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GA Profiles

Revamping General Assembly's hiring platform.



GA Profiles

Revamping General Assembly's Recruitment Platform


Client:  General Assembly
Responsibility:  UX  |  Prototyping  |  Project Management
Teammate:  Liz Speidel

GA Profiles is an online recruitment platform for General Assembly's global alumni network. The goal of the project was to redesign GA Profiles to efficiently match employers with candidates that have the desired skills and culture fit. 


  What do hiring managers look for in candidates?  


We studied the hiring practices of employers and recruiters to design a hiring experience that streamlines the process within the context of General Assembly's network of graduates.

Our main challenge was to present an overview of candidates that was comprehensible and personable, without being overwhelming.



Project Scope

Currently, GA Profiles could be described as a minimum viable product. Its development had focused primarily on the use  by the graduates, so it severely lacked features for the employer-facing side.

The product had not been tested on any users, so an important part of our tasks included evaluating the existing usability to determine areas of improvement. 

Our proposal focuses on improving how employers interact with GA Profiles – more specifically,  how hiring managers and recruiters would discover, contact, and track candidates.


Introducing GA Profiles

Discovering Candidates


Saving a Candidate


Messaging a Candidate





Project Timeline


Stakeholder Interviews

We defined the scope and goals of the project through our discussions with the stakeholders in various departments of General Assembly.

These stakeholders included members from Products, Business Development, and Career Outcomes Team.


Goals for revamping GA Profiles:

  • Optimize a seamless, intuitive and enjoyable experience for employers. 
  • Provide direct communication between employer and graduate through platform.
  • Increasing the visibility & desirability of GA Profiles in the recruiting community.


  • Increasing the data metrics available from GA Profiles, including job outcomes.
  • Increasing metrics of success, including number of jobs posted monthly, number of messages between employer and student, and  job outcomes from GA Profile interactions.
  • Building a scalable platform that will grow with GA.

Research:  User Interviews and Existing Usability

We began our research by talking to 8 hiring managers and recruiters about their behaviors, preferences, and needs during the hiring process.

We learned about their preferred platforms for hiring (of which we studied in our competitive analysis), what types of information qualified a candidate, and their procedures after identifying qualified candidates.


We then validated what our users were telling us in our interviews by asking them to walkthrough their hiring process on the existing GA Profiles. From these observations, we quickly identified the pain points and opportunities for improvement. 




Takeaways from User Interviews

Research Insight: Balance.png

Hiring managers and recruiters expressed their desires for understanding the candidate's background, personality and goals, while not spending too much time on each candidate's profile. 

Our main challenge became providing the candidate's most important information in the appropriate amount that optimized the hiring manager's comprehension of the candidate.


In terms of candidate qualifications, we noticed an important trend of two types of priorities among hiring managers. Within a spectrum between culture fit versus work quality, the users stated the importance of one over the other in how they qualified the candidate. 


Takeaways from Usability Testings of Existing


Existing Search List Page

Most of the users we tested wished for a search feature to discover candidates using keywords by specifying certain skills, experience and even interests.

Users also expressed the difficulty of distinguishing candidates within the list. Hiring managers wanted an easy way of comparing candidates.

Additionally, users wanted more filtering options, such as experience levels, education and specific industry. 


Existing Candidate Profile Page

All of the users we tested were overwhelmed by the amount of text, with some of them not bothering to read at all for that reason. 

Instead, these hiring managers indicated the need for:

  • concise summaries
  • prominent work samples / portfolio
  • noticeable links to personal websites & social media
  • insights into candidate's personality for culture fit
  • the candidate's desired job type and role
  • the candidate's story (background and future goals)

Some things we noted to reconsider from the tests were:

  • how the candidate's skills were represented
  • the often overlooked Q& A section on the side bar
  • the ignored personal quote on the top banner

User Journey of Existing GA Profiles


Synthesis:  Personas

From the insights gained user interviews and initial usability testings, we identified two personas of users

These personas represent the dichotomy of hiring priorities –culture fit vs. work quality – each learning more towards different ends.


Research:  Competitive Analysis

Three categories of competitors were studied – Major Recruiting Platforms, Minor Recruiting Platforms and Bootcamps – to evaluate features that we could adapt for GA Profiles. 


Feature Comparisons


Comparing the features of the existing GA Profiles to those of the competitors (identified during stakeholder & user interviews), it's obvious that Profiles lacks a lot of the features that it should have. 


Feature Analysis of Competitors


Synthesis:  Feature Prioritization


We then prioritized the list of potential features identified in the competitive analysis and user interviews.  

These features were arranged according to the level of impact and degrees of expectedness to organize them into groups of Must, Should, Could and Won't  (MoSCoW method).

Then these prioritized features were arranged by the respective pages they would fall under to aid in the design phase.


Design:  Ideation


The new design guideline borrows portions from General Assembly's existing company pattern guidelines. The notable specification is that the primary palette of GA Profiles are now given interactive roles. 

The use of red indicates interactions for communicating with candidates, blue with the Profiles system, and yellow with tasks related to keeping track of Candidates.


Validation: Usability Testing and Refinement


The usability testings of our Low-Fidelity prototype received overall positive feedback from hiring managers and recruiters. We addressed most of the pain points and needs expressed during the tests of the existing platform.

Changes made between the Low-Fidelity and Mid-Fidelity prototypes focused on refining the UI and clarifying the call-to-action interactions for communicating with candidates

The transition from Mid-Fidelity to High-Fidelity prototype involved adding color, photos, and interaction animations.


New User journey Based on Usability Testings

User Journey Proposed.png

Annotated Final Wireframes

Much of our design efforts focused on the profile cards of the candidates. The final design provides a more complete snapshot of the candidate's uniqueness and qualifications. 

The proposed profile cards also improves the scannability of the Candidate List Page and the Profile Page.


Annotated New Pages

Under the new global navigation option My Dashboard, users can access all of the new tools added to GA Profiles.

These new features equip employers with more efficient ways to track and hire General Assembly graduates.