Hired.com

The analysis was conducted on Nov 11, 2015, and it is not part of a paid engagement.

1. Technical Issues

When going through the registration process I got the 500 page error multiple times. While I loved the 500 page design (hint: Office Space), I got it too many times during this step. I have no visibility in the logs, so it is hard to know how often this happens, but these are a few places where I experienced it:
  • Upon submission of the talent tab page – 500 page erro
  • Going back to the first step, re-entered email – 500 page error
  • The resume was not parsed first – see error message below. I resubmitted and then it worked, but there were other issues there, more details later

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2. Product

One of the traffic drivers to Hired seems to be Google AdWords. Therefore, most of the analysis is focused on the Activation lever – transforming a visitor into a user. I assume that one of the main goals is to get user profiles, so probably this step needs not only to be optimized, but also give all the information needed to better qualify an user. Maybe everything is clear for others, but personally I would have given up a few times, if it was not for this analysis. But let’s get started:

Applying from home page, the service seems pretty clear and straight forward,

 

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so I entered my email and got to the next step. However, on the very first step, I already got confused about how this might work. In fact, as I went through the process, I was more and more puzzled

 

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On this first step, I’m asked to “Request Your Invite”. This is the first time this concept is introduced and there is no info about what an invite is or how it works. Also, the employer tab is a little bit confusing. Not only that, but my email is not transferred when I switched to that form. It is still me, so the email should be there.

Two possible ways to make it better – remove the tab and put a “are you an employer?” link below the form. The other option is to create the fork right on the home page – it kind of is in the form of “see how it works for employers” .

 

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Other comments on the talent form:

  • The “Career Path” field, although required, is defaulted to Software Engineer, so if one does not pick another option (I missed that the first time), you are stuck with this option. Once you go to the next step and realize the mistake and want to change the value, click back on the browser, change the Career Path value, and click Get Started again, the next page is still stuck with the Software Engineer option
  • Number of fields –  according to some research, the drop rate on forms is  bell shaped – based on the number of fields –  and 4-8 is the tip. I’d recommend to test removing some of the fields, for example the email field, it is just carried from the previous step – not necessary here.
  • I don’t have visibility in analytics and business goals, and I saw that the next page locations and  roles depend on “where you live” and “career path”, but they might be moved to the next step and use java script to show options based on the selection. Anyway, I encountered some problems here too – see missing Marketing word in the second question.
  • One thing to test – there is the type of employment option – in the end I tried both the employee (talent) and contractor path and in both cases, the option was not already selected for me. To go one step forward, is this necessary here or having it on the profile page would accomplish the goal too?

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I’l come back to the next steps, but for now I’ll jump all the way at the end. I completed my profile, had more and more questions about how things work, and at some point I clicked at the bottom on the “Contractors” link and finally, I got some of the answers  One of the backlog idea is to improve the text on home page, so I think the messages should be changed to the one from the Contractor page – a little bit closer to reality. Some things still have to be explained : Invite and/or Apply, Batch

 

