Job seekers hoping to learn about a company's culture must piece together as much information as they can by searching various places. Review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, company websites, news articles, and even social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram help them understand the company culture. Searching for information about perspective company culture is often vague and time-consuming.
Among job seekers, Generation Z places workplace culture high on the list of what they are looking for in a potential employer. This emerging group of workers have their own ideas of what they want from their careers – and what they won't accept. In some cases, cultural aspects like diversity and inclusion rank higher than salary. Gen Z will account for 27% of the workforce by 2025 (Source).
Among Gen Z workers surveyed, 69% stated that they would "absolutely" be more likely to apply to a job at a company that emphasized a racially and ethnically diverse workplace in recruitment materials (Source).
As workplace culture becomes increasingly important for Gen Z, how can job seekers confidently decide on a new company when access to this vital information is so hard to find?
Research Insights & User Pain Points
Our initial survey to validate our problem had 26 responses, and we used this pool of responders and interviewed individuals between 20-30 years of age.
Researching workplace culture is time-consuming. Users need to piece together what they can to get a complete picture, and often users only get an impression of the workplace culture, and there's no way to know how accurate it is.
- Glassdoor is the most popular site to look for reviews but requires users to review a company (current or as far back as three years). This is often a deterrent for users.
- Anonymous reviews are not always anonymous. Listing your location and position is enough to deduce who wrote the review, and there may be reprisal from the reviewer's boss.
- Suspicious of reviews; some could have been sponsored to make companies look better.
Our initial validation found:
- 92% responded yes when asked if workplace culture was essential to accepting a job offer.
- 54% might not have joined their current company if they had known more about the culture..
- 61% did not find sufficient information about company culture online.
When asked, "If you could change one thing about these rating websites, what would it be?" these were some of the responses we focused on:
- "There's no way to combine all that data you get into one view."
- "To be free and accessible for everyone."
- "Reviews wouldn't be linked to user profiles."
- "I'd appreciate a way to verify that the review was actually from that person."
- "I think many companies love to boast about their culture online, but don't always back that up when you start working there."
Problem Statement: How might we empower Gen Z job seekers with information about a company's culture, so they can confidently join a new team aligned with their values?
Our aim with the MVP is to create a resource for job seekers to quickly and easily find reliable reviews of company culture.
There are two main features we have focused on for the MVP:
Company Culture Ratings and Reviews
- Focus on workplace culture.
- Users can see the average score from all ratings for a company.
- Users can see the average rating for each Cultural Topic.
Rating and Review Submission
- Users can review their company.
- Ratings are based on 1-5 stars and include an option to write a review to elaborate on their rating.
- Ratings and reviews are verified using an email check.
Lofi & Hifi Mockups
Iterative Design Learnings
Our user testing showed great enthusiasm for our product and some actionable feedback. With this feedback in mind, we made a few changes to the product.
Users felt that our initial design was too dark. They preferred a lighter view on the desktop.
We heard that the text on the site was a bit too wordy and didn't seem to use a voice that would connect with Gen Z. They also felt that there was too much text in general.
While anonymous reviews are essential from the standpoint of the reviewer, job seekers were hoping for the ability to see the job title and office/team location for reviews. As a compromise, we've included these fields in the review form but made them optional.
Our app is hosted on Heroku. (Link here)
The tech stack we used consisted of React.Js and Tailwind CSS for the front-end and Node. Express, and postgreSQL for the backend.
Initially, we had a few more features, but had to scale back due to timeframe. The descoped features did not impact the ability of the MVP to solve the problem of making it easier to find culture information for Gen Z job seekers
Ensuring that all of our API requests meet the needs of our relational tables in our database.
Our initial research and user testing have revealed many additional features that would impact our target users.
We see the potential for further product development by adding these features, but the timeline to develop any of these features is well beyond the commitment of our team.
*Requires reviewers to include this information for filtering. At this time, it is optional. We could require the information but allow the reviewer to choose if it is displayed to keep it anonymous.
Product Manager Learnings:
- Trust in the knowledge and experience of each team member as Subject Matter Experts.
- Keep asking questions, and go beyond what I think I need or expect.
- Juggling different timelines and priorities of each team member and allowing room for experimenting with the best ways to work as a team until we find the right fit.
- Acquiring new knowledge, understanding new facts, developing new skills, challenging what you already know, making mistakes, and iterating really do make your end product better. It’s sometimes hard to remember that when you work alone.
- It’s never too late to make a change. Whether you are pivoting your career or updating your UI components, I found it important always to strive to be agile and be willing to improve whatever you are working on. It is even more satisfying if you can do it as a team.
- The value of collaboration can’t be denied. I don’t think I understood the complexities of the design hand-off until I did it. The feedback I received from Deise and Andrew was invaluable and pushed me to be more empathetic towards the dev team.
- I learned that it’s best to ask for help when you hit a blocker.
- Communication is key, especially when it’s time to have hard conversations.
- Finally, working with team members with more experience is definitely amazing because of the wisdom gained.
- I learned how valuable it is to collaborate with designers along the process of the development project.
- I learned to be resilient while researching new solutions to fix the issues.
- I learned strong Front-End skills.