How to look at your career site from a candidate's point of view

Written by: Endouble Endouble

We all know that all organisations need to put themselves in their customer’s shoes when designing their products and services, and the same goes when designing your recruitment website. Luckily the majority of us have been candidates looking for a job before, so it is easy to put yourself in the mindset of a candidate. But of course all candidate journeys are different, so how can you ensure you really understand what is driving them to apply? And most importantly, how do you ensure they understand your value proposition? The answer is User Experience (UX)!

How to make the right candidates want to apply

During a breakfast workshop at the Endouble office, our UX designer Katerina Gavrilo showed how to make your recruitment site compelling enough to make the right candidates want to apply. In this blog we share the highlights.

What is UX?

UX is a consequence of a user’s internal state (predispositions, expectations, needs,motivation, mood, etc.), the characteristics of the designed system (e.g. complexity, purpose, usability, functionality, etc.) and the context within which the interaction occurs.

Source: Hassenzahl & Tractinsky

In short: UX is about how a user experiences a system. It’s important to always look from a users perspective when designing a product. Kate uses the ‘Prism of UX’ to explain what elements you have to take into account when getting into the users’ mind.


The first element of the UX Prism is empathy. Often we just assume we know what a user is looking for but we actually never used the product while designing it, resulting in bad designs, like:

A handy tool to get a better understanding of the users’ need is filling in an empathy map. This enables you to deep dive into the users characteristics.


Another important topic to take into account is context. Different users can have a different perception of the same product. For someone who is colorblind, a website with only red and green buttons doesn’t make sense.


UX is a journey. During the entire recruitment process a candidate will come across different toutchpoints. A fancy recruitment site is great, but it doesn’t make sense anymore when a candidate has a bad experience during the face to face interview because the hiring manager was not prepared at all. So, make sure you provide a consistent experience during the entire recruitment process. Ever thought of giving every candidate a little present, even the ones you rejected?


Often there is a difference between what people say they want and what they really want. Someone ordering a taxi is often not interested in the vehicle, but just wants to go from A to B in an efficient way.

What are the real needs of people who apply? What do they hope to gain? And what are their thoughts? What are their fears or frustrations?

Emotions Psychological needs

There is a difference between needs focussed on tasks (is it functional, reliable and usable) and needs focussed on experiences (when it becomes pleasurable or meaningful). Usually companies stop developing when the first three tasks are achieved. They deliver a comfortable products. But the ones who excel go beyond this, Tesla for example does not only deliver a car, but a great eco-friendly experience and in image-boost for everyone who has the privilege to drive this car.


The system is about translating a company’s strategy and users needs into a concrete visual design. This is how the process looks like:

But how a website really looks to a user depends on its brain:


How you perceive images depends on how you look at it. This Skoda video is a great example of how our focus of attention works. This might be a reason why certain things are not noticed by users even though they are presented on the page.

How to apply it to your own career website?

All in all a many nice insights, but how to apply this on your own career site? Keep in mind:

Your website has to be a clear story: Where are you? What can you do as a potential employee? What are the jobs you want your users to do (e.g. find a job, apply, sign up for job alerts)? Help users with their goals, lead them.

If you know your user, you know what are their main questions. Answer them!

  • Why should they apply at your company and not your competitor?
  • What are the values of your company? Do users relate to them?
  • How is it to work there? Who is working there?
  • Who the user is going to work with? What is my career path?
  • Are employees recognised for their work?

About the speaker:

Katerina Gavrilo: UX designer at Endouble
“I believe design that is focused on creating beautiful objects and coherent branding is only the tip of the iceberg. Design solutions must be integrated within the context of real customer interactions across different devices, with a clear journey and goal in mind.”

Are you curious how UX design can be beneficial for your organisation? Then don’t hesitate to contact us.