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What HR can learn from UX

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Anna, a 30 year old controller is looking for a new job. She is surfing through several  platforms until she sees the perfect position. But she does not know the company where the seemingly ideal job is offered. So she follows the link on the add and finds herself on the homepage of her potential future employer.

This is the story of Anna and her job application. Ideally, Anna finds all information she needs to apply and to get an insight into the company and its culture. But there are plenty of employers who make it a long and unjoyful adventure through their website to get the information wanted.

I am working in human resources and my job depends on hiring the right people for the right job. But what if they cannot find their way through all the information? User Experience is not just a topic for marketing. It is a topic which already starts while hiring the right people.

User experience is about designing experiences for the user. You can deliver experiences that are effective, simple and enjoyable by bringing contemporary design principles and state-of-the-art usability techniques into the website. I’d like to address three topics we have covered in our UX course at university and why I think they are important to take care of in human resources.

Biases influence your work

A bias is a tendency or prejudice in favor or against something or someone. Some biases are positive and helpful, such as running away from a predator or looking for fire when it is cold. Unfortunately, biases are often based on both positive and negative stereotypes, rather than actual knowledge.

I am currently designing our new career website. After my internal analysis and looking at the career sites of our competitors, I designed a, in my opinion, almost perfect new sitemap for our new career landing page. What I didn’t take into consideration was, that this was just my point of view with all my existing knowledge of our company and the application process. I assumed, that if the sitemap is clear for me, it will be clear for the applicants as well. My own biases made me blind for lack of information and user experience.

Ask again and again and again

What I also learned in our course is to ask questions. What, Why, Where, When, Who….and again. Ask all questions and ask them again and again. Even buttons, texts, headlines and pictures which seem right in the first place should be questioned. Take also in mind who is your target group and how they will use the content.

In case of my career platform I am still discussing some elements like the career development, the benefits or the recruiting process for the apprentices with my colleagues. How much information should be on the site? Is it clear enough? Does the user need to find it in the top level or a level below? Is it well described and appealing designed? Keep asking and you will get a different view on the topic.

Applying can be joyful

My favorite element of UX design is all about the joy of use. Joy of use appears when the user feels pleasure whilst using the website. This could be a nicely designed loading button while the user has to wait for a function to proceed. The user gets more than he expected. He likes to use the service and therefore, it is more likely that he is coming back. This should be also the goal for my career website. Applying for a job can be joyful as well.

User Experience is a young discipline which we will face more often in the future. And so is employer branding. Combing both will increase the experience of an user already in the pre-application phase. And maybe someday, Anna will find all information in a clear and joyful way about her potential future employer.


Pictures from @pexels

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