How We Accelerated Finding and Assigning Talent to the Right Project in Netguru

Anna Borysiewicz

Jul 14, 2021 • 11 min read
Netguru-Office

For a company like Netguru, finding the right talent for projects is a crucial but complex process.

Finding the right talent also influences the impression we make on clients, so it’s important for us to provide the right people as soon as possible. We want to select the best-fitting candidates and take into consideration not only client requirements, but also the developers’ and designers’ preferences.

Our Project Management Officers (PMOs) are the ones who find the right people and, since our company is constantly growing, we wanted to look closely at their process and improve it accordingly.

Let’s take a look at the process - starting from discovery to implementation - that enabled us to significantly shorten the time it takes us to send profiles of the right candidates to our clients.

Discovery

We started off with understanding how the process of selecting the right candidate for a project looks. It involves a few departments in the company, so the best way was to organize workshops and do individual interviews to figure out how each department is involved.

We’ve identified 4 key user groups connected with the topic - our Business Development (BD) and Account Management (AM) Teams, Project Management Officers (PMO), as well as Netguru’s clients and the Netguru Delivery Team (developers and designers). Understanding the pains, gains, challenges, and expectations towards the ideal process was a crucial matter.

Problems with the current solution

The current process of creating and sending a profile to a client was very complex. It required a lot of manual work, which included finding the right candidate, checking their profile, opening a PDF editor, manually editing the file, saving it, and sending it to the client.

Additionally, we had a separate application created for Netguru employees that enabled us to fill out important data such as skills, bio, responsibilities in projects, and previous experience, to name a few - which was not a very efficient use of the time of our delivery team members.

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The goal of the project was to simplify the process of finding, editing, and sending profiles to clients.

Here are some of the other problems we identified:

  • The overall look of profiles (which we used to send as PDFs) was not very modern and, since we are a company that delivers beautiful and useful software, we wanted our profiles to reflect this.
  • The profiles were not bulletproof in terms of formatting - for example, if somebody had more than 20 skills, they could take up a whole page
  • Skills were not grouped, so it was difficult to scan and check whether a candidate had all the desired skills (whether it was a specific framework, tool, etc.).
  • Some profiles were missing data, meaning that profiles ended up being inconsistent in terms of quality.
  • Grammar errors that needed to be manually corrected by the PMO team.
  • Outdated profiles, so developers needed to be asked to update their resumes
  • Problems with showing NDA’d projects.
  • Missing important information, such as project duration.
  • Members of the Delivery team were not aware of the process or the look of their final profiles.
  • And a few other minor issues.

To build empathy, we created example personas after interviews with stakeholders.

An example page of developer’s profile. Missing data and no skill grouping make it difficult to read.

Ready to make a change and set up metrics

We knew that all problems we discovered prevented us from running the process smoothly & efficiently. Apart from obvious improvements, we wanted to set goals for this particular project, to be sure that after implementing a new solution it would influence the whole organization in a positive way.

Some KPIs that we wanted to achieve:

  • Reduce the time from requesting talent to sending a profile to the client by at least 5 days.
  • Automate the process of composing a profile.
  • Use Salesforce and internal tools data to fill out the profiles.
  • Enable the Business Development team to edit profiles on their own to minimize bottlenecks.
  • Give members of the Delivery team the ability to edit their profiles and see the changes they made.

As soon as we knew what we wanted to achieve, we moved into the competitive analysis stage followed by designing the new flow of creating a profile as well as prototyping new solutions!

Ideation and design

Competitive analysis & collecting inspiration

To broaden perspectives and see the newest industry trends, we dedicated time to see what modern CVs looked like. We knew that our solution would have technical constraints, but we wanted to open our minds and find ideas for useful solutions. After collecting different examples, we identified interesting solutions and listed out ideas for pieces of data that we want to include in the resume.

High-fidelity prototype of user’s profile.

