Enhancing candidate expression by leveraging dating app concepts

redesign • user research (b2b) • prototyping
Tempo is a SaaS-based tool on a mission to transform the hiring experience for early career candidates. 'Snippets,' a feature I proposed and launched in June 2023, lets candidates showcase motivations, values, and personality by engaging with a list of carefully crafted prompts. This approach, reminiscent of dating apps, injects vitality into hiring, enabling managers to envision individuals beyond profiles, fostering authentic connections with prospective hires
Product discovery, feature design, user testing, UI design, full developer handoff
1 Product Designer (me), 2 Developers, COO
May 2023 - June 2023
Improved candidate expression
Problem context
Hiring managers place immense value on the insights gained from candidate motivations, values, and personality, as they assess compatibility with advertised roles and company culture. However, a significant challenge arises when candidates find it difficult to effectively express their personal identities through their Tempo profiles. This disconnect hampers the complete realisation of candidate potential during the hiring process.
impact of problem
💔 Overlooked candidates
Candidates who may be highly qualified or show possess high potential for the role may be missed due to inaccurate and misrepresented assessments made during the screening process
😑 Reduced engagement and connection
When candidates struggle to convey their personal identities, it can hinder the development of meaningful connections during the hiring process, potentially leading to decreased enthusiasm and lower overall satisfaction with the hiring process
solution preview
Snippets: a simple yet powerful feature redefining candidate expression
We introduced new section within candidate profiles called 'Snippets about you' / 'Snippets'
A hiring manager's view of what a candidate profile's would look like if they've uploaded Snippets
A candidate's experience of uploading Snippets to their profile
if you are wondering... "can we skip to the good part" 🎵
jump to solution highlights 🙃
I seized any client interaction I had as a window to learn more and gain new insights
For product discovery intended on another project I had conducted multiple interview sessions with a diverse group of hiring managers who use Tempo. I sought insights into their decision-making process when reviewing candidate profiles, specifically asking for examples of elements that prompt action within their habitual, limited profile review time. Whilst the the focus was on identifying opportunities for optimising layout and information hierarchy, I had unintentionally discovered a theme of comments that left me eager to explore more
While a candidate's experience history typically serves as the primary factor for assessing suitability to a role, hiring managers are often captivated by the non-experience aspects shared by candidates, particularly in interviews. These elements, such as personal projects, hobbies and interests tend to ignite a hiring manager's curiosity, prompting further exploration and consideration of the candidate's profile
How might we encourage candidates to showcase profile insights that mirror the aspects a hiring manager would typically learn about them during an interview
"I truly appreciate it when candidates share what they are exploring and learning beyond their work, as it demonstrates a growth mindset and a genuine passion for personal development" - Hiring manager A
"I find it refreshing when candidates open up about their passions and aspirations outside of work. It helps me gauge their cultural fit and potential long-term commitment to the company" - Hiring manager B
"I appreciate candidates who share their unique perspectives and personal interests; it gives me a glimpse into the diverse talents they can bring to the table" - Hiring manager C
strategic relevance
This insight can help strength Tempo's strategic edge in a highly saturated and competitive candidate sourcing market
Unlike other platforms with broad marketplace offerings, Tempo takes a focused approach, prioritising the needs of candidates with limited work experience. By emphasising excellence beyond traditional profiles, we enable candidates to shine and help hiring managers uncover untapped potential for growth. This strategic differentiation cements Tempo's position as a specialised and invaluable tool, dedicated to nurturing the talent of tomorrow
feasibility review
Exploring profile enhancements on existing features before ideating: learnings and challenges for implementation
While considering ways to address the hypothesis, I examined existing areas of the profile that could potentially be enhanced and summarised the learnings that I've taken from candidates over time. However, I ultimately concluded that making any significant changes to these sections would entail complex data migration (especially to test the hypothesis), making it inconvenient and impractical for implementation
Enrich profile videos with talking points?
✅ Videos are the most engaging type of content for hiring managers as they provide immediate assessments on candidate's personality
❌ Current low adoption (Less than 5%): Candidates struggle to speak directly to a device authentically and perceive a lack of active listening
Plant pointers in the 'bio' area
✅ Immediate discoverability, bios are the first thing a hiring manager reviews due to the positioning of the section
❌ Talking about yourself broadly is hard, especially for candidates with little experience. They worry about what a hiring manager might find interesting
Direct candidates to add 'Outside of work'?
✅ Enhancing the communications would be very straightforward in terms of implementation
❌ Job seekers often hesitate to share personal experiences in their profiles. They stick to 'professional' details, fearing they might share too much or be seen as irrelevant
❌ Optimising the form might cause issues for candidates with existing content in this section due to data migration challenges
Analysis of our existing features led me to hypothesise that in order to get candidates to be more self-expressive about their personal endeavours and values we needed a solution that holds candidates' hands and minimises the  pressure of well articulating an ideal persona to hiring managers about themselves
indirect benchmarking
Hinge's prompt feature is highly effective in sparking meaningful conversations and revealing authentic personalities

