent. But not all talent is equal. Hiring in the hot UX market today is analogous to committing to a long-term relationship based off of a meeting in a speed-dating event. In both cases, the result is often hit or miss. This talk will encourage managers to be strategic in the rat race that UX talent hiring has become. It will propose the use of design thinking and methods to differentiate themselves to the discerning candidates and also equip their team with top-notch UX talent.

Design and research thinking can be applied to not just evaluate and compare UX talent but also come up with ways of involving the internal product and UX teams to collaboratively but objectively point towards a decision.

Contrary to what most people start with, the first ‘design artifact’ in the ‘hiring design project’ is not the job description. Instead the hiring manager goes through a requirements gathering phase spanning unmet product needs; existing skill set gaps of the team; balancing personality traits and also taking personal preference into account. These requirements then translate into a ‘proto-persona’ of the ideal candidate. A targeted job description can now be written to attract this type of candidate.

Several practical tips will be shared in the talk to cover the various aspects of the hiring process - for e.g, tips about establishing the all important relationship of the hiring manager and the recruiting staff; the definition of a design exercise etc. The talk will also propose the use of objective research measurement techniques to evaluate and compare candidates. The presenter will share an example of a comparative rating scale that can serve to objectively aggregate the ratings of all the people involved in the interview process.

Ultimately, the hiring manager still uses their judgment to make the final call but this considered approach allows for clear thinking and rationalizes the decision and allows it to be shared to the extent necessary.

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Ace ux hiring with applied design thinking

