Increasing profile click throughs: redesigning the candidate discovery experience

redesign • user research (b2b) • prototyping
Tempo is a hiring tool that helps companies find candidates. The 'Matching tab' is a crucial part of the product's proposition, it shows companies candidates that match their job requirements. I tackled the problem of users rejecting candidates too quickly and redesigned the interface to give every candidate a fair chance of being screened
Product design, user testing, UI design, full developer handoff
1 Product Designer (me), 2 Developers, COO
June 2022 - December 2022
Increased upper funnel
Problem context
We found a problem when analysing screen recordings of the matching tab. Hiring managers often dismiss candidates without checking their complete profiles.
impact of problem
⬇️ Reduced upper funnel
As a consequence of candidates being unable to pass through the initial screening phase, the outcome is a reduced number of candidates who become actively engaged, progress to secure interviews, and ultimately receive offers
🫠 Increased perception of poor "candidate quality"
Due to the substantial number of candidates being dismissed, Tempo consistently received negative feedback about the quality of our candidate pool
A visual representation illustrating the consequences of unjustified candidate rejection at the start of the hiring process
high overview of the old experience

'Matching tab'

Candidate profile

screen recording analysis
👁 HotJar observations prompted a plan for user interviews for deeper insights
☝️ Selective profile clickthrough
Whilst client users appear to scan through all candidates within the matching tab, they only explore a few profiles in depth by clicking through, even though all candidates in the list should meet their search criteria
⚡️ Instant candidate dismissal
Another notable behaviour is the swift dismissal of candidates without clicking into their profiles. This very quick decision-making process sheds light on very particular user thought processes
if you are wondering... "can we skip to the good part" 🎵
jump to solution highlights 🙃
user interviews
To address the excessive input from internal stakeholders and clarify their assumptions, I engaged directly with recruiters to gain firsthand insights into likely, highly nuanced, decision-making process and rationale behind screening decisions
learning #1
A longer than necessary user journey led users to optimise their efforts when screening
Whilst I gained valuable insights into the decision-making processes. One core issue surfaced, highlighting an employer's increased motivation to screen candidates based on a limited profile preview.

Users noted that returning to the matching tab from a candidate's profile page didn't consistently bring them back to their previous position, adding to the challenge. We validated this feedback by conducting a focused usability review
user interview highlights

The significance of the first two experience entries in forming first impressions

usability review

The browser's back button after screening a profile returns the user to a place to a different scroll position

learning #2
Poor visibility of applicants relative to user processes
Users want to see candidates who applied because it shows their interest and makes it easier for hiring managers. The current design doesn't communicate well, so we need better options for viewing, organising, or customising candidates to improve the user experience.
Defining clear ideation areas to prevent scope creep and enhance communication
Encourage profile exploration
Recognise users' tendency to selectively click through profiles. Ensure that essential candidate information is readily visible
Steamline decision making
Consider features that provide quick insights, enabling users to make informed decisions promptly. This addresses the specific user thought processes, enhancing the overall user experience.
Make the navigation seamless and help users retain context
Address the pain point identified in user interviews where returning from a candidate profile didn't reliably restore the previous position to minimise disruptions in user workflow
key explorations
Opening the profile as a dialog to deliver a seamless navigation
Dialogs are easy to implement using standard UI components and existing libraries, saving developers time and effort
Dialog boxes cause fatigue and focus problems when interacting with messaging and interview requests. To fix this, we need to reevaluate these processes, though it might expand the project scope significantly
⚠️ Users may still instinctively reject candidates prematurely due to limited information, driven by habitual tendencies
Consideration of a new 'split' layout to address the cons of a dialog led solution
By reducing the need for constant navigation and context-switching, split view interfaces enhance user efficiency, ultimately leading to higher productivity levels
Improved efficiency of comparing candidates with each other
Removing the need for the browser to load new pages
This proposed solution involves a substantial redesign and is challenging to break down into smaller, gradual releases. It will likely necessitate multiple sprints before users can start reaping the benefits of the new system
To guide a user-centred approach regarding what to do with the explorations, I developed two prototype variations to present to clients. My main curiosity was regarding information relevance.
feasibility review
At the same time, I initiated discussions with our developers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the probable technical implementations for the explorations, considering potential constraints and challenges
key outcome
I decided against including 'more candidate insights' in the preview component because user feedback indicated a wide range of opinions on what qualifies as 'insightful.' Customising this feature would demand significant technical complexity, without customisation, insights could turn into irrelevant noise depending on the company's screening priorities
Final outcome: highlights
Each highlight captures key aspects of the new 'Candidate Pool' experience
The split view interface enables users to smoothly transition between candidate lists and profiles
Users no longer need to switch between browser pages or tabs to return to their candidate lists. When reviewing a candidate's profile, clicking on the candidate on the left will instantly update the profile on the right, allowing for seamless navigation between candidates without the need for additional page or tab changes.
Streamlined candidate screening: Enhanced efficiency with a tab navigation system
Connecting with applied candidates is now much quicker due to the implementation of tab navigation. This tab-based approach ensures equal hierarchy for all categories, resolving the previous design problem where matching candidates seemed more important than applied candidates in the accordion and list view.
Applied candidates are now exclusively found in the 'Applied' tab only
Hiring managers typically prefer to approach "applied" candidates who demonstrate an intent and understanding of the advertised role before considering other matching candidates. Therefore, we needed to address the sorting of the candidates. As a result, applied candidates will now be exclusively listed in the "applied" tab.
Making the main CTA of interviews super clear
The platform's primary objective is to boost the number of interview requests sent to candidates. To align with this goal, we reevaluated the sequence of actions users can take after screening a profile. We emphasised 'Request interview' as the most prominent choice, ensuring it stands out as the key action users should prioritise
An overwhelming 80% of users enthusiastically confirmed that the revamped candidate screening experience significantly enhanced their efficiency
Navigating product discovery with precision and impact
Looking back at my initial product discovery feature, it became clear that there were numerous additional features and improvements to explore. To avoid scope creep, we kept the project closely aligned with its core objectives and prioritised delivering enhancements that would make the most significant impact. This approach not only improved our efficiency but also played a crucial role in the overall success of the project
Strategies for maintaining focus in explorative product discovery projects
In a project driven by product discovery and extensive exploration, it was tempting to delve into multiple iterations of details and components. To maintain focus and prevent distraction, I discovered the significance of time-boxing the activity. Scheduled feedback sessions with users not only kept our focus intact but also provided a valuable opportunity to realign our efforts based on user input