LinkedIn has a legacy candidate management platform, built for sophisticated Enterprise recruiters. Jobs On Flagship (JoF) is a simplified hiring experience built for Small-Medium sized business (SMB) hiring managers, enabling candidate management from the LinkedIn Flagship web and mobile platform.
Jobs on Flagship is divided into 3 main product types, each with their own goals:
This is a contextual product and should be discovered where members share they're hiring already on LinkedIn.
This is a freemium product offered for free and with an option to pay for more quality applicants.
This is a product for hiring managers, built to meet their needs in the workflows already familiar to members.
My focus, and the focus of this case study is on Easy to use, where we solve for the 80% of LinkedIn's hiring audience - small business hiring managers, not talent professionals.
4 designers work on Jobs on Flagship, but we each have our own focus areas (diverge); however, each focus area overlaps and impacts one another (converge), so we meet often to ensure we maintain alignment and a focused approach. My specific focus is on applicant management, and I'm responsible for all designs and prototypes seen in this case study, in addition to presentations and helping my project manager and product partners create product docs.
Jobs on Flagship has been live since March, with several feature-based ramp dates, and has seen early success:
The core problem SMB hiring managers face after they've posted a job to LinkedIn is that they are not professional recruiters. They are busy generalists that dedicate a small portion of their day for hiring activities and report spending less than 20 minutes/day on average. Further, 40% of online job support tickets are issues using or finding the legacy hiring product.
A major pain point is if LinkedIn introduces a way to post a job on its Flagship product, but does not introduce a way to manage applicants on Flagship, customers will need to navigate between two entirely different products and sites, adding significant friction to their hiring process and overall workflow. Further, LinkedIn has never offered a mobile applicant management solution, and 85% of SMB hiring managers expressed a strong interest in being able to manage on the go.
The following is a list of specific member pain points that we aim to solve with an improved applicant management experience:
In a general sense, we are solving for SMB hiring managers who are hiring on LinkedIn. More specifically, we're solving for Kathy Teeble - a hiring manager at Flexis.
LinkedIn aims to create the world’s definitive professional hiring marketplace, and our overall vision is to make hiring effortless. LinkedIn also wants both hirers and job seekers to feel confident in using LinkedIn as the place to hire and find jobs. To drive towards this vision, LinkedIn is focused on enabling the following outcomes:
Today's confirmed hire rate is 20%
Today's interaction rate is 15%
Today's hear back rate is 20%
To maintain a consistent approach to ideas and designs, I developed a set of product and design principles that I continuously compared my ideas and solutions against.
The success of this product launch is significantly because of the daily cross-collaboration efforts amongst all members working on this project.
I ensure to bring in my engineering partners early and often during brainstorming and design sessions. Aside from daily Slack conversations, I meet with the engineering team (15 engineers) 3 times a week to discuss ramp dates, milestones, general scope and level of effort, to receive design feedback and to discuss our overall approach.
LinkedIn has over 100 products within its ecosystem, and products often overlap with each other. Jobs on Flagship in particular impacts several teams (Profile, Tracker, Careers, Jobs, Recruiter, Search...just to name a few). Since its a foundational product that intersects with several high-profile teams at LinkedIn, there have been many meetings, product docs and tradeoffs made to launch the product on time.
From the start, inclusive and accessible design has been at the forefront of all design decisions. We have inclusive design peers who we partner with to ensure our products are not only WCAG 2.1 compliant, but that we innovate with world-class solutions that are intentionally inclusive for as many users as possible. While considering color contrast and font sizes is always present, I often think about users who use screen readers, users who are blind, users who have limited reached and mobility, and concepts like reflow and orientation.
I partnered with a user researcher to perform formative and evaluative research in two parts. The first research study occurred over a 1 week period, with eight 1:1 in-depth interviews with new job posters. The second research study also occurred over a 1 week period, and included 5 1:1 in-depth interviews focused on new entry points and future vision mobile workflows.
Overall, participants had a positive experience using Online Jobs. Participants who rated on-site generally found the Applicant list easy to scan and information in Applicant details useful for evaluating candidate fit. Participants surfaced opportunities to improve the product experience in three key areas: budget transparency, sort by relevance, and candidate rating. Recurring themes found in this study are product discoverability, need for collaboration, and notifications.
