Can you be agile when you “ship software”?

Posted by Benjamin Grohé

June 17, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

Our head of product, Ben Grohe, shares how we found a way to use multivariate testing during the app development process.

Soon after we started developing our first mobile app, we realized that we are now building “shipping software,” rather than a website or web services. There are fundamental differences between the two, which proved to be a big challenge for our team—particularly, given our desire to continue using best practices of agile and lean development.

Product development at TheLadders

Before I continue, allow me to quickly give you some background on how we develop products at TheLadders. We live and breathe agile and lean development day in and day out. If you haven’t read it already, my colleague Michelle wrote a great article about how we work in cross-functional teams in our company. If I had to sum it up, our mantras are:

  • Communication and working software over documentation
  • Actual data and user feedback over assumptions
  • Product iterations over extensive planning

Topics: TheLadders Dev

You have only 72 hours to land your dream job!

Posted by Alexandre Douzet

June 10, 2013 @ 04:38 PM

Since moving back to a free model for employers last October, we have made it easier for them to post jobs on TheLadders, yielding a 116% year-over-year increase in Q1 2013. One of the features we offer is the ability to rate the applicants either a “Fit” or a “No Fit,” which improves the matching experience on both sides.

In assessing this selection process, my team and I reviewed more than 100 jobs from this year’s first quarter and analyzed the 4,242 applications received for those positions. Typically, our jobs receive an average of 14 applications but for the purpose of our study, we selected jobs that received at least 15. We needed a large sample size to better understand and identify differences in behavior, and to ensure that the results were statistically significant. So, what did we learn?

    • 17% of the applications received a “thumbs-up” rating, meaning they were a fit for the job
    • 39% received a “thumbs-down” rating and, therefore, were not a fit for the job
    • 44% of the applications were not rated at all

Topics: TheLadders Insights

Employee Spotlight: Rakib Azad

Posted by Mike Deissig

June 05, 2013 @ 05:04 AM

TheLadders welcome its newest member to the team, Rakib Azad!

A company is only as good as the employees who build it, and TheLadders is no exception. We're proud to have an extrordinary pool of talent in our New York office, and we’d love for you to get to know some of our awesome teammates who make TheLadders the leading job-matching service for career-driven professionals. Here's a quick Q&A with Rakib Azad.

 

Hi Rakib! How long have you been with TheLadders?

Just over two weeks.

Welcome aboard! What is your title at TheLadders and what are your responsibilities?

Sr. Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A). I will oversee the financial budgeting, forecasting, and analysis for the overall business, while also analyzing everything in between for key business insights.

Topics: #TheLaddersLife

Part 2: What “Lean UX” looks like - a story of product development

Posted by Michelle Zassenhaus

May 24, 2013 @ 07:46 AM

The second part in a multi-part series about the "Lean UX" approach to product development at TheLadders.

Last time we met, I introduced the concept of "Lean UX", and discussed how we're putting it to work in the development of our mobile application. We got our arms around the core hypotheses, and did some quick tests with users. Next, we wanted to see how our concepts would shake out with recruiters - because after all, we can't make job seekers happy if they aren't hearing from the people who have the jobs.

The Meaning of "Team" (and why it's essential to Lean UX)

Before going further, please allow me a brief interlude on what it means to be a "team" at TheLadders. We work in a loose agile/scrum approach (more buzzwords!) - which essentially means that cross-functional teams take on a problem statement and solve them independently. While the size of the teams vary, they often follow this configuration: development team (3-5 engineers including Q/A), a scrum master (or tech lead), a product owner, a UX designer, and a Visual Designer. (Additionally, copywriters work across teams.) The scrum master, product owner and UX designer form a sort of trifecta of team leadership, but in general, the entire team collaborates around creating solutions.

Topics: #TheLaddersLife, TheLadders Dev

Getting “Uncubed”

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

May 22, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

Sean talks about getting "uncubed" with some of the most influential folks from NYC's technology sector.

I'll admit it, I love attending job fairs. Sure, it's an incredibly exhausting experience to talk to one person after another for several hours. However, if you thrive on interacting with others, it is also hugely stimulating. I've attended a number of job fairs lately looking for great engineers to join our team here at TheLadders. 

