At Experteer, we aim to provide senior level candidates with all of the tools necessary for professional success. Our executive search experience is one of the core parts of the Experteer service. We’re excited to announce a new and improved job search experience for our registered users, available in all country versions starting in August 2015.
We spoke to Nina Zimmerman, our VP of Product and Engineering, and Wesley Stuurman, our Senior Product Manager, to learn more about their vision, their journey, and what our users can expect from this revolutionary new upgrade in the executive job search experience.
Experteer was founded 10 years ago, and the website launched in 2006 – next year, the company will celebrate its first decade of providing senior professionals with the only online career service tailored to executives and their career ambitions. Since its release, Experteer has been a pioneer and innovator for career networks. “Before Experteer launched its original product,” says Nina Zimmerman, “a good executive search experience wasn’t really available. In fact, most online job search experiences were almost universally terrible 10 years ago.” When it comes to how Experteer changed the game, Zimmerman names features like specialized filters that allow users to find jobs based on location, function and industry, as well as Experteer’s access to exclusive salary information and benchmarking for each position on the platform and searching exclusively for headhunter positions. These features, groundbreaking at the time of their release, are still effective, but Zimmerman, Stuurman and the Experteer product team felt that the search experience and interface could use an upgrade.
Zimmerman gave her team a mission: “Create the best executive search experience that you can. Give the customer what they want, and in the best way possible.”
Back to the Basics
With that in mind, the team started moving forward with the creation of a new and improved executive job search experience
“Late last year, we had a look at the search experience for our users and decided to start from scratch,” says Wesley Stuurman, Senior Product Manager.
Zimmerman, Stuurman and their team of developers began to consider how to best optimize the Experteer experience for candidates on the site. They started by implementing “Elastic Search,” a technology upgrade that isn’t visible to the users, but drastically improves the experience.
“Changes like these made us really rethink our search. We wanted to go back to the basics, and define what we could do to make Experteer an ally for executives and senior professionals out there that are looking for a new challenge,” says Stuurman.
The Right Opportunities for the Right Person
The Product team came to the conclusion that although job searching is a fairly common service, no other company was offering a personalized job search experience. Stuurman wanted to be the first, and he wanted to do it right.
“We started with this idea that we need to give our users the ability to manage their own journey, from searching for jobs, to finding, storing and applying for them. So we’ve created this cockpit for each user that is totally unique to them. Right at their fingertips, every user has their recent searches and saved searches, and all other relevant items, like the jobs a candidate applied to, all in one place.”
The entire search page has undergone a drastic makeover. But they didn’t stop there. Zimmerman realized that when it came to creating the ultimate personalized search experience, Experteer had a secret weapon.
“As a company, we’ve been sitting on this incredible asset for years: all the data that candidates gave us in their profiles, and the information we gain from headhunter and recruiter job postings,” says Zimmerman.
Now, in the new search experience launching this August, this treasure trove of information will be used to customize the user’s search results.
Stuurman says, “I am incredibly proud of our personalized search results. If a candidate gives us a profile with relevant information, we take that information and match it with the positions we find for the candidate. We’ve been playing with this internally for the past few weeks, and it’s super exciting.”
For example, users who search for “director” or “manager positions” will receive results that match their profile input. Candidates who have noted a background in IT will be shown available job opportunities for IT directors or management, while a candidate working in HR will be shown HR management positions. No other career services on the market are offering an experience like this, and Experteer’s Product team is extremely proud of these new features, and excited to see how users all over the world will take advantage of this technology.
The team has also added the ability for users to specify their particular “Expertise” while searching. For example, when a developer searches for a new career opportunity, they can indicate whether to include skills like Java, C++, SAP, and so on. Says Zimmerman, “When a candidate is honing in on the right career choice, it’s so important to pinpoint the aspects of a job that you’re good at, and the ones that you don’t want to feature in your next position.”
On top of all this, it was a mission of the team to build an incredibly smooth user interface. Zimmermann wanted the product to actually feel and look different to anything else out there in the career space.
The User Comes First – The Importance of Customer Input
Zimmerman and Stuurman recognize the significance of listening to the user. Relying first on data – information like where users spend the most time onsite, how they’ve responded to past changes and features in the product – the developers considered how to best optimize the overall search experience. But they also involved the users directly – by allowing candidates to test the service’s new features, and even inviting some users to visit the Experteer headquarters in Munich to try the search experience alongside the development team.
Stuurman also notes that feedback directed towards the Customer Service team is taken heavily into consideration. For example, says Stuurman, users who had tested the new design wanted to have a choice between viewing jobs in a card style, or in a list. The product team listened, and implemented this option into the final product, allowing users to flip through all available job opportunities in their desired layout. Stuurman feels that this kind of two-way communication is an integral part of conceptualization: “It really showed us that our users are different, and that they require choices when looking for next career challenge. Building a better executive search is a collaborative process, and our users are an important partner in this. Big thanks to all those that provided us with input and feedback.”
More to Come
As all tech companies and start-ups know, today’s users are dynamic, and the senior professionals using Experteer are no exception. With Experteer apps available for Android and iPhone, the mobile experience is also a top priority. Candidates can start looking forward to an optimized career management experience in the upcoming weeks, for Android, iPhone and web apps.
For today’s executive on the go, the sky is the limit, and the Experteer product team is hard at work developing the best possible career service for the users. Says Zimmerman, ““I have a vision to be best in class, to really focus on the product and what the customer truly wants.”
The new Experteer executive search experience will be introduced to all candidates worldwide in August 2015. Not a member of Experteer? Sign up today and experience our new search – your next career move is only a few clicks away!