Finding Talent In A Budding Industry
We partnered with Stonius to help them make recruiting in the cannabis industry better for employers and job seekers.
- Design and build a job platform that makes it easy to quickly sort through and find the most qualified applicants
- Design a website to collect a list of interested users pre-launch
- Create a design that stands out from the competition and doesn’t feel like the stereotypical cannabis site
- Landing page converted at 10%
- Launched the platform in October 2015
UI + UX Design
Web App Development (Ember.js)
Based on our current hourly rate
1 / The Story
Stonius is a classic startup story. Two brothers recognize a big problem in a rapidly growing industry that one of them is deeply involved in. Together they set out to find a solution and bring it to market. The two brothers are Geoffrey and Stephen; the industry is cannabis, and the problem is finding qualified candidates in a competitive industry with high turnover.
Geoffrey runs a successful dispensary business in Los Angeles. A couple of years ago he became frustrated by how hard it was to find good employees. Hiring is hard for anyone, but in a new industry, like cannabis, where turnover is so high, it was becoming a major problem. Turning to the internet was no help. The only job sites out there were sketchy, hard to use, a pain to look at and got very little traffic. So, Geoffrey decided to team up with his brother Stephen to build something better.
Stephen came to us in June for help designing a landing page that would educate people about their platform and build a mailing list of potential users. We quickly realized we worked well together, so after we launched the landing page, they approached us about helping them make their vision a reality in time for the fall harvest season. Four months later, the site was live, and Stonius is now hard at work acquiring customers.
"Working with Krit was the best decision our startup made."
2 / The Process
When we were getting started with this project, it was extremely important that we spent a good bit of time getting to know the industry and the unique problems it faced. So, to kick the project off, Stephen flew in from Arizona, and we spent a day conducting interviews and working through a condensed design sprint. By the end of the day, we had a thorough understanding of the industry and a complete information architecture.
- Differentiating the product from the competition was extremely important
- The application needed to be responsive and mobile-friendly
- The application needed to be extremely intuitive
- Privacy and anonymity were very important to both Stonius and their audience
Going into the project, we knew the design had to be head and shoulders over the competition. Luckily, the Stonius team had researched the industry, and they were able to come to us with clear goals for the project and a good idea of the challenges it faced.
Designing a system with multiple types of users is always challenging. In that regard, Stonius was no different. Being a job board has two types of users: employers posting jobs and job seekers applying for jobs. To help point each type of user in the right direction, we established a color code: teal for employers and purple for job seekers. Throughout the site, the colors act like trail markers to give a subtle visual hint as to which type of user screens and actions are meant for.
Stand out from the crowd
Other cannabis focused jobs sites were clumsy, didn’t work well on mobile phones, and looked like they had been designed back in the 90s. With Stonius, we worked hard to create a clean and professional aesthetic that gave the brand a more high-end and high-tech feel.
Many of our users would never interact with the site on a desktop computer. Whether it was employers that wanted to check to see if they’d gotten new applicants on their way to work, or potential applicants who were applying for a job while they were riding the bus or running errands. A lot of users would consume Stonius on their smartphones, so the site needed to be designed for mobile use first. This was especially important with some of the more complicated components such as the job application quiz.
Most of our end users would likely be fairly tech-savvy, but it would still vary. We needed to make sure that users could get in, find what they needed, and get out as quickly as possible with no hiccups.
"We were able to explain our vision and together we designed, built, and launched our product."
The secret sauce
At its core, Stonius helps employers quickly find and weed through applicants, so they can pick the best candidates for their jobs. We worked with Stonius to develop a simple, but effective, algorithm for ranking applicants. Every user who applies for a job takes a quick quiz as part of the application process. Then their answers are fed through our algorithm and the applicant's score, from 0 to 100, gets attached to their application.
To maintain privacy, we built an email relay to allow easy anonymous communication between employers and applicants.
Privacy is paramount
One of the things we were sure to focus on with Stonius was user privacy. Their users are working in the cannabis industry, so protecting their identities was, and is, extremely important. This presented several unique challenges.
For instance, we needed to make it impossible to determine if a known email address was using the service. That meant, we needed to pay close attention to the responses we returned from signup and login forms. They needed to be specific enough to be helpful, but vague enough not to violate user privacy.
We also wanted to give users a way to communicate without giving away their personal information until they deemed it was okay to do so. To do that, we created an anonymous email system similar to craigslist’s email relay that allows users to communicate anonymously through email using unique Stonius email addresses.