We all know one or two...or a hundred people who either announce their achievements as loudly as they can or fudge information on their resumes in order to meet the increasingly high expectations of recruiters. In today’s social landscape that encourages the prevalence of ‘flex culture’ and massively rewards people with extraordinarily high potential and exceptional talent, it is not difficult to see the effect of these in the way job seekers present themselves to potential employers especially on the most popular social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

One of the biggest problems that recruiters face today is ascertaining the credibility of the candidates that they discover via such sites as LinkedIn.

A few years ago, LinkedIn shipped a feature that they believed would help tackle the issue of credibility and integrity in hiring - that feature was the ‘Search for References’ button. On the surface, this is a genius idea- one that allows recruiters to easily find people who potential candidates have previously worked with and reach out to them without the candidates having to know or go through the usual method of filling out a form and voluntarily nominating a referee. Well, as much as it was a great product, there were a few blockers to its adoption namely:

  1. Despite the prospect of ensuring the credibility of the potential candidates, it put the credibility of the ‘secret referees’ in jeopardy based on the probability that any of the referees selected by the recruiter may neither have worked very closely with the candidate nor had a good work relationship with them. Thus, the future of the said candidate would inadvertently be hinged on an ex-coworker who may or may not provide an unbiased view of the candidate.
  2. The button was barely visible amid the other button commands due to the position. This is strictly a user experience (UX) issue but as we all know, UX is very important in the adoption of any technology. This is corroborated by the widely popular book, ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ by Don Norman.
  3. Also, neither the consent of the candidate nor their referee nomination is taken into consideration during the user flow which goes against the traditional way in which employers have sought to verify candidates in the past. As much as this is also a UX issue, it is a business issue and a recruitment issue because; it undermines the integrity of the employer’s hiring process and it is a confirmation that old ways of doing things can not be changed overnight but perhaps, it could work if it is not ‘changed’ but simply ‘tweaked’.

There are a few other flaws that can be identified with regard to the LinkedIn recruitment product which is not a negative - no product, especially digital products is 100% without flaws or lots of room for improvement. This is why the 'Agile' approach to software development works and is increasingly popular.

It was on this note that The Authentic Placement System (TAPS) team reached out to us to collaborate with them to help build a recruitment platform that addresses the issues of credibility and integrity by tackling the shortcomings of existing platforms such as LinkedIn, which is currently being used by over a half a billion people in the world. The TAPS platform intends to help companies save time, effort, and money in verifying potential candidates by doing so on their behalf.

Thus, in order for us at Alta Labs to build such a platform, based on our research it was clear that we needed to pay particular attention to:

  1. User experience (UX) design
  2. User Interface (UI) design
  3. Permission of the candidate to be verified
  4. The nomination of referees by the candidate
  5. Simplicity and ease of access to candidates’ information by recruiters
  6. Speed in which companies can access the data required for them to make hiring decisions.

All six factors listed above can actually be compartmentalized to fit under the UI/UX umbrella which meant that the TAPS project needed to have a simple but great product design that can be accessed easily by recruiters. This informed our decision to build a two-sided ‘marketplace’ that can be easily accessed from any office computer system - a Web Application. This product centered heavily on product design and front-end development execution.

Product Core Features

A screenshot of the candidate user's profile on TAPS including the 'Verify Me' button.

The TAPS platform includes the following features:

  • A prominent ‘Verify Me’ button that allows the user to give consent for their nominated referees to be contacted
  • A general candidates’ portal that allows the candidates to upload their professional and academic qualifications.
  • The option for companies to opt-in to have access to verified candidates as well as unverified candidates.
  • A subscription model for the companies to subscribe to the TAPS service and gain access to the full product suite.

CTO’s Take

By: Celestine Omin

Every employer understands the importance of having the right team members; a set of people who buys into a vision then decides to pour their lives into that vision and make it a reality.

But how do you find the right person? How do you get the gems in the sea or resume that is thrown at you every time you put out an advert for a role? There's no magical way to do this and above all, if you decide to take on this task, it's time-consuming.

TAPS, a product that we are really proud of has helped address this problem. Much more than a recruitment platform, it offers you an opportunity to meet the finest and most qualified people for any role an employer would love to fill.

We have had an amazing time collaborating with the TAPS team to make this a reality. From idea, product requirements to product design, it’s been a beautiful experience all through.

TAPS is that tool that we strongly believe will help employers cut through the noise and get to the best person for the job.

What We Delivered

An image of the candidate search results on the companies' side of the TAPS recruitment platform.

A breakdown of the full product suite as delivered by Alta Labs on this project is as follows:

  1. Web application for Candidates portal
  2. Web application for Companies’ portal
  3. Marketing website
  4. Admin back-office portal for the TAPS team
  5. Business Intelligence tool