Improving the candidate experience at PSI

  • Summary: Redesign PSI's candidate experience for every touch point from applying for a job to starting their role. 
  • My role: Project lead, research, insights, project management.
  • Target users: Candidates applying to jobs at PSI.
  • Impact: Created a new service blueprint, including:
    • Redesigned the career site
    • Faster recruitment communication through each step of the process
    • Small touches like signs to welcome candidates to the office for interviews

 

Population Services International is a large international health organization that markets and delivers health products across 65 countries to the people who need them most.

Despite the organization's strong technical reputation in the global health industry, the recruitment process was not streamlined and left many candidates with a poor first impression of PSI. Candidates were not kept up to date on their recruitment process, and in some cases they would never hear back from PSI after speaking with a recruiter.

I led a team of four recruiters through the design process to uncover how we might improve candidates' experience when applying and interviewing to work at PSI.


The challenge 

Redesign PSI's candidate experience for every touch point from applying for a job to starting their role. 

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Research approach

  • Interviews with recent hires
  • Reviewing Glassdoor feedback from unsuccessful candidates
  • Journey mapping
  • Desk research of analogous examples

Personas

We created snap shots of our users.

Lindsey, Subject matter expert

“There were a couple of long stretches of time when I didn’t hear back from the recruiter or the team, which left me feeling disheartened.” 

manager.jpg

Mustafa, Manager

“The best part of my recruitment was meeting the people. There was such a great vibe on the team. That’s why I decided to go with PSI instead of my other offer.”

Rachel, Assistant

“There were so many tests involved in the application process that I almost gave up. I’m sure it deterred some people from continuing to interview at PSI.”


Insights

Reinforce a personal connection from the beginning to end:  People were interested in working at PSI because they cared about the mission, and they turned down other offers because they connected with the people they met at PSI. Right from the beginning, PSI had an opportunity to create that sense of personal connection through the career site and the first phone call with the recruiter. 

Make evaluation concise and relevant: We learned that for lower level positions, the tests involved in the interview process were often so time consuming that they turn away qualified candidates. There was an opportunity to scale back assignments and scale up the character of the interview to better reflect PSI's culture.

Get rid of the "black hole": For candidates, the most anxiety-ridden parts of the job search process were the waiting periods. As a start, PSI needed to get back to 100% of candidates. There was also an opportunity to be more clear about each step of the interview process so every candidate knew exactly where they were in the process.


Impact

After mapping out the journeys for our current and our ideal state, I led the team through identifying opportunities to create tangible touch points throughout the candidate's experience that stress clear communication, personal connection, strategic evaluation, and feeling valued.


Here's an example of our persona Lindsey's journey in the new process:

journey map.png

Select changes to the candidate experience include:

  • Small touches like signs to welcome candidates to the office for interviews
  • Created "break up notes" to give to finalists who were not ultimately selected

 

  • Redesigned the career page to highlight PSI's unique culture
  • Faster recruitment communication through each step of the process

A sample of the new career site: