Keeping Candidates in the Loop, Every Step of the Way!

Product Experience

Problem Space 

Problem Background  

In today's competitive job market, recruiters struggle with efficiently managing the recruitment process while providing a positive experience for candidates. The current process of manually updating candidates in real-time is time-consuming and results in communication gaps, leaving candidates feeling unfairly treated and ultimately choosing to drop out of the process.

  • Key Insights: Our initial research helped us identify some insights to understand the market size, pain points and possible solutions. 
  • The global recruitment market, led by the US, is valued at approximately $200B, set to reach $216B in the US alone by 2023.
  • The global software tools recruitment market is US$2.5B and it's set to reach US$3.5B by 2030.
  • Around 86% of recruiters interviewed reported losing top candidates due to poor communication or slow hiring. 
  •  71% of recruiters stated that managing candidate expectations is the biggest challenge they face in efficiently managing the recruitment process.
  • 50% of job seekers are still waiting to hear back after 1 to 2+ months, leading to frustration and uncertainty. 
  • 85% of job seekers stated that clear communication about the hiring process with timely and informative feedback from the recruiter are the most critical aspects during their job application experience.

Our hypothesis:

  • By creating a recruitment tool that manages and streamlines their candidate communication we will be able to save recruiters time and create a better candidate experience.

Problem Statement: 

How might we help recruiters update candidates in real time about their recruitment process and set expectations so that they can provide a fair and consistent candidate experience?

Research and Validation

Our hypothesis was tested through three initial research methods:

  1. User Interviews: Interviewed 5 HR professionals and 5 job seekers to better understand their existing pain points.
  2. Surveys: To quantify these pain points  and validate their frequency, we conducted a 14-question survey that received 180 responses from these two users.
  3. Usability Testing: We confirmed our design solution's effectiveness by conducting usability tests with our users, then refining the design based on their feedback.

Landing on the Solution

Here are the 3 key product principles that we established for our product to be considered successful and deliver value to our users. 

  1. Functional: Provide real-time updates to candidates about the recruitment process in order to reduce the back-and-forth between them and recruiters.
  2. Practical: Recruiters need to be able to add the product to their workflow without being a burden in the whole process. 
  3. Emotional: Candidates feel calm as they are aware about the process, expectations and timings. Also, they have a positive experience overall even though they are not selected as they received feedback from the recruiter.

Throughout our brainstorming sessions and taking into account our research, we narrowed down the core features for our MVP that would bring the most value for our users.

  • Recruiters: 
  1. Create a recruitment process timeline for the job they are hiring for.
  2. Share the link to a general timeline view so that everyone can see the recruitment process. 
  3. Invite potential candidates to be part of the timeline so that they can see all candidates per phase. 
  4. Manage selected candidates across the timeline phases.
  5. Provide feedback to candidates when they are not selected to move forward to the next phase.
  6. Have access to all the timelines they have created for different job posts anytime. 
  • Job Seekers:
  1. They can see the recruitment process timeline even though they have not been invited yet. 
  2. If invited they can see themselves in the current phase they are in.
  3. If they are not selected to move forward, they receive an email with the feedback that was provided by the recruiter. 
  4. They can see all the timelines they were invited to be part of. 
  5. They can withdraw from process if they want to.

Solution Explanation

Lofi & Hifi Mockups

Here is our Lo-fi prototype

Here is our Hi-fi prototype

Iterative Design Learnings

Iteration #1 : Removed the set ‘current phase’ option as most recruitment processes go through the timeline with separate batches of candidates that may be placed in different phases at the same time. 

Iteration #2: We combined the entry points for inviting and moving candidates into a “Manage Candidates” feature as a separate page instead of a pop-up. We also allowed recruiters to easily move candidates across multiple phases.

Implementation Details 

Technical implementation

We are currently hosting Jobline in Netfly (Front-end) and Vercel (Back-end). 

To build the Jobline webapp, we used the following Techstack: 

  • Front-end: Flutter Web, Dart and Hive Db.
  • Back-end: Node JS, Express Js and MongoDb.

The back- end and front-end of Jobline work in tandem to create the interactive, user-friendly timelines you see on your screen by retrieving necessary data (automatic login and API requests) from our database upon request and displaying it to our users in an easy-to-understand, interactive format.

Technical challenges

  • What was the hardest part of development?
  • It was a blocker issue with the CORS(Cross-origin resource sharing) and Cookies where the frontend was not able to make API calls. 
  •  We needed to replace Cookie based authentication -> To Token based authentication with changes in CORS configuration.
  • Does your app have any scaling issues?
  • Currently we are using a free tier version of Vercel and Netlify for hosting the front-end and back-end respectively which handles around 10k - 20k visitors per month
  • Email service providers(Mailgun) with 100 emails per day. 
  • All the above hosting platforms and service providers' plans will be upgraded according to the user traffic.
  • What are some key takeaways?
  • While addressing the CORS and Cookies issue, we also faced time constraints that affected the project's sprint planning. However, we recognized the importance of troubleshooting the issue swiftly to maintain development speed and meet the project deadline. 

Future Steps

  • We have our “Crazy” backlog full of potential ideas that could enhance our users' experiences. Here are some of the possible iterations that we have collected from users feedback and that our mentor Selena has suggested for our future implementations.
Chat Feature

Recruiter Notifications

Share link via third party platforms 

Feedback Templates

Pre-fill Templates using AI


Product Manager Learnings:

Anna Maria Hall

  • Communication: Communication is key when working as part of a team. I learned how to keep my messages clear and succinct everytime I needed to communicate with my team members. This was something that helped to keep an open conversation with them and to build trust and mutual understanding.
  • Celebrate my team: As a PM, it was essential that I keep my team motivated with what we are creating. I enjoyed celebrating our hard work and effort every step of the way. 
  • Prioritization and Negotiation: I learned to negotiate with my team members by being open to do some trade-offs and finding alternatives that work for everybody while leveraging data driven decisions. Therefore, every sprint, I needed to de-scope our product backlog and prioritize features taking into account core users' needs. Working in the Agile framework allowed me to iterate as needed in order to deliver our MVP.

Designer Learnings:

Lucy Jiyoon Lee

  • Gained experience working in a full team with developers and a product manager, where I learned how to best communicate in such an environment.
  • Learned how to better prioritize design goals based on product scoping and user stories, as well as how to quickly iterate and pivot after receiving critical user feedback or realizing implementation constraints.

Developer Learnings:

Naveen K

  • Collaborate and network with peers including product manager, product designer and a developer.
  • As a mobile developer this opportunity was able to get hands on web development and the development pattern including responsiveness.
  • Was able to manage when facing technical blockers by researching and resolving it and able to implement some of the first priority features before the midpoint demo presentation.

Developers Learnings:

Bhavishya Malhotra


  • Gaining clarity and actively listening to others’ perspectives and suggestions have been invaluable in enhancing my problem-solving and communication abilities.  
  • Through my experiences, I have acquired the skills to effectively collaborate within a team consisting of a Product Manager, a UX Designer and Developer.
  • This collaborative environment has provided me with a deeper understanding of the responsibilities and roles of a Software Developer, allowing me to gain clearer insights into the intricacies of the job.

Full Team Learning

By conducting sprint retrospectives, we pinpointed areas for improvement and celebrated our team's strengths. This, combined with our commitment to open and consistent communication regarding our progress, blockers, and ideas, set the path to our success. The challenge of balancing the delivery of maximum user value and meeting business needs played a crucial role in shaping our approach, pushing us to make strategic trade-offs in design and development throughout the entire product development cycle.