LinkedIn Design Challenge

Smart Editor

Project Overview

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.

 

Task:

Design an improved job posting experience for recruiters or hiring managers, that helps them attract and recruit relevant candidates for the position.

 

Scope:

Please think through the end to end experience, and share your thought process, approach, insights, and analysis with us. However, we want to limit the scope of the final deliverable to one high-fidelity design comp that demonstrates your interaction and visual design capabilities. 

Background Research

Before conducting the background research, I set up three main goals: 

  • Understand current job posting & recruiting experiences. 

  • Identify pain points and challenges.

  • See opportunities for improvements.

Understanding the current product

I started by trying out the current product myself to get a basic understanding of the job posting process. To post a job, LinkedIn users need to complete the three-step form: job information & description, screening questions, and payment. LinkedIn provides detailed instructions on the type of information they need, with helpful interactions such as autocomplete, data validation, etc.

The experience is positive overall. However, for someone new to recruiting like me, I am overwhelmed by the amount of information I need to fill in and have no idea how to make an effective job post. For example, is it better to include more skills or fewer skills? How to encourage more applicants to apply?

Interviews with recruiters

I have only played the role of a job seeker. Thus. it's important to talk to recruiters and learn about their current experiences. I conducted 4 in-depth interviews with recruiters or people who have recruiting experiences. 

Here is the list of sample questions I asked during the interview:

  • Where do you post the job? What talent acquisition platforms do you use?

  • How do you write job descriptions?

  • What do you think makes a good job post?

  • Is there any pain point in your current recruiting experience?

I used an affinity diagram to organize the research findings.

affinity-diagram.png

Key findings:

  • Recruiters usually work closely with the hiring managers when writing a job post. The hiring managers tell recruiters about job responsibilities and requirements. Recruiters then warp them in a job description.

  • Recruiters use different products based on the budget, the type of role, company size, etc. 

  • Some recruiters are strict on requirements while others value transferable skills a lot. 

  • Recruiters with no HR experiences need to go through training to pick up fundamental skills like writing job descriptions.

  • Recruiters believe that it's important to use the right language to target the right talent. 

In the meantime, I noticed differences between the recruiting process at larger companies and smaller businesses.  Large companies usually have enough budges and resources to hire professional HRs and buy talent acquisition products, while small businesses or startups sometimes don't have a professional talent community. 

Quote from a recruiter in a startup:

"When I started it, I googled templates for job descriptions and replaced the skills with the ones needed by my team. It's like writing your first resume."

Relate back to my experience of trying the product, I decided to focus on:

Improving the job posting experience for novice recruiters and help them to write effective job postings. 

Interview with job seekers

To help recruiters better attract the right candidates, I conducted user studies with job seekers to see what they value when reading a job post. I sent out a survey as well as interviewed three students.

How do you decide whether a job is a good fit, what makes you apply?

"I will read the job description. There is a section called qualifications and if I have two or three of the skills that are listed, I would probably apply."

"The product I’m working on, the growth related to it and the amount of responsibility I can take up. To me, a job is attractive when it is fast paced and growing quickly and can make a big impact."

"The qualification and expectations are very well defined in the job title, so I can determine if I am a good fit for the job."

Three top three things that people look for in a job posting. 

Job Responsibilities

Job Qualifications

Company background

Exploration

Analysis of the current product

What LinkedIn currently does to help recruiters to write good job postings:

What are the other tools that experienced recruiters have been using?

During my interviews with the recruiters, the recruiters mentioned that it's important to use the right language to target the right talents. 

How can I integrate these tools in the current posting experience to help recruiters write more effective job postings that attract relevant candidates for the position?

Ideation

General Idea

Taking advantage of the abundant data that LinkedIn has on job markets to build a smart editor that serves as a personal writing coach for recruiters.

What is includes:

  • An editor to input job information and write job descriptions

  • An assistant panel that shows evaluation and suggestions

What it does:

  • Give instructions on what should be included in a job post. 

  • Provide feedback on the choice of job title. 

  • Evaluate the quality of the job description and provide suggestions for improvement.

Although I first set the target user group to be the "novice recruiters", I believe that this tool can benefit both the expert and novice users.

Target Personas

Design

Sketching

Initial design decisions to make:

  • Should the smart editor be in a pop-up modal or a new page?

  • What is the entry point for the smart editor?

  • How to connect the smart editor to the existing job posting form?

  • What should be included in the assistant panel?

Competitive analysis:

I did research on some of the existing augmented writing products for job descriptions on the market and summarized the types of suggestions & evaluations they provide.​

Suggestions​: Job title, Language, Content, Gramma

Evaluation: Content, Length, Format, Tone, Language, Gramma

User flows

Wireframing

sketch1
sketch2.png

I tested the wireframes with three people and got some feedback:

  • "I am wondering whether I can see the breakdown of the score."

  • "I love inline suggestions. It's very convenient to make changes."

  • "I would like to know how the score is computed and how I can improve it."

All the users mentioned that they would like to learn more about the score (e.g. the breakdowns, how it is computed). Thus, I added a feature that offers explanations and details.

Prototyping

Based on the wireframe, I created mid and high fidelity prototypes. I have been doing user-testing at each stage of the design and incorporated any feedback I received. 

Mid-fidelity prototype (v1)

User testing insights:

(Tested with 1 recruiter, 2 other users)

  • The connection between the form and the smart editor is not clear enough. "How do I get out of this?"

  • Users would love to see a check beside each completed task in the checklist, like the one besides "spell check."

  • The score breakdown scale is not clear enough. It seems like a divider or an underline.

Improvements

Mid-fidelity prototype (v2)

User testing insights:

(Tested with 3 users)

  • The document should be autosaved

  • One user didn't catch where the job summary was added. A line indication was needed.  

Besides, one user brought up a thought-provoking question:

"What makes this product different from the existing augmented writing products?

I approached this question by thinking about what is unique about LinkedIn? 

What distinguishes LinkedIn from the other job-hunting platforms is its giant pool of up-to-date talent profiles. The current talent solution is taking advantage of if by offering recommended matches to each job posting. 

What if I can do the same thing and provide a preview of the targeted candidates/candidate groups. It helps recruiters gain insights on whether the job posting is targeting the expected audience.

The talent solution is taking advantage of the talent pool by offering recommended matches for each job posting. What if I can do the same thing and provide a preview of the targeted candidates/candidate groups.

Sketches

Mid-fidelity Prototype

Complete User Flow

Key Interactions

Entry Point

Inline suggestions & editing

Performance details

Preview target candidates

Autosave and post back to form

Next steps

It's a 7-day design challenge, and there is lots of room for improvement if I have more time.

  • Explore more options with the design layout.

  • Work with researchers, experienced recruiters and technical writers to determine the metrics for evaluating a job posting. 

  • Research into the exact types of guidance should be provided in the LinkedIn Smart Editor. 

  • Decide on free and paid offerings. There is a possibility that people might abuse this (e.g., using it as an open augmented writing platform for job descriptions and not posting jobs at LinkedIn).

  • Allow users to set their goal of candidate group and provide insights on how to use appropriate language to compel those candidates to apply for the job.