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Because we are on the “How it works” topic, the Employers link goes to this page. Maybe I’n not digging enough, but this page does not show at all HOW it works for employers.
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The next step, social links, if not really necessary (see Skip this step button), why not remove it from the signup and just make it part of the % profile completion.
Or, even better, make it part of the next step, when you have the option to get the resume from LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn connect there would remove the need to enter your LinkedIn public URL. Also, I’m not an Engineer, I used the Product Manger path, so the GitHub would most likely not apply to me.
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I chose to upload my resume, as it seemed quite some work to create a PDF resume on LinkedIn. This step could be greatly simplified if the app would use the connect with LinkedIn API and take all the data from there. This is a straight forward integration and many companies use that for their own job applicants.
After patiently waiting for 30-40 seconds, I got this message. Maybe is not my lucky day, but I was on a mission here, so I tried to upload again from this screen, and then it worked. I repeated this step a few days later and I was able to reproduce the same steps, so this is not a one time issue.
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Finally on the last step. I think entering the two dates make sense, but I’d still like to better understand how they are used in the logic. The reason of the confusion is the I’m Ready button on the next step. I already indicated that My profile should be visible starting today, so this implies I’m ready.
This screenshot is taken from a Marketing application, and I’m asked a few questions about quota – how is that relevant to this job?
About the last question, some research suggests that open handed questions are dreaded by users, so better to provide them the option to choose from options, especially when on registration forms.
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The “Invite” theme comes back into action, but I’m not sure to whom I submit the “Request Invite”
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I’m finally on the profile page. I like the profile completion status and it how it sends me to complete the missing parts. But:
  • I did not even finish my profile and I’m told “no opportunities” for me. That’s it, no other steps?
  • I have a Tell us more about your search header, but where and what I should tell more about this? There is only an option to improve my profile, but I was already told there are no options, so why bother? Are they going to be opportunities or is this the end?
  • Obviously I have to complete my profile, but that is not even a link, it is disabled
  • 3 and 4 make sense to not be active, but still not too much info (well, you have some tool tip on mouse over, but not very user friendly. Possible options: ? icon or make it clickable and on click show the popup info.
  • A new term is introduced, I see a Batch Date now – no info what it is and how it works
One question I still have is why the experience stops at 6+ (LinkedIn goes to 10+ btw), maybe there is some research behind this number. The biggest confusion on this page is Batch Date, I have no idea what a batch is or how it works – a simple tool tip would help a great deal I think.

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The resume parser was a nice touch, I thought it would save me a lot of time, but in fact it created more work. Data is duplicated for almost every position (maybe because of the double upload – one failed and one ok) and the location of the job is shown as the company name. Not too mention the Summary was not properly saved and all the formatting – new lines – is gone. I now have one solid block of text I have to spend time to edit.
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Finally, on the top of the page, I have a message about recommending someone in Canada (no screenshot captured). If this is important, it should be more visible, the white text is hard to read and the blue is blending too much in the site. If not important, why bother showing it? And why Toronto? I’m looking for a job in San Francisco and located in San Jose. Again, maybe there is data to support this, but not clear to me.
The email confirmation I got continues to talk abut the Invite, maybe a little bit more clear now, but still not 100%. What is the purpose of an invite? Also, it is the first time you hear about a “weekly batch” concept, but there is no information about what that is and how it works. Later, I found on the contractor page a mention about a 4-week batch, so information is conflicting about the duration of a batch.
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A few comments on the email:  I’m not a native speaker, so I might be wrong, but isn’t this the correct form “we will prioritize the review of your profile”.
Suggestions
  • change reply@ to a name@.
  • The footer tells me to refer people in UK now. Maybe to trigger a worldwide viral effect, but of course I’d like to know more about what is tested here. Make the offer relevant to my location?
On the first account I created, after a few hours I got the sad news that there was no match – see email below. “If any of our clients are looking for someone with your specific skills in the next two weeks, we will let you know.” My immediate question was what will happens after two weeks? Does Hired still tries to match me with a job or do they abandon me? They mention to come and update my profile later, but how does that affect the process? What is the trigger for them to try to match me again. Did I spent all this time to create a profile and now I’ll be abandoned? Did they spent money to acquire me and then just dropped me like this? 
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Still, I can invite others for $1,000 (last week was a Bose headset), so more money now :). The question about language is even more fun now. I I Invite a friend, he will get my Invitation, but when they sign up, they will have to Request an Invite to Hired
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However, using this functionality is very misleading. I went with the standard message, I got the preview, I was ok with it, sent it to my friend, but what he got is completely different that what I was told he will – preview and actual email site by side
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the same is true when referring an employer
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While I was no able to reproduce this anymore, last week when entering no email on the home page and submitting the form, you were told that ” is already registered” probably there was a blank record in the database, email column.
Product Feedback Summary
– better explain how it works – The contractor page does a better job for sure, so at least the copy should be aligned on both pages – unless this is part of a test
– explain what invite and batch are – especially Invite, as it the first step of the process
– reduce the number of initial steps and once in profile remind/force me to be at 100%. From what I read, users put the extra effort to reach the 100% mark, so make it easier at the beginning. However, I have no visibility into analytics to see if anything I’m saying has been tested and invalidated
– consistent messaging and add branding to emails – right now completely missing
– fix various errors
– The application should be more Persona specific – Employee, Contractor
– I’m not fully sure about the business model, so it is hard to make specific recommendations not knowing what is important and what has to be optimized.  However, knowing that the company spends a lot on SEM to get visitors, fixing the existing signup process – no improvements – should be a top priority
– also, the big question is what happens with a user with no match, are they thrown away after two weeks? What is the user’s LTV in this case? I’m probably missing some behind the scenes information, but my questions still remains.

