ReelHire. Research



UX/UI Designer & Developer


Research of a common recruiting process and ways to enhance it using videos.


Team & Stakeholders

Product Owner, Software Engineer, Recruiters & HR consultants

Tools Used

Interviews, observations, internet (secondary) research, process flow analysis, proto-personas, prototyping, participatory design sessions, user testing.

Initial Vision

ReelHire was envisioned as an online video resume service, aimed to enhance, optimize and simplify a recruiter's everyday job workflow.


Recruiting process could be enhanced and optimized using videos.

Target Audience

Recruiters where identified as most probable first adopters. Their goals, needs and motivations became our priorities.

Research Plan:

Pick Tools & Success Metrics

Understanding our assets, constraints, available tools, budget and research success metric.

Pick Industries

Identify and target specific industries in order to be efficient, on schedule and on budget.

Research Current Process

Understand the current recruiting process used and find opportunities to optimize and enhance it using videos.

Suggest & Test Enhancements

Run all of the new concepts by recruiters and HRs consultants. Validate ideas and determine the potential value of the service through their feedback.

Finalize New Process

Research had to result in a diagram of a new process, that would serve as backbone of ReelHire service.

Tools & Success metrics

From start we faced a dilemma of what research approaches and techniques to use. We had a limited budget and had to carefully plan it’s allocation to get results before we run out of money. Moreover we were working with people, who agreed to help us out of good will, so it was important to incorporate in our plan the level of commitment and the amount of time and effort they could afford and were willing to spend working with us. At the same time we had to make sure we were making the most out of their time and our interactions with them. 

Observations and interviews were our main tools for the inspiration the stage

The recruiters we were working with did not have a lot of time to spend with us, thus short in-person interviews were our best bet. Initially we planned to create questionnaires and send them out, but in the end abandoned that idea, fearing some of the recruiters might find it overly time consuming and would not fill them in. Or even worse - quit helping us.

Process diagrams were an obvious choice for us, since it was the fastest and the most efficient way to document process flows and communicate ideas of the alternative processes or enhancements. During our sessions we also tried to use the participatory design approach to actively involve our stakeholders in the process of brainstorming problems they are facing every day and together suggest process enhancements to eliminate them. However, these exercises were not particularly fruitful due to time scarcity and various other factors.


As a part of the research we also created several proto-personas based on the recruiters we were working with. This helped us to keep the end user in mind while brainstorm and design sessions. However, we did not go further than pro-to-personas as that would require more time and budget. Instead, we focused on recruiters' activities and routine, learning their processes and trying to identify if videos could fit anywhere.

We decided that a main metric of our successful research would be the sparkling eyes of the recruiters. If we could show them a flow, explain it and get an honest “yes, please please please, can you please do it asap” - that should have meant we were on to something.

FOCUS Industries

We decided to go with the industries that where most familiar to us and that we knew shared a similar recruiting process. Industries such as IT, Accounting, Finance, Banking 

We also assumed different recruiters were using slightly different processes of working with candidates. We didn't have time and budget to adapt to each individual process. Instead, we focused on finding the common features among all of the processes, combine them into a single general process and work with it.


Our first step was internet research. We browsed through articles about recruiting and its best practises, old and new ways. Also, since all of us had some personal experience looking for jobs, interacting with recruiters and going through interviews, we shared those experiences with each other, partially building our assumptions upon them. 

In order to start bringing value instantly our service needed to seamlessly integrate into an already established process

Once we were more or less acquainted with the process we turned to recruiters and HR specialists, interviewing them, analyzing their processes and how they worked with candidates. Particularly, we focused on the methods and practices they used to gather information about candidates before passing them to a client or a team. After analyzing the collected data, we mapped a unified process of how a recruiter works with a potential candidate. This was the process we decided to go with:

After analyzing the above-mentioned process, we felt that screening interviews were a promising area for us and decided to study them in more detail. Our main goal was to figure out what part of this process could we enhance with videos.

