Helping design a solution for a “Homeless Inclusive” (HI) Future: Phase 2

The aim of the HI Future project is to “create a scalable and sustainable solution for the employment of formerly homeless individuals”. After completing initial user research in Phase 1, we proceeded with Phase 2 which would focus on the design of a solution.

As we wanted to work iteratively, but only had a set number of days to play with, we ended up working on 3 different solutions in short design sprints which followed this general layout:

A timeline of our work for Phase 2 from Sprint 0 to Sprint 2, taken from our Show & Tell presentation A timeline of our work for Phase 2 taken from our Show & Tell

Main highlights from Phase 2

Sprint 0

A 5 day design sprint focusing on business recruitment processes, which resulted in a prototype for a more inclusive set of interview questions and candidate scoring.

“The tools created - to improve inclusive interview techniques, better surface people’s hidden potential and enable longer-term support - will empower all employees to thrive. The work is testament to Paper’s contextual thinking, sensitivity in working with vulnerable people and passion to improve society.”

Lauren Coulman, Product Owner for HI Future project and Founder of Noisy Cricket

Prep

We spent time recapping our insights and user needs, mapping out user journeys, conducting more user research and prioritising which design ideas we wanted to focus on. We held a Co-creation workshop where we gathered all our users (businesses, people with insight into homelessness (PIH), and third sector organisations) into a room to discuss, collaborate and ideate potential ideas for our next sprints.

The chosen solution was a HI Future platform where PIH could search for jobs that are more compatible with their specific needs and circumstances, and where businesses could post job adverts using our template to create more inclusive job ads.

Sprint 1

The focus for this sprint was to look at how PIH could efficiently find suitable jobs on the HI Future platform. Our prototype was a ‘Candidate Q&A’ where people would answer questions about themselves, their circumstances and what they’re looking for in a job, and their answers would be used to filter available jobs that best matched their needs.

Sprint 2

The second sprint looked at the business side of the platform. We prototyped a ‘Job Ad Builder’ template for resourcing teams and hiring managers to post a new job on the platform. We looked at how we could change the format, content and language of job adverts to ensure they were inclusive, and provided relevant information and support that PIH would need before applying for a job.

Outcome

Initial results from our usability testing were positive. The Candidate Q&A made PIH feel more in control when looking for jobs and they were happy to share their information as long as they knew what it was being used for and could give consent. The business participants were comfortable using the Job Ad Builder and some said it took less time to fill out than their current processes. We also observed that users were more mindful of the candidates when filling out the Ad Builder by thinking about how they could flex their processes to help accommodate the candidates’ needs.

The project is now in its development phase and we look forward to seeing what comes next.

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