The future of mobile recruiting is here! See how we built it

5 people, 3 months, 35 hours of user interviews, 143 screen iterations, 305 hours of testing, 10 jugs of beer, many sleepless nights, and one surgery. That’s what it took to ship the latest JobAdder mobile app update!

We started with a simple but tough question:

What are the most critical actions our users take, and how can we make those more accessible and simple to execute?

We started the process by talking to our users to discover their wants, needs and experiences; conducting 15 user interviews to soundproof our concepts and designs.

Throughout this process, I was humbled to learn how open-minded our customers are. This really became clear through their genuine interest to help us improve the JobAdder product that they use every day.

Here’s how we’ve uncovered each new area of the app.

1. Revamped Homepage

Our users told us loud and clear, “Just give me the stuff I need on my homepage, none of the stuff I don’t, and easy access to the actions I want to take.”

Searching for contacts, job orders and candidates

The original Homepage displayed recently viewed records and had a search function with filters for phone numbers OR names OR positions OR emails. A lot of people didn’t use those and searches would often wind up in a dead end.

“I use the filters to search phone numbers, but sometimes I forget to change the filter and have zero results when I know the record exist in the database. Then I realise I have to change the filter and search again. I love the idea of an all-in-one search!” – Ekta.C

Quick Search

  • In the new Homepage, we replaced the old search filters with universal search in its place.
  • We get it. You’re on your phone, you want to be able to call, SMS, or view resumes. So we’ve made these actions super easy to access from everywhere.
  • We’ve replaced the colour coding for each record type (ie. green for candidates, red for companies etc) with clear icons.
  • And last but not least, we’ve added a highlighting function. Words that are being searched for are highlighted in the result page, which helps users find what they’re looking for without having to read every single line on the screen.

Although these may sound like small improvements and quite natural behaviours, there are actually a combination of factors that make a good product a great product, and create stickiness to an app.

Access jobs & New applications

Next, we wanted to validate another assumption: That our users would want to access their open jobs and receive new application notifications directly from the Homepage.

We fine tuned our new designs internally, testing them before going into the wild. Here’s some of the feedback we received:

“I like this new look and it’s easy to understand, it has all the relevant information for a quick overview of my jobs i.e Company name, Job title, new applications.” – Reece.A

“I really like to see logos of my clients and profile pictures of candidates. We work with humans not data. First thing I’d do is access my new applications.” – Katrina.P

The crunchy part was usability, we hoped that the first thing users would tap on was the new application cell to check for new applications. This was the exact route we intended, and it’s exactly what happened. Eski and I were like:

After gathering all the feedback, we made a few tweaks here and there, and boom! We had our winner.

From the new homepage users can directly access:  

  • Their open jobs
  • New job applications
  • Settings by tapping the avatar
  • Create candidates and contacts by tapping the FAB (Floating Action Button)

2. New Job Application flow

Next, we wanted to provide a better way for our users to screen and shortlist applications on mobile. Some jobs can receive over 100 applications so it’s a constant battle to stay on top of them. How could we make it simpler?

The job application flow was a difficult challenge to tackle! This is where our user interviews really came into play to help us find the right solution.

What our test users had to say

“I check resumes 95% of the time and then cross check the candidate on LinkedIn. I’d like to know their previous applications, which job they applied for, the date of application, if she/he was successful when applying to another job, who the recruiter was, and who managed the job etc.” – Lucy.B

“I really like the design of the applicant page. It’s super efficient, it cuts my workflow from 6-8 steps to 3-4 steps! Knowing the application history is an easy indicator to reject serial applicants.” – John.C

Our testers mentioned that the following information was needed to help them screen job applications efficiently:

  • See at a glance serial applicants with applications history
  • Placement history
  • View resumes
  • Access LinkedIn profiles
  • Call or email candidates
  • Candidate location

In terms of design and development, it was definitely a challenge to fit all the required information into one screen! We tested several versions to achieve the end result.

“All the important information is available (placement and application history, resume, source of application, call).. I love it.” – Alex.O

Shortlisting applications

We’ve built two types of interactions to progress and reject applications.

Rejecting applicants

Swiping left will reject a candidate, update their status and create a note to the record. Soon we’ll link a rejection email to this action to help recruiters complete their candidate care process with minimal effort.

For more rejection options, simply tap the rejection button at the bottom of the screen which will display a list of specific rejection actions eg. Unsuccessful – Visa, Unsuccessful – Skills, Too expensive etc.

“Sometimes a candidate doesn’t match the job they applied for but he/she would be a great candidate for another job I have at hand. If this happens, it’d be great if I could add the candidate to another job when reviewing applications.” – Yvonne.D

“I’d usually like to tag myself when writing a note on a record to provide more detail on why I reject or progress a candidate.” – Luke.T

“I often use notes when shortlisting applications, to understand why I’ve made a decision to progress or reject an applicant. Would it be possible to show these options in the new flow?” – Ric.Z

You asked, we answered! These two options (Add a Note and Add to Job) are now available in the new Reject Actions section.

Progressing applicants

Using the same gesture, users can swipe right to progress an applicant in the next stage of their workflow.

To move a candidate to a different stage (or if the swiping action isn’t for you), users can tap the Progress button to access all the stages of their workflow. (ie. In Review, Internal Interview, Submit Candidate, Reference Check, Offered etc).

Progressing candidates will update the job application status, move them to the selected stage, and create a note on the record.

Sending automatic emails to candidates or contacts will be a feature in the next version, so stay tuned!

Video Cover Letters

Last but not least, if an applicant has attached a video cover letter, users will be able to review it directly from the job application page.

What’s coming up next?

  • Send email templates (interviews, submit/float candidate)
  • @mention colleagues in notes
  • Schedule an Interview on mobile


Finally I’d love to give a massive shout out to the mobile team:

Eski our amazing designer,

Paul and David our engineers and absolute guns,

Arun our legendary QA – aka best safety net ever!

A big thanks to our internal teams at JobAdder for helping us with usability testing.

I’d like to thank our clients for their time and feedback, we couldn’t have built this new version without your input!

  • Lucy.B
  • Amanda.G
  • John.C
  • Luke.T
  • Yvonne.D
  • Desari.L
  • Christie.M
  • Spencer.B
  • Ric.Z
  • Paul & Scott
  • Alex.O
  • Katrina.P
  • Reece.A
  • Ekta.C
Kim Boutard

Kim Boutard



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