Screening interviews are generally meant to check two things about a candidate: Qualifications and Personality

Qualifications Check

Qualifications check is done in various ways, most commonly through reviewing a candidate's text resume, his or her references and LinkedIn profile. We felt this area was already overcrowded with quality alternatives to present your job experience and skills. Plus, our service was meant to be about videos and we didn't see how videos would help people convey their qualifications more efficiently, except for couple of specific professions that we were not targeting to cover.

Personality Check

Personality check, however, can be done either through screening calls or through online psychological tests. Only a small number of recruiters we interviewed told us they were using personality tests, leaving screening calls to be the single most popular way to evaluate a candidate's personality.


The process of a screening call is fairly simple: a recruiter contacts a potential candidate via email and offers to schedule a 30 min call via phone or skype. Then, a recruiter calls the candidate at a previously agreed time and asks a couple of standard questions to evaluate candidate’s personality and confirm previous experience.

Based on the results, we assumed screening interviews could benefit from using videos

After researching on the internet and questioning our consultants on the topic in more details, we got a decent enough understanding of the screening call process to start brainstorming on how we could possibly enhance it.

BRAINSTORM Screening process Flaws

First we started by brainstorming on the flaws of the screening calls. We felt there were a lot of repetitive meaningless actions involved that could be eliminated using the benefits of video, sound and automatization. The key flaws we ended up were the following.

Screening calls are repetitive and take a lot of time to schedule and conduct

First of all it takes a lot of time to schedule and conduct screening calls due to a fairly large number of people, who are potentially qualified for the job. Also, there is always some time required to spend on preparations before talking to each candidate. A recruiter can spend up to an hour per single candidate, even though a call itself takes an average of 25 minutes.

Secondly, during screening calls, recruiters tend to ask candidates the same standard questions. This process is repetitive, tiring and inefficient. And repetitiveness is the one thing computers and automated systems deal with the best.

BRAINSTORM Screening process enhancements 

After that we tried to imagine a flow that would eliminate repetitiveness and the need for scheduling. We used a service-on-demand philosophy and made use of the benefits provided by sound and video recording. We wanted something that would work automatically, without recruiter being involved in the process of getting information from a candidate.

We tried to imagine a different flow - automated, versatile and on-demand

Our main goals for the new system and process were: automated, versatile, schedule free and repetitiveness free. We started introducing different ideas and adjustments, using an extremely lean and agile process, going back and forth with recruiters, refining our ideas based on their feedback. We also developed a couple of standard scenarios to test our new ideas against. Finally, we mapped out a process all parties agreed to be potentially promising, easily integratabtle and such, that would bring value instantly.


New process description

When a recruiter is done checking a candidate's resume and feels that a candidate is qualified for a position, she enters her ReelHire profile and creates a questionnaire consisting of up to 4 questions. Then the recruiter sends a link of that questionnaire to a candidate. A candidate clicks the link, and is transferred to the ReelHire service, were he records 30 seconds video answers to the recruiter's questions at his own pace, with a certain deadline. Once the candidate is done recording the answers, he submits them back to the recruiter. Recruiter receives a notification, that the answers are available to watch and can watch them anywhere, anytime.


The new process was estimated to potentially decrease the time a recruiter would spend evaluating a candidates personality by 90% compared to the time required to conduct a screening call.

For example: Instead of ~40-50 minutes per person a recruiter would now spend around 7 minutes, including the time to open the app and navigate to a candidate's video answer. 

New process was estimated to potentially decrease the time a recruiter would spend to evaluate a candidates personality by 90%

Additional benefits:

  • Eliminated the need for scheduling calls, since a candidate was free to record video answers any time  - recruiter could video answers whenever it was convenient

  • Same questionnaire could be sent to multiple candidates instantly 

  • Ability to duplicate and re-use old questionnaires for new positions