Working with personas in EasyCruit

The EasyCruit team is working on some really exciting improvements for their customers. In this blog post we will share some insights into our design process and how we have worked with Personas to better understand our customers and end-users, in order to ensure that we make good, meaningful design decisions that will add value to them.

What are personas?

A persona is a fictional representation describing key characteristics of a real person in a short and pithy way. The persona can describe the needs, motivations and behaviours of a person using a particular product or service and it can also deepen the understanding of the context in which a person uses a product, what activities are performed, if there are some limitations and pain points and what goals the person has.

A persona always has to be derived from user research. Working with personas is great for getting to know the users you are designing for, and for giving stakeholders and development teams a comprehensive picture of the different persons using your product or service and what’s important to them.

When working with UX design it’s crucial to know who you are designing for and personas is one of the tools that will definitely ease the understanding of who the main user is and what to focus on when making design decisions.

An example of one of the personas in EasyCruit – Camilla the recruiting manager.

“.. Personas is one of the tools that will definitely ease the understanding of who the main user is and what to focus on when making design decisions.”

The role of personas in EasyCruit

When I started working as a UX designer with EasyCruit (one of Visma’s recruitment solutions) a year ago, the recruitment domain was totally new for me. I wasn’t aware of how a recruitment process was conducted, what actors were involved nor what needs and goals the users of EasyCruit had. I started from zero and had to build up my knowledge step by step.

The first thing I did was to book a lot of customer meetings in order to gain an understanding of who the users were, what needs they had and what their pain points were in the recruitment process. During this user research phase I gathered a lot of information which ended up in an understanding that there are a lot of different actors involved in a recruitment process, all with different needs. There also appears to be as many different ways to conduct a recruitment process as there are customers.  

In order to get a better visual overview of the different steps and actors that could be involved in a recruitment process, I decided to create a user journey map and personas, based on the user research. Eventually I ended up in having five different personas:

  • Camilla – the recruiting manager who is the responsible actor in the recruitment process.
  • Mike – the HR partner who supports Camilla in the process and provides her with the administrative ground.
  • Siri – the HR manager who is the responsible actor in the recruitment process.
  • John – the recruiting manager who evaluates candidates that Siri has selected as interesting and tells Siri what further progress to do with the candidates.
  • William – the candidate persona.
  • Jennie – the feedback persona who helps in the process of evaluating candidates.

All of the personas in EasyCruit.

As you see there are two versions of the recruiting manager and HR persona due to the fact that there are mainly two different ways to conduct a recruitment process, either it’s a decentralised process where the recruiting manager has the overall responsibility or it’s a centralised process where HR is the main responsible for taking the process forward.

Why you should work with personas

In EasyCruit it has been important to work with personas, both for me as a UX designer to gain an understanding of the users and the context in which they act, but it has also been valuable for stakeholders in order to better communicate who we are designing for and define what needs, behaviours and goals this user has.

One of the goals for EasyCruit is to promote a more decentralised recruitment process, where the recruiting manager independently should be able to handle the whole process, from needs analysis and creation of a new vacancy to hiring the right candidate. This in a way that also ensures a good process and a great candidate experience. This is why our main persona is Camilla, the recruiting manager who should be able to handle the recruitment process as much as possible on her own.

To agree on a main persona together with your team and stakeholders is of great help when doing UX design. You can focus on one target group and their needs and pain points and get guidance when making design decisions. In my case, when working with UX in EasyCruit, I always ask myself; What would Camilla do? How would she want it to be? In other words, the persona helps in keeping her close to the design.