Overall, participants had positive feedback for the new mobile designs we shared, in addition to having a relatively positive experience with the current experience. Overall, participants are not convinced that LinkedIn knows who is a good match for their specific role and organization. Further, participants are interested in saving customized rejection templates, especially for different stages of the interview process.
The following part of this case study focuses on what has shipped so far. If you're hiring for a job, you can post a job for free on LinkedIn and see these features live in product!
In the following video, we've rated Reetika a "Good fit". Other options include Maybe and Not a fit. Hirers expressed a want to easily rate applicants in order to keep a shortlist. I provided a simple way to perform this rating action on the applicant list view, with a clear rating indication on each applicant's card.
From the UER sessions, participants explained that during their applicant management workflow on LinkedIn, they'd often want to message applicants they rated a Good fit. I made it easy to message Good fit applicants by providing several entry points to message.
We initially launched the product with 3 filter categories (Sort by, Ratings and Location). 30 support tickets per week were received related to not having this filter available, and those reviewing applications would have to manually look at applicant profiles to determine years of experience. Adding this filter saved hiring managers and recruiters several hours of time and improves their overall experience using the product.
When you rate an applicant "Not a fit", your next best action is to reject that applicant. Those interviewed wanted a quick and simple way to reject applicants, while having the ability to edit the rejection message if needed. LinkedIn now provide hirers with a pre-filled rejection message that is fully customizable.
Roughly 70% of online job postings are abandoned during the posting flow, which leaves their job post in a draft state. Prior to the launch of this feature, job posters were unable to delete these draft posts, which resulted in close to 80+ customer support cases per month and over 6 million job posts on LinkedIn in the draft state. We've already seen great success since the launch of this feature, and a significant decrease of jobs remaining in a draft state.
This case study focuses on a mobile first approach to providing hirers with an easy and simple way to manage applicants. However, approximately 65% of hirers consistently use desktop to post jobs and manage applicants. This means we need an equally improved and user-focused desktop design. Desktop has all the same great functionality as mobile, though we adopted a 2-pane view from the Job Search page to ensure users have an optimal hiring experience while using desktop.
I explored several design iterations on mobile and desktop prior to launching Jobs on Flagship. Some reasons why these designs were discarded include:
What I've shared in this case study has been live on LinkedIn for 9 months to date. Since launch, we have measured several key metrics, and the results are clear signals towards this being a success!
When looking at the percentage of onsite applications with interactions from hirers, we see a significant lift from the legacy HP hiring product. On Flagship, we see an increase interaction rate of 48% and applicant profiles are being viewed over 100% more on Flagship. These are key indicators for predicted confirmed hires, which is one of our main goals in launching Jobs on Flagship.
One of the benefits of mobile is that the UI is generally more focused, and we can simplify each interaction on every part of ones workflow. We've evaluated a 65% reduction in time to view applications on mobile, and applicants are getting rated much faster after a hirer views their application (1.4 days on mobile versus 2.27 days on desktop).
While we do not have confirmation that pushing mobile adoption will increase poster engagement, these numbers show promise for mobile as a platform. Hirers are 62% more engaged on mobile, rate applicants 31% more and view applicant applications 18% more than when on LinkedIn's desktop platform.
We use the legacy HP product for comparison, and immediately saw an improved hearing back rate on Flagship. Compared to LinkedIn's hiring platform, hiring on Flagship results applicants hearing back from hirers 19% faster. The days to hear back is also less on Flagship, with a full 1 day reduction in time to hear back.
A focus of ours was to increase the message rate for Good fit applicants. These applicants are ones that hirers manually rate as Good fit, and we want to encourage messaging to keep the conversation going. On Flagship, applicants are 67% more likely to be messaged, which is a significant increase and plays an important role for job seekers.
This initial launch was monumental for the team and for LinkedIn as we successfully launched Jobs on Flagship - a goal that has been a few years in the making. From very early ideas to having a polished product live and being used by millions of people around the world, there's an overall feeling of accomplishment. While we have this momentum, and are just starting to receive learnings from this first launch, the future is very bright for Jobs on Flagship.
We plan on maintaining a mobile first approach, with a focus on improving the UI, UX and the overall experience for SMB hirers. This will be achieved through the following improvements:
While this initial launch was monumental for the team and for LinkedIn, there are several things I learned throughout the process, in addition to some changes that are already in place:
If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading through this case study! I'm very excited to share what my team and I have been working on at LinkedIn for the past year, and look forward to you trying these features live in product for all of your hiring needs.