SEEK | Driving a product experience across multiple integrations
Seek is Australia’s leading online employment marketplace, connecting jobseekers with employment opportunities and helping employers find candidates for advertised roles. Seek’s business model centres around selling job ad products to employers.
About 50% of employers who post ads to Seek do so by logging into the Seek platform directly, while the other 50% post ads using a variety of third party software. In late 2018 Seek began a journey to create consistency and elevate the experience of how their ad products were displayed within these third party software systems. I led the design for this program of work for 2 years.
Third party software used to access Seek are generally known as Recruitment Software Providers (RSPs). There are many RSPs in market which can be used with Seek (upwards of 100) with popular examples including JobAdder, Bullhorn and PageUp. RSPs vary substantially in style, features and technological capability. Historically, employers posting ads to Seek using an RSP could only choose from 2 ad types: “Classic” and “Standout”, however the business wanted to make a third ad product, known as “Premium”, available in this channel. This would require designing a product selection widget that would sit within the RSP’s existing flow for creating a job ad. It would also require a new 1:1 integration with each RSP we wished to make the widget available within.
- RSPs are notoriously archaic with busy, dated UIs, typically available on desktop only with limited to no responsiveness
- Each RSP has its own branding and style, requiring customisation of colours, typefaces and dimensions
- Each RSP required a 1:1 integration (slow and costly), requiring collaboration with the RSPs Product and Delivery teams
In addition to making Premium ads available to employers using an RSP, the business also wanted to grow Premium ad adoption by 50% (a significant revenue opportunity). Due to the sheer number of RSPs in market (around 100) we had to be strategic about which platforms we partnered with first so as to maximise coverage of our employers. We set an objective to partner with and deliver our solution to a set of top 4 partners which would bring our employer coverage to 58%.
Understanding the problem space
To kick things off I organised a series of contextual interviews to get an understanding of how employers were currently using RSPs to post ads to Seek. I visited employers in their offices and had them walk me through their process on their own devices. I asked questions about the Seek ad types and how they choose which one to post, and any budget considerations. I learned that in many RSPs, creating a job ad would default to a Classic ad, with employers having the option to select StandOut via a simple tick-box. No value messaging, pricing or contract subscription information was shown to employers.
I also asked about any perceived benefits or drawbacks to providing them with the option to select Premium ads from within their RSP. From these interviews I was able to get a sense of the various abilities, wants and needs of our employers and how they currently post ads to Seek within their RSP. Now we were ready to start exploring solution designs.
We brought our product team together in a kick-off workshop to get clear on our design objectives and approach. In addition to providing access to Premium ads, we wanted to elevate the ad selection experience in RSPs by including:
- Compelling value messaging
- Insights about the employers Seek subscription contract
Additionally, a requirement of our design was that it could be reused across multiple RSP’s with minor style customisations.
We would begin our integration journey with one RSP to start, called JobAdder. I connected with the JobAdder product team we would be collaborating with and gained access to their styleguide. I explored a number of design approaches and shared these with our team for feedback. I worked closely with our Marketing team to ensure our value messaging aligned with Seeks broader marketing position. After a series of iterations we arrived at a single approach which we socialised with JobAdder.
Testing with employers
I organised a usability testing study with a small group of JobAdder employers to understand if our solution was meeting our objectives. At the same time, I supported the collaborative delivery of our solution by our internal delivery team and the JobAdder delivery team. We released the design to a small pilot of JobAdder employers to monitor usage.
Through the usability testing and pilot we learned there was some confusion around which ad types were part of the employers contracts, and which type the employer usually chose. I made a number of key adjustments to the design based on this user feedback and we continued our pilot, releasing to another small cohort of employers. The design tweaks resolved the issues we had seen. I worked closely with our Product Manager to monitor and analyse usage. We worked with customer service and our internal Seek sales team to stay close to any incoming customer feedback. The pilot ran for approximately 6 weeks, we then successfully scaled to 100% of JobAdder employers.
Rollout to additional partners
Scaling with JobAdder marked the first major milestone in what was a bigger and longer integration journey. As mentioned, our goal was to scale with a set of top 4 partners (to start). In addition to JobAdder, these included Idibu, Broadbean and PageUp. While delivery was wrapping up with JobAdder we were already in conversations with these other partners. The next integration to proceed was Idibu.
Because one our key design goals with the JobAdder widget was reusability with other RSPs, the design work required for our Idibu integration was fairly light. The customisation was primarily from a style perspective; colours, typefaces and dimensions, while interactions remained consistent with the JobAdder widget. Once again I connected with the relevant parties in the RSP product team to access their styleguide. I worked with our delivery team and that of Idibu to support the delivery, pilot and scale of the ad selection widget.
We continued the widget rollout to our additional 2 RSP partners.
Coaching a junior designer
During this time we welcomed a junior designer into our team. She had recently joined Seek through a UX internship program and was now being moved into a Junior UX Designer role. I mentored and coached our new designer while she on-boarded into our team. With our solution and approach now well defined, I reduced my capacity on this initiative to stretch across the broader program and focus on a more ambiguous problem space. In time I gradually handed over the day to day delivery support tasks to our junior designer, while staying close to rollout progress and ensuring design quality.
We scaled our product selection widget to 100% of employers across 4 different RSP platforms, bringing our coverage to 58%. We also saw a 65% adoption increase in Premium ads, which yielded a significant projected revenue increase.
One of the biggest design challenges with this initiative was working within the space constraint. Because our widget was essentially being injected into the RSPs UI, it was the only area we had available to work with. For example, there was information included in our widget (such as payment details) which I would have preferred to put on the checkout page. Since this was not an option, I had to get creative with the widget interactions so that the information could be shown in a simple and intuitive way, without overloading the user. I also learned a lot about integrating with third party vendors — it’s slower and more cumbersome. And because of the impact of technical constraints, I got deeper into the technical aspects learning about API calls in external systems.