Yo, Hired. You’ve got a usability problem.

Today I clicked a Facebook ad for Hired — a tech-specific recruiting platform. Since I’m on the lookout for new clients (why hello there!) I figured I’d check it out.

The design red flags showed themselves right away.

After creating an account, I was brought to their onboarding flow. It appears to be 4 steps long. Little did I know, I wasn’t destined to see beyond page 1.

kk-writes-hired-CTA
you tease.

I select design as my area of interest. After all, UX writing is a commonly-recognized subset of UX design. UX design with no UX writer behind it is painfully obvious. It’s how you get awful, unhelpful error messages, like “There was an error.”

eye roll because of bad UX
Thanks guys, I really know what to do now.

Sadly, when I pick design, this is what I see. I can tell when I’m not wanted.

kk-writes-hired-skills-no-writer
that empty sixth space honestly kinda burns, y’all.

So, moving away from the “Design” category, instead I select “Other”, and I clarify that I’m a UX writer. I enter my skills, specify where I want to work and what kinds of opportunities I’m open to. I click that big bold “Check for Opportunities” button. I wait.

And I receive…this:

kk-writes-hired-error

Ok. That’s fair! I get it! UX writing isn’t huge yet, there aren’t any jobs for me. But here’s where the Hired user experience really go off the rails. This email is waiting for me:

Oh. I need to complete my profile? That would be really nice, because I’d love it if companies can find me later on, once they realize that they need my hot, sexy wordsmithing skills. I click through.

…and I’m back at the same page. The one that wouldn’t let me through before. I see those 4 steps, teasing me at the top of the page. I try again, to see if there’s any behavior here that I missed that will let me set up this junk. Same error message.

kk-writes-hired-error
not cute

All this is making me laugh, because if Hired had a UX writer on their team, that would be the person saying “Hold up. This email flow is messed up.”

So, lovingly, generously, I write their customer support department to let them know that their user path is jacked. People who aren’t even allowed to create profiles should NOT be getting an email inviting them to finish, that’s borderline sadistic.

And in the response from their customer support department, I get some INTERESTING stuff. Emphasis mine. [Brackets are me.]

So if a particular skill-set (like UX writing) is not listed as a selectable option on Hired, this does not mean we are unaware of the skill-set or find it unimportant. Rather, it means we do not see a demand for the role amongst our companies at this time. Hired is a curated marketplace which caters to the needs of its cos. [Your what? DAMMIT YOU NEED A WRITER.]
Regarding the “We’ll let you know if anything comes up” message you are receiving – this occurs when you select Other as your desired role. [O RLY. So, you were never actually searching for jobs for me, you knew I was an unwashed writer just from the “Other” selection. Nice to know.]
Rather than having you complete your profile now, the message appears to let you know to hold off so your time is not wasted. [Except my time was totally wasted, as I filled out the remainder of the page after Other, and your email led me back to the site to complete my profile.] We will contact you when UX writing comes into demand on Hired and you may then complete. [this sentence.]
Phew. There’s a lot wrong with this…whole situation. Beyond the irony of the dangling sentences in that customer support email, and the fact that Hired really seems to need a UX writer catching its messaging mistakes, there’s a more fundamental business problem here.

If you’re a curated talent site, shouldn’t you be in the business of cultivating an awesome talent pool prior to client demand? UX writing is on the way up…what’s wrong with getting ahead of that need? When a giant company comes to you asking for writers, you should say “Yes, let me show you the awesome talent we have on the site!”

Or will you be caught with your pants down, responding, “Er, let me email 100 people who halfway filled out a profile 6 months ago and then got frustrated and left.”

Good luck getting that talent back. And good luck landing those clients.

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