With creative and thought-provoking prompts, users showcase their values and interests, fostering deeper connections and genuine matches based on compatibility, setting Hinge apart as a dating app prioritising meaningful interactions

Shout out to Lindsay from the design team at Hinge for this insightful presentation at Figma Config: Designing for Modern Dating for inspiring me
Imagining what a dating app feature could be like on a candidate profile
This was quite fun to imagine and quite suited the blocky style of Tempo's UI 
user research
I launched a study with 10 participants via usertesting.com
My goal was to gauge feature appeal, the likely uptake and what questions a candidate will feel motivated to answer and subsequently understand the quality of answers will likely get added to a profile
key learnings
1️⃣ Candidates often struggle with showcasing their personal uniqueness and shared insights that triangulated with previous observations and learnings
It’s hard to (showcase yourself personally) on a document. It’s a lot easier in person, vs written down. A CV is focused on your experience.
“Tell us something about yourself”  - I’ve never liked doing that. Hard to put all of you are and what I’m like into a short paragraph. It’s my least favourite part of filling in a CV/Application form
2️⃣ Incredible high concept appeal and understanding of the benefits e.g. 90% of participants agree they could benefit from the concept to make their profile stand out
user testing
Participants' answers were more open and natural, unlike the usual formal style in traditional resumes
user testing
Intentionally excluding testing with hiring managers on Tempo
We found the solution was simple and participants' responses didn't suggest a need for more insights of validation. We decided to add the feature to candidate profiles below experience and education. This way, hiring managers can discover it after checking the main parts of a profile, without disrupting their usual process
Final outcome: highlights
Each highlight captures an aspect of the 'Snippets' experience
✅ Over 500 snippets were added within 1 month of feature release
Candidate's seem to really enjoy adding snippets to their profile, with many abiding with the platform's recommendation of submitting at least 2 on their profile
✅ Hiring managers sharing spontaneous feedback that they love the feature
Numerous clients, including high-value ones, praised and benefited from 'Snippets.' The added value of this feature played a crucial role in securing a £20K renewal with one of our clients, successfully sealing the deal
✅ I observed responses that coincidentally addressed feedback and insights clients had shared with me in the past
Snippets are giving candidates a safe place to explain the backstory of their employment story
Hiring managers viewed short tenures of work highly negatively, assuming that such candidates get bored easily and are less likely going to be loyal
Candidates seem more comfortable to talk about their proudest accomplishments with Snippets
Hiring managers frequently seek soft skills such as 'passion, drive, and ambition,' yet candidates often struggle to effectively convey these qualities when writing about their experience
Many candidates are using Snippets to express the intentions of the job search journey
Hiring managers desire candidates to have self-awareness and intent in their job search, showcasing clear career goals and commitment. Demonstrating purpose elevates candidates' appeal and alignment with the company
4/5 clients that were prompted for feedback regarding the launched feature highlighted that 'Snippets' offered a new perspective to the candidate screening process
Snippets' have greatly improved user experience. Candidates find it more engaging, and hiring managers can better assess suitability and company fit, leading to smarter hiring decisions
Embracing intuition: launching a minimal feature with gratifying results
I had a blast just going for it and launching a super minimal feature with only a bit of user testing. We trusted our instincts and wanted to see where it would take us. Seeing the feature come to life and positively impact the user experience was really satisfying. It taught me the value of taking smart risks and how simplicity and intuition can lead to awesome results.
Creating win-win outcomes for the development of the feature with other stakeholder goals
This project was a real eye-opener. It' awesome to see how much potential there is in modernising and improving the norms of candidate self-expression. It has inspired me to explore further and find new ways to enhance the hiring process and foster genuine connections between candidates and employers