Uncubed, which we attended Friday, is one of my favorites. It bills itself as something of an "un-job fair." I'm going to respectively disagree with them. Uncubed is everything I love about job fairs but taken up a notch. The energy level is higher. Perhaps it's the music, or the food, or the alcohol that flows freely. Maybe it's the electricity that is New York City and its citizens. Whatever it is, Uncubed feels different. Louder. Stronger. Faster. Better.

Topics: #TheLaddersLife, TheLadders Dev

Igniting my network with NAPW... and Star Jones!

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 15, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

I recently attended the 2013 NAPW National Networking Conference. Approximately 1,500 successful business women from all over the country gathered in New York City for a day of learning, networking, and inspiration.

If you’ve read my articles on The Career Chronicles, or follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you’ve probably read about my involvement in the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) before. NAPW is an exclusive network for professional women to interact, exchange ideas, educate, and empower.

Topics: #TheLaddersLife

On a first-name basis with success? Your mom chose your name wisely.

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

May 06, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

TheLadders urges mothers to use nicknames for their kids.

Happy Mother’s Day! In celebration of all the hard-working mothers out there, we recently conducted a study to see if the names they choose for their children could have possibly dictated their future success in the workplace. First, we analyzed data around first names from TheLadders’ nearly 6 million members against variables such as industry, salary level, and location. We wanted to prove the null hypothesis that what your mother names you makes a difference.

Second, we populated a few lists, hoping they would generate some additional questions. We started by aggregating and sorting names that were at the top of each list:

Top five C-level names, by gender, in ratio to their overall frequency:

Topics: TheLadders Insights

Not hearing back from recruiters? We know why.

Posted by TheLadders

May 02, 2013 @ 07:30 AM

TheLadders conducts a study on job-seeker behavior using “eye-tracking” technology to help job seekers close up the job search "black hole."
By Dan Cronyn

GazeTrace

Anyone who has ever looked for a job knows the drill: find job online, send resume, wait, and never hear back. If you’re sending out dozens of resumes, like most job seekers do, you’re likely familiar with this broken process -- and frustrated when you don’t get a response. In the careers industry, this broken loop even has a notorious name: “The Black Hole.”

Recently, TheLadders conducted a study on job-seeker behavior using “eye-tracking” technology to determine how we could help close The Black Hole while leading job seekers to their perfect job. We analyzed how job seekers view job postings, what they actually saw, what they concentrated on, and what they totally missed.

If you’re unfamiliar with eye tracking, it’s a way to record and analyze where someone focuses on a page, and in what order they do it (see cool visualizations above).

Topics: TheLadders Insights

Part 1: What “Lean UX” looks like - a story of product development

Posted by Michelle Zassenhaus

May 01, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

The first part in a multi-part series about the "Lean UX" approach to product development at TheLadders.

There are lots of buzz words flying around in product development these days, but what they are and how they are applied can be hard to grasp. I'd like to pull the curtain back and share how we've been applying “Lean UX” in product development at TheLadders.

My team has been working on an iPhone application for our job seekers, which is due to launch in the coming months. As Lead User Experience Designer on the project, I have collaborated closely with my team, applying a "Lean UX" approach - which TheLadders is known for, thanks to the great work of Jeff Gothelf and Will Evans, my predecessors here. In this multi-part series, I'll share with you how we got through the early, foggy stages of product definition quickly; how we built out the guts of our app while constantly testing with users; and a cutting-edge long-term study we're running with real users for the last two months of development, while we refine the last set of features.

Topics: #TheLaddersLife, TheLadders Dev

Shaping the paths of tomorrow’s leaders

Posted by Guest Contributor

April 24, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

TheLadders takes time to help shape tomorrow's leaders at a local high school career day.

By Rachel Kessous

Last week, we held our third annual Career Day at Richard R. Green High School of Teaching. Career Day is an afternoon when professionals from across the city come to the school to speak with our students in small classroom settings about their career paths and industries. The big idea, of course, is to expose our students to careers they may never have even heard of through a compelling personal connection, in hopes of inspiring them to pursue whatever it is that they really love and are excited about during and after college.

What’s unique about this event is that every single one of our 550 students, regardless of academic standing or self-motivation, gets to participate.

Topics: #TheLaddersLife