Driftwood Group

Who Thinks Recruitment Needs a Bit of UX? (or maybe a LOT!)

Social-tablet guy

First, some definitions (thanks google);

User Experience (UX)
1. The overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.
“if a website degrades the user experience too much, people will simply stay away”

1. The action of finding new people to join an organization of support a cause.
“this was a deterrent to the recruitment of nurses”

Let’s broaden those a little. We can think of recruitment as the process of searching for and selecting the best possible candidate for an organizations’ needs in the most timely and efficient manner.

And we can expand on user experience to mean the seamless integration of a company’s divisional boundaries (from technical and engineering to marketing, online presence, manufacturing, sales, customer service, design, strategy and approach) to ensure the best possible relationship with the organizations’ clients/customers – to ‘keep them coming back’ if you like.

Now, how can we relate the two you ask?

Well you see, I think the world of recruitment has a lot to learn about user experience.

Since I first started working, I have found myself variously in the recruiter, candidate and client seat at different points in time.

And you know what? I think user experience got left at the door, around about when those pictures of Uncle Sam pointing and saying, “I want you” started turning up! Back when recruitment was more about signing up for the Army than seeking out the colourful future career path you’d always dreamed of. Before Talent Management.

I hear from people all the time about the bad experiences they have had in the world of recruitment. It doesn’t matter whether they are a candidate who’s just had their 300th knock-back; or a potential client who cultivates their recruitment ennui like a carefully tended Bonsai…’recruiter you say?!…I don’t think so, thanks all the same! (click)’; or a weary recruiter themselves, pushed and pulled this way and that at the beck and call of the holy grail – COMMISSION!

I think we need a change. It’s time the penny dropped and we all realized that the sales commission model has poisoned what could be a warm, friendly and inviting world where people talk to actual people, fill them in on their dreams and aspirations and then keep in touch to a successful conclusion where companies get the talent and culture they always wanted, recruiters feel rewarded and make a genuine difference and candidates feel respected, individual and cared for.

What we need is more time spent on User Experience.

How about we change gear to a people-centric hiring focus – one of our clients calls this Attitude over Aptitude.

If we can take hold of the idea that, in the end, recruitment is about the end user – be they client or candidate then maybe we can align those two for a greater outcome. That way, when we next go-live, everyone will want to sign up.

Let’s fill recruitment with UX. Who’s with me…?


ALEX KELLY – 5th June 2015


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Alex Kelly

Alex Kelly

Alex is a Director at Driftwood Group | Occasional Recruiter | Amateur Wordsmith | Career Interventionist