Learnings from demo day

Weekly Ship #5 | Demoing a baby product

We are prototyping a tool for teams to make the hiring process more human. We value transparency, so we share our progress here each week. If you like what you read, please subscribe, and if you like it, don’t forget to hit 👏 .

Working towards a ship date is sort of like (what I imagine) it is to watch your child go off to their first day of school. Excitement, anticipation, fear that others won’t see your baby for all of its potential. Two weeks ago, we demoed our first features internally at For the People, and had a few guests join us as well (thanks for joining us David & Ash! 👋). If you missed it, here’s what we demo’d last month. If you were there, you can skip along down to the section called ‘quick fix’ to see what we’ve changed since then.

  1. Candidate chat

This feature — handing over the keys to the company careers page to Mr. Hire — is the beginning of the candidate experience. A different way of gathering candidate data with a little sass. We wanted this to be fun, interactive, and most importantly, responsive — not a flat form on a website.

2. Pipeline

Behind the scenes, but necessary, Mr. Hire captures the data he’s collected from a conversation with a candidate and stores it in the database. Sift candidates by status, role type, and more. For anyone who’s managing their data in a GMail folder, this is an improvement on keyword searches, and if you’re using a Google Sheet, this is not dissimilar — just more robust.

Step 2: Automatically feed the database some delicious candidate data.

3. Chrome extension

This feature is a one-click add-to-pipeline Chrome extension that turns every member of our team into a recruiter. This feature is a direct response to the ‘recruiting is everyone’s job’ philosophy. We want to make it easy to recommend people to jobs, and help teams be proactive about buildling a pipeline of people they want to work with, rather than being reactive.

EEEP!

Here’s the thing. Demoing your product, even amongst a friendly and supportive crew like For the People & some of our guest attendees — is like that dream where you’re walking down the street TOTALLY NAKED. Take your product for a public spin and you become painfully aware of all the flaws. Gulp.

Here’s what we realised, almost immediately:

Our copy was hella long. Comically so. We got so carried away with the backstory & voice of Mr. Hire that it took minutes to get to the actual point: gathering data from candidates. We took some serious digital red pen to the page and have tidied up the experience for a swifter application without losing Mr. Hire’s sense of personality.

…so we shortened it. Take a look 👇.

We ran out of time to implement Slack notifications for the demo. No other explanation for this but that we ran out of time. The feature works just the way its sounds: Mr. Hire pops into Slack to let the For the People team know that someone new has applied for a role with the team by posting an update in the relevant channel (we feed all of our notifications into the ‘talent’ channel. By automating this, we hope to increase response time between company & candidate, and increase visibility of candidates across teams — beyond a single hiring manager. 👇

Slack notifications — now working!

Why no ‘Thank You?’. A tiny oversight, but our Chrome extension didn’t thank people for adding people to the pipeline or indicate that Mr. Hire had received our request to add them to the pipeline. Rude! We added an emoji indication that a new person had been added to the pipeline. See below in action👇.

If we learned anything over the last two weeks, it’s ship early and ship often. A little fear, anticipation and public demoing is good for a product. You’ll be better for the experience. Ask for feedback. Invite smart people to give feedback. Listen to them. Then prioritise and schedule your next demo in. What do you think? What feature are you most excited about? Least? Talk to us! I’m here on Twitter or you can drop me a note at amanda@forthepeople.agency.

Most products launch when once they’re completely polished and perfect. We’re committing to share our work on this bot as we go. We believe more feedback makes everything we do better. We’d love to hear yours. If you’d like to be notified when we launch our beta product, sign up here.

sydney via seattle. believer. growth @futuresuper. ex strategy @forthepeopleau. experimenting with writing.