3. SEM

Only performed some searches

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There seems to be a lot of ads, but the biggest issue is the lack of landing pages. I think there should be one for each of the two types of employment (contractor exists)  and also for each job type (only sales exists)
The contractor ad goes to the contractor page, but the consulting one goes to home page. I think both the contractor and sales pages are new and part of a newer test, as I see the optimizely code there and there are many things tested – copy, layout, no email field  to get started. However, the implementation is not done 100% correct, as you can see the page flicker and Brad, the testimonial guy quickly comes up before disappearing. (click get started on https://hired.com/contract-jobs)
<script asyncsrc=”//cdn.optimizely.com/js/5414328115134464.js“></script> – should be just above the </head> and now is much, much higher – this causes the flicking
Again, no visibility in the ads performance, but the Salaries and the $2K bonus seem to offer something different from competitors. Another suggestions is about a copy to be tested “Get 5-10 Contract Job Offers in Four Weeks” – this also matches the headline on the Contractors page – This promise is unique and if fulfilled, it can probably create word of mouth and good will.
I’d suggest the SEM strategy to be aligned with the product strategy, so visitors are more likely to convert

4. SEO

Not sure how much effort has been put in this, but the blog should be used for this project. This is a long term strategy, but should be part of the optimization.
Simple things to correct:
  • the page title is very generic and not even correct. You cannot search for jobs, and the “marketplace” does not really exist, or at least is heavily brokered by Hired. Page title “Hired – Job Search Marketplace. Job Hunting Simplified!”  Maybe something with Get Job Offers is more appropriate
  • there is no <h1> tag on the page, for the headline
  • Use page titles without the company name
Both the Contract and Sales pages have a much more clear “how it works” description, but also the <h1>Get 5-10 Contract Job Offers in Four Weeks</h1> – as I said, probably new test pages

5. CRO Ideas

  • I mentioned this before, but having landing pages for each type of ad – employee/contract or job type marketing/sales/engineering.
  • Create different funnels for each persona – employees and contractor are probably the two most important segments. The funnel should start with the ad – landing page –  personalized signup process – successful/failed match – follow-up on failed case
  • I  could not find a place that captures the emails of visitors that do not sign up for the service – see screenshot – I use the free version of the service, so the options were limited in terms of UI and copy. Once the user enters the email, they can:
    • become part of a drip email campaign – a series of 3-5 emails with the final goal to have them signup – the content of the blog can be used for this purpose
    • re-targeting on FB

popup email

  • Add the testimonial on the first signup page on the home page – this test page only shows the top part of the page – CTA copy has been changed

leadfomr

  • Streamline the signup process to keep only the essential parts and keep the full profile completion once the account is created
  • Referral functionality to match user geography or interests
  • Show the benefits of this service vs other sites and then deliver on the promise – in case there is no match, you have to keep the user engaged. For example, in my case, given the blunt negative response I would not come back or refer anyone else, and this after I spent quite some time to complete the profile