We also looked into our internal tools to identify which information we could use to maximize automation when creating a profile. Apart from Salesforce data that included general info, we incorporated information from Source - an internal Netguru tool. Its purpose is to share details about all projects in the company to give more insight to Delivery team members who do not have access to Salesforce (where all information about projects is kept).

In Source, people can also add their milestones delivered in the project, compose their bios, revise project history, and edit previous experience. This data was certainly useful when presenting a candidate to the client. Additionally, by giving people the ability to compose their own profiles, we wanted to raise awareness about its importance in the process of assembling teams for clients.

Rethinking the flow

Apart from the visual side of the profile, one of the major topics was to rethink the whole flow of delivering the right profile to the client. We mapped the current flow for key groups and indicated problematic moments, for example:

  • Not knowing the date of the last profile update,
  • Not being able to fill out the profile when the delivery member is on vacation,
  • Not being able to know if a project was under an NDA.

Long and complicated flow for creating and sending a profile to a client.

We wanted the new flow to be simple and straightforward. Our goal was to get rid of unnecessary steps (like updating the profile by the developer), and to create a system which updates itself on the go. Reducing the number of steps to the minimum would lead to significant time savings, a crucial factor when delivering a profile to the client.

Simplified flow for the PMO and BD Teams.

Prototyping and final design

The design phase required not only creating a profile visualization, but also interface views in Netguru’s internal tools - Source and Salesforce.

The main goal of this stage was to create a clean and easy to scan design. Our clients want to know who they are going to work with and what skills and experience a new team member has. We wanted the profile to look great not only when displayed on the web, but also in print.

Final UI for a user’s profile.

After creating wireframes and discussing them with the BD team to collect feedback, we moved to the final UI design phase. In the final visualization, we used our brand’s green colour to show small accents on the page but not to distract from the most important part - skills and experience. Competencies are grouped for better scanning. In the experience section, we added a tag to help to identify the company, as well as a case study link to read more about a project. The whole profile is much shorter thanks to a redesigned information architecture and grouped information.

The second major part of the project was to create a space for Business Development, Project Management Officers, and Delivery team members to add relevant information to profiles. We used Netguru’s internal Source tool and Salesforce to enable adding and editing information in the profile.

Editing skills and project history in Netguru’s internal tool, Source.

Each individual is able to assess their different skills as well as add their bio, edit accomplishments from each project, add case study links, and preview profiles. We found the preview option pretty significant, because people were instantly able to see how they're going to be perceived by future clients and therefore be more dedicated to delivering a polished profile.

Final thoughts & learnings

Redesigning the experience around crafting profiles was not an easy task. We had to take into account multiple stakeholders, legacy applications used to collect & store data, as well as current flows and processes - but we made it! Thanks to the profile redesign, we managed to:

  • Get rid of numerous old applications that no one was able to maintain,
  • Enable multiple people to work on profiles, which led to better quality of the resumes,
  • Significantly shortened the time needed to send a profile to a potential client,
  • Modernized the look and feel of the profile (that could finally be sent online and not as a PDF file).

Although delivering new profiles was a big milestone for us, the work does not stop there. One of the most important topics is maintaining the great quality of data so that the profiles won’t need major updates or proofreading. We still will monitor metrics and gather feedback from our teams as well as clients.

Looking back, there are key learnings that can be taken from the experience. One is to engage everyone that is part of the process - the initial workshops gave us a broad understanding of different perspectives, which resulted in an easier decision-making process. What is also important is to invest in educational campaigns - even if you create a great product or great process, it won’t be enough. Talk about the product with others, find promoters, keep the idea alive.

The more people know about the purpose of a project, the bigger the value for the organization. The last lesson is: Even the most complex project or task can be delivered. Divide the work into smaller chunks and use your teammates' brains to figure out the best approaches and solutions. By keeping things iterative and agile, you will get the best results.

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Anna Borysiewicz

Anna is a creative and passionate designer who loves crafting intuitive and easy-to-use solutions....
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