Smart Hire: UX Case Study

Designing a Better Tech Hiring Experience

For our first client project at RED Academy we worked with a startup, Smarthire. They are currently in their ideation phase and are in the process of building and designing their product. We helped bring their ideas into a tangible product. This being our first lap around the block we also learned a lot.

Team: Joel Loyol (UX), Kevin Xu (UX), Mandeep Rai (UX), Jai Johnson (UI)
Timeline: 3 weeks

The Problem

Hiring in the tech industry for senior roles sucks. Sergey our client for this project is a tech recruiter who knows how difficult it can be for companies to hire for senior roles.

  • It simply takes too long 
  • The qualified candidates that companies want are already working 
  • HR can’t effectively screen a candidates skills 

The proposed solution

Create a job site specifically for senior tech candidates, who are currently working. Candidates are passively sent new relevent job offers without having to actively search. Candidates can also have their skills assessed by other candidates on the site. 

Our job:

Test the proposed solution
Discover ways to make the job process better for candidates and employer
Design a high fidelity mockup of the website


We wanted to get a better idea about the job hiring process in tech. We survey and interviewed tech workers to learn about their experience. We also interviewed employers so we could learn about the process from both sides. 

Tech worker survey insights:

Sample Size: 69 | Male: 84 % | Age (25 - 40): 78 % 

  • Most desired traits in a new position:
    (1) Challenging Work (2) Learning Potential (3) Salary
  • 78 % interested in evaluating their technical skills with technical peers rather than a recruiter
  • Preferred to be contacted by email (75%) and linkedin(71%)
  •  71 % were interested in evaluating other technical candidates. 

Tech worker Interview Insights

  • All interviewees were receptive to having their skills evaluated by a technical peer as long as it made the procces less time consuming.
  • Often felt in the dark in regards to knowing where they were in the job process.
  • Frustrated with receiving too many irrelevant job offers.

Employer Interview Insights

We interviewed five individuals involved in the hiring process of senior tech talent.

  • They heavily relied on knowledge workers within their organization to help screen candidates. They would provide screening criteria and be apart of the later interviewing stages.
  • They were interested in having candidates skills assessed specificly for the job they were hiring for. A general assessment was less appealing. 


 Key Users

These are Smarthire’s key users. For this project we decided to focus specifically on the candidate facing side of the site. Mostly due to time constraints we had to narrow down our scope. We did make sure to take into account the other key users.

Tech Worker Persona

Harrison Lebowitz | 36 years old Sr. Developer| Toronto, Ontario

Harrison has been working as a dev for ten plus years. He has worked on an array of projects and has gained a strong understanding of what it takes to run a successful team. He is always looking for new opportunities to challenge his abilities.

Candidate User Flow

We created a user flow to figure out what a candidate’s journey through the site would be like. 

User Flow


For the design of the website we took inspiration from online dating sites. Similar to dating site we are trying to match two parties together for the rest of their lives… if only. But in all seriousness we took elements such as asking candidates questions on about job preferences so that we could provide them better job matches. Our aim isn’t provide the most job opportunities but rather the best job opportunities that candidates are actually interested in. 

Invision Prototype

In Conclusion

Our client was very pleased with our end project. We were able to showcase the needs that candidates have and come up with features that he hadn’t considered.