LinkedIn Design Exercise
LinkedIn Design Exercise
A design experience to engage passive candidates.
LinkedIn is a network of over 500 million professionals. We use the power of professional networking and profile data to connect individuals with relevant opportunities. Hiring managers and recruiters are frequently interested in people who are already employed or satisfied with their current positions.
Design an experience that presents job opportunities to a passive candidate, who is not actively looking for a new position. Find creative solutions that gains the passive candidate's interest in a new position, and garners a response.
Who are passive candidates?
Passive candidates are those currently employed people who do not actively seek out and apply for vacant jobs positions, but are open to hearing about new job opportunities. So their respectiveness to job openings creates a large pool of opportunity for the potential recruiter.
Review the Challenge
To understand the challenge, it was important to clearly define it. I asked myself why people might need, want or engage with the topic I am working on. I decided to write the challenge to make sure it feels approachable.
I wrongly had the following notions before I did the research for this challenge and while doing so, I realized there was a lot I didn't know.
- Candidates who are happy in their current job are not open to new opportunities
- Passive candidates can be highly motivated workers
- There are more active candidates available then passive candidates
- Passive candidates would not be interviewing with anybody else, so less competition for recruiters or hiring managers
- Passive candidates are not responsive to e-mails
- Passive candidates only explore the opportunity brought forward by recruiters or hiring managers
- The passive candidate is going to be tougher to engage than an active candidate
Moving past assumptions to better understand why passive candidates don't engage easily with new opportunities in the first place, I started with an online search to learn more on the subject and found that there are multiple factors which contribute to the situation:
- The passive candidates waits for employers to contact rather than searching and applying for jobs
- Passive candidates could be enticed by the right opportunity from right employer brand
- Passive candidates wants to know why the job is worth it
- 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025.
- Recruiters / hiring managers take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume
- 50% of candidates would not take a job from a company with a bad reputation even for a pay increase
- 71% of millennials say they're not engaged or are actively disengaged at work
People are often the most valuable source of inspiration. I created a list with a particular description of the people I wanted to meet. It helped me to navigate the process of finding and engaging with interesting individuals. I had basic requirements before starting a field research:
- Want to talk to the people who are into their job for more than 3 years
- Meet hiring managers or recruiters who engage with the candidate right from the start and tries to engage them
- Get answers on what do candidate look for while looking at a new opportunity?
I talked to
- Six passive candidates
- Three active candidates
- Two hiring managers
- One recruiter
Throughout the Interpretation phase, my perspective evolved and changed. I gained a clear understanding of what my observations meant, how can I relate them to my challenge and use them as inspiration.
These learnings are the recollections of what stood out during my conversations with a different set of people and in a survey.
- Before jobs are posted online, they’re filled either internally or through a referral from a trusted source
- Professional growth is the primary factor to change a job
- Most users are open to talking to recruiters (except for super-passive users)
- Candidates expect more information in the job listing
- Users are more likely to reply when recruiters appeal to their deeper motives
- Employee referral is one of the best ways to reach out the passive candidate
- Proper timing is a factor in reaching out to passive candidate
- Passive candidates are 33 percent more likely to want challenging work
- Company reviews by its employees gives the candidate more an insight
Some of the points from the learnings stood out more than the others. I organized my observations from online research, survey and field research under themes, and later used themes to prioritize the application features.
It’s not all about the money: people want career growth.
Employer brand: candidates would consider changing jobs if a company with an excellent reputation made an offer.
Referral: to reach passive talent, an employee referral is one of the best approaches.
Interaction: passive candidates are open to discussing the opportunities if its entice them
Insights allowed me to understand the passive candidate world in a new way and cleared my assumptions which were based on half-baked knowledge.
95% of candidates rate professional career growth and developmental opportunities as crucial to them in a job.
66% of candidates believe interactions with current employees are the best way to learn about a company.
Career opportunity is the #1 reason people change jobs.
48% of businesses say their quality hires come from employee referrals.
According to my findings, an essential characteristics in engaging a passive candidate were career growth, trust & transparency at work, competitive compensation and work-life balance.
I looked at the current LinkedIn jobs ads to review the existing user experience and distinguishing which elements were lacking to appeal passive users. Passive users need a system that helps them to see their career development and helps them to make an informed decision. Existing design for targeted job posts does a good job of pulling up similar job opportunities related to what user is currently active within. Although targeted ads are almost too alike, nothing is too appealing to a candidate who isn't actively interested in a career move.
I compiled all my research, user interviews and surveys and subsequently created primary persona.
Using themes and insights from the research findings, gave me a clear understanding of the features to incorporate in the brainstorming session. I generated as many ideas as I can without evaluating and putting a design or implementation constraints at that very moment.
I quickly ran the ideas with few users to get their initial feedback. I shared 3 concepts:
Concept 1: Referral
Many times recruiters ask the candidate if they are not interested they can share the job posting with someone in their network. I created a flow where system shows the passive candidate who can be a good fit in their network for the given job posting. Research shows that passive candidates know other passive candidates; this may increase a chance of response by a passive candidate.
Users like the idea of referring a job to someone else who might be a better fit or maybe looking for a change. Users were not sure that what are the chances that passive candidate will even look at the job description.
Concept 2: Career Path
95% of candidates rate professional career growth and developmental opportunities as crucial to them in a job. In this concept, a career path feature shows a passive candidate that what are the other areas and industries can be a good fit for them.
Users support the idea of knowing how other industries are doing and what's the demand look like for their role. Although, the concept was lacking the contextual job references.
Concept 3: Career Planning & Management
The concept focused on the feature where a passive candidate can set weekly or monthly goals and identify his /her skills set. Job post will appear contextually based on the set goals and skills.
Users wanted to see a more contextual descriptive job post, but writing weekly or monthly goals were a bit cumbersome.
After collecting the initial user feedback, I again brainstormed and took something from each concept to converged it into one.
Feature: My Pathway
Knowing that for a passive candidate it is important to learn and grow in their career constantly, I decided to create a feature, My Pathway, which shows what career path users can take based on what they have work on, what positions they have held and what industries they have been.
A user can access, My Pathway, tab through menubar. When a user lands on the homepage, My Pathway appears as one of the features inside the feed. The goal is to catch a user's attention on the possible career paths and prompt them to take action.
My Pathway uses a LinkedIn database to help a candidate grow professionally. By providing research-based perspectives on how their job would look like in the future, how industries are growing, what skills they could learn to grow professionally and as an individual provides by Lynda.com, will interest a user to engage with presented job opportunities.
I translated few screens from the solution into high fidelity mockups, which gave me the opportunity to refine the interaction design.
I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project especially the parts when I was trying to understand the mindset of passive candidates and discovering how I could create an experience which is both beneficial for a candidate and a hiring manager/recruiter. Next steps will include:
Sharing the project and receiving critique will improve the design since it will encourage the contribution of ideas from multiple people (peers and users). Feedback will highlight any obvious flaws, mistakes and oversights, thereby assuring the quality of the proposal.
Incorporate more interactive educational modules
Explore the secondary persona’s user flow (i.e., show how recruiters/hiring managers should create a job description)