Team Bicoastal conducted a study focusing on the experiences people have when looking for employment online. Through research we learned current job seekers needed a site where they can find and apply to relevant and up to date listings. They felt there was a community factor missing, current job seekers have relied on in person relationships and networking to secure positions in the past. Our aim was to better understand the goals, needs, pain points and current behaviors of users. With these findings our overall goal was to create a site where building and using your community is possible while finding legitimate jobs and directly applying with employers in an inviting setting.
In March 2021, the national unemployment level of the United States stood at 9.71 million unemployed persons.
With the rate of unemployment rapidly rising, an increasing amount of people are relying on online platforms to help with their job search. In this study, we were tasked with creating a new website that solves the main challenges users face when searching for a job. Our aim was to better understand the users needs, goals, pain points and current behaviors, to determine how we can simplify their job search process.
By showing the user current job openings and navigating them directly to the company website to apply, Niche was able to solve the main problem the user had - "not knowing whether a company received my application." Additionally, by providing an application receipt confirmation and an expected wait time, we were able to alleviate the feeling of uncertainty the user mentioned feeling after submitting an application.
THE INTERVIEW | WHAT WE LEARNED
The Campaign Worker
When I submit applications through job sites, sometimes I
don't receive a confirmation that my application was
submitted. When I don't hear back, I wonder if the company
even received my application.
The Construction Project Manager
I like to read about the company and find people who currently work there to get a better gauge before applying.
The Mechanical Engineer
It would be nice to know all
relevant information before
applying to any job.
Users like the ability to filter through information
Users would rather apply directly to the company’s website
Users like to use platforms where they can see who worked there previously
Users feel discouraged when all the information about a job is not posted or updated.
We began the initial process by conducting a survey to find suitable participants to take part in this study. Our aim was to find users who are unemployed and regularly use online platforms to search for jobs or, users who are employed and are currently using online platforms to look for their next role. We conducted a series of interviews with users who matched the mentioned criteria.
Following our interviews, we were able to draw up an affinity map and synthesize the notes taken. Upon looking over the affinity map, we determined common trends, pain points and goals of the user. From the trends found, we were able to make insights which formed the basis of our persona.
Our initial user interviews and synthesis of research helped us establish the main problems the user faces. Upon reviewing the pain points that arose, we created a problem statement and a journey map that focused on the highs and lows of the user’s online job search. Analyzing the high’s and lows of the user’s online job search gave us a better understanding of the problem to solve. The main pain points the user had were a desire to connect with their network and build a community online to assist in their job search and the ability to apply directly on a company website for jobs they come across.
jobs I've received in the past have always been through personal interactions or networking
Wants their job search experience to be customized and personalized
Wants to recreate their personal network and connections online
Wants to hear back from employers and secure a job
Unaware of features that can enhance their job search
Often overwhelmed by information that does not apply to their search
No clarity on how up to date job listings are
Difficulty obtaining a job through online job searches
Looks online for jobs for approximately an hour each day
Misses attending networking events in-person
Prefers job recommendations that come through his/her network
Sets up alerts for current openings in his / her field
Updated and accurate job postings
Personalized alerts and notifications
Comprehensive search functionality
Ability to apply for job directly with company from website
Upon analyzing the insights and foundational research, we were able to determine the core unsolved pain points to focus on within our problem statement.
The user expressed feeling discouraged when she submits applications on job websites and does not receive a response confirming her application had been received. In addition, the user mentioned that she previously secured positions through her network and in-person careers events, which are now less frequent due to COVID-19.
Within our problem statement, we focused on the goals the user has and used this as measurement for success when ideating.
Jane needs a website that provides confirmation that her application has been received when she applies to a job listing. In addition, Jane needs the ability to see company reviews from her community. In the past, Jane has relied on in-person relationships and networking to secure a new position.
HOW MIGHT WE...
Ensure job listings are current?
Get relevant results to the user?
Verify the company is reputable/credible?
Get accurate SEO personalized results?
Create an online community for job seekers?
Avoid online job searching?
Confirm if their application has been received?
Connect applicants directly to employers?
Showcase former employees of a company in and out of the user’s network?
Categorize job listing results correctly?
Make online job searching not overwhelming and enjoyable?
By Journey Mapping the users job searching process, we were able to gain a holistic view of her experience and uncover moments of frustration and delight.
Some of the main points of frustration included:
Lack of relevant job information
Job posts that are not current
Not knowing whether a job application has been received
An overwhelming amount of information that does not apply to their specific job search
“Sometimes when I apply for a job on a careers site, I am not certain whether the jobs are recent or if the company even gets my application.”
IDEATION | SKETCHES & MID-FIDELITY
We began ideating our solution through wireframe sketches and refined these into a mid fidelity prototype. We conducted usability tests with our mid fidelity prototype and used the feedback from this to refine our design into a high fidelity prototype. The high fidelity design was also tested on a new set of users and we will move forward with iterations based on the feedback given.