  1. 1. Ace UX Hiring with Applied Design Thinking Malini Rao, Ipswitch Inc
  2. 2. Find your own treasure map! We are all in the same race ;-) Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tudedude/4572851546
  3. 3. Use design thinking to hang on to your hiring goals Image source: amusementrides.org
  4. 4. UXer’s Rejoice! We are in demand! Image source: https://nicolaslehoucq.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/sensation-blackwhite/
  5. 5. UX tops Job trends lists for 2015 Source: Glassdoors, Robert Half Technology & The Creative Group
  6. 6. 2,278 UX jobs Posted in the last 15 days
  7. 7. Bad News! Your req is one of 2,278! Image source: Getty Images
  8. 8. Image source: http://www.growbuchanan.com/buchanan-county-career-fair-held-bridging-the-gap/; https://www.certify.com/2015-10-22-The-2015-AFP-Annual-Conference-in-Review Attracting the right candidates is hard!
  9. 9. More complex jobs means a longer time-to-hire According to a Glassdoors study - Bartender 5.7 days Web Designer 12.3 days User Experience Designer 19.3 days Software Engineer 35 days Patent Examiner 87.6 days
  10. 10. Image source: http://www.odditycentral.com/news/quirky-paper-bag-speed-dating-craze-lets-personality-take-center-stage.html
  11. 11. Time-to-hire for best of breed UX designers - 3-6 months Use design strategy to keep you on track Image source: vennli.com
  12. 12. UXers abandon their design thinking and process when it comes to hiring! Image Source: iamdjcruzcontrol.com
  13. 13. The UX hiring design project Image source: www.lifehacker.com.au
  14. 14. Don’t reinvent the wheel…Optimize it for your need! Tear down mental blocks - Use design to solve UX and hiring problems Image source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230276
  15. 15. Corporate Hiring Process Drawing parallels with the design process Hiring Manager proposes a position A senior executive approves the position Hiring Manager works with corporate recruiter to post the opening Candidates send in resumes Recruiter filters many out Hiring Manager reviews remaining and decides who to bring in for interviews One candidate is chosen and an offer is made Compensation is negotiated Requirements Analysis Design, test and iterate Measurement and analysisDesign goal Achieved
  16. 16. Requirements Analysis = Clarifying needs Phase 1 of design process
  17. 17. What am I looking for in my new hire? Image source: photopin.com/free-photos/crowd-faces
  18. 18. Candidate ‘Proto-persona’ Defining the ideal UX candidate for your needs
  19. 19. Candidate ‘Proto-persona’ Phase 1: List all possible wants and needs from various perspectives - Analysis phase • Product UX • Product team context • UX team context • Organization and culture • Hiring manager’s personal preferences Attributes wish list based on -
  20. 20. Be specific…Not Generic Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_x7p5o950E; www.flickr.com
  21. 21. Senior position Looking for an experienced leader with solid interaction design experience in enterprise grade web product /applications. Should have ability to break down complex problems and create brand new vision for our products. Candidate should make big impacts through his/her ability to collaborate with designers and other team members. Should possess ability to influence product strategy and direction through state of the art and modern hands-on design contributions in a fast paced, fluid and agile environment. Candidate ‘Proto-persona’ What am I looking for in my new hire? Phase 2: Create an internal brief for the job opening - Synthesis phase
  22. 22. Targeting the ideal candidate • Tailored job description • Advertise the opening strategically • Seek candidates that are not seeking change User-Centered, Efficient, Delightful Image source: vasundharagroup.org/Overview.html
  23. 23. Clarity on what you are looking for serves as the foothold for successful hiring Image source: www.vimbly.com
  24. 24. Stay Organized - Keep track of candidates
  25. 25. Design Phase 2 of the design process
  26. 26. Designing the Candidate Evaluation Process Image source: www.roguevalleymessenger.com
  27. 27. Evaluation Process • Part 1: Initial conversation + portfolio review • Part 2: Comprehensive design evaluation (Design Exercise + Ux team interviews) • Part 3: Stakeholder interviews Image source: https://www.hcn.org/topics/nevada
  28. 28. Initial UX Conversation • 1-1 conversation: First Impressions • One hour video chat • Include portfolio review • Broad confirmation of a potential match Image source: www.ehow.com › Tech
  29. 29. Design Evaluation - Design Exercise • Provides consistent yardstick of evaluation • Can be a generic problem or problem related to your products/website • Should not require too much domain expertise • Can be In person or a remote exercise • Problem should be very specific and narrow in scope.
  30. 30. Design Evaluation - Interviews • Have a game plan • ‘Design’ the interview panel • 1-2 interviewers in a session Image source: homebrewacademy.com
  31. 31. Sample agenda for UX round interviews Every slot is designed to provide data to the candidate and the employer Successful hire = Mutual fit
  32. 32. Design Evaluation - Interviews • Min interview sessions length : 30 mins • Assign focus areas for each interview • Consider having some interview panelists sitting through a few sessions
  33. 33. Preparing for interviews • Time is limited - focus on your biggest concerns around the focus area assigned to you • Review resume and portfolio and mark any follow-ups • Be prepared to ask and answer questions
  34. 34. Test, Iterate Phase 3 of the design process
  35. 35. Hiring is a group effort - leverage strengths Image source: www.edsaplan.com/en/node/2989
  36. 36. Pilot test your Design Exercise New hires in your team can provide feedback Image source: www.gmheng.com/service_coaster.php
  37. 37. Designing Gates Design for Edge Cases : Keeping the option to abort open Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-country_equestrianism
  38. 38. In-Person Evaluation Structure Design Exercise/ Presentation Interviews with UX team Interviews with Stakeholders Interviews with Leaders Round 1 Round 2
  39. 39. Measurement and Analysis Phase 4 of the design process
  40. 40. Post Interview Feedback • Verbal or email debriefs • Feedback via HR tools
  41. 41. Measuring and Comparing Candidates Rationalizing data collected to aid decision making
  42. 42. Senior position Looking for an experienced leader with solid interaction design experience in enterprise grade web product /applications. Should have ability to break down complex problems and create brand new vision for our products. Candidate should make big impacts through his/her ability to collaborate with designers and other team members. Should possess ability to influence product strategy and direction through state of the art and modern hands-on design contributions in a fast paced, fluid and agile environment. Candidate ‘Proto-persona’ What am I looking for in my new hire? Phase 2: Create an internal brief for the job opening - Synthesis phase
  43. 43. Senior position Looking for an experienced leader (3/5) with solid interaction design experience (4/5) in enterprise grade web product /applications (4/5). Should have ability to break down complex problems (4/5) and create brand new vision for our products (3/5). Candidate should make big impacts through his/her ability to collaborate with designers and other team members (5/5). Should possess ability to influence product strategy and direction (3/5) through state of the art and modern (3/5) hands-on design contributions (4/5) in a fast paced, fluid and agile environment (4/5). Candidate ‘Proto-persona’ What am I looking for in my new hire? Phase 3: Nail the specifics & score the desired attributes - Repeat Analysis
  44. 44. Candidate ‘Proto-persona’ What am I looking for in my new hire? Phase 3: Nail the specifics & score the desired attributes - Repeat Analysis
  45. 45. Candidate Rating scale • Based on the candidate proto-persona • Shared or private • Focus on effectiveness as decision making tool - not academic correctness
  46. 46. Keep ‘complexity’ under the hood
  47. 47. Keep ‘complexity’ under the hood
  48. 48. • Don’t give up on design thinking tools - adapt them • Use tools only if you need them
  49. 49. Root your goals to your specific reality and don’t lose sight of it Image source: www.alfacom.com.my
  50. 50. Hang on to your design hat It will serve you well! Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/389842911470251407/
  51. 51. Use design thinking to hang on to your hiring goals Image source: amusementrides.org
  52. 52. Malini Rao mrao@ipswitch.com @malinitweets Questions? Ipswitch is hiring UX interns

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