To shift the employment conversation in Hackney from securing entry-level jobs to thinking long term, Hackney Council wanted to help residents consider their future goals. Encouraging residents to consider alternative paths into work, including apprenticeships, training and other forms of career development would help people in the community secure good work.
Working with the council, we helped create a digital employment support service for Hackney residents.
We spent time with the existing employment service to better understand the needs of residents and staff, providing a broad understanding of the employment context in Hackney. We carried out interviews with residents to understand their individual needs and what they value most from the service. Working with the staff, we also observed recruitment applications, assessments and one-on-one sessions to build a detailed understanding of the end-to-end experience.
Our research led us to understand:
- a great landing page is critical to gain interest in the service
- a light and mobile-friendly interface motivates people to complete the registration process
- residents are willing to provide information online if they can see the value
- the online registration should support advisors but not be a diagnostic tool
- barriers to online registration should be kept low to encourage people to use the service
- softer questions around describing yourself makes residents feel the service cares about them
Working our way through the design process, we reframed the original brief of a localised jobs board to prototype and test the idea of a service that recognises residents at all points of their employment search. By carrying out user research with clients and advisors to build on discovery findings we quickly designed and developed Hackney Works, a digital service that supports residents to access different pathways into employment. The service went live in March 2018.