Led the career site UX redesign for Sobeys, Canada’s second-largest grocer — with over 125,000 employees.
Canadian grocer Sobeys Inc. sought help to modernize and reformat their career site as a multi-branded hiring portal for all of Sobeys national retail banners.
The site needed to inform candidates of Sobeys employee value proposition for roles in retail, distribution, office, pharmacy, and allow for direct job application.
The site would be mobile responsive and bilingual. My role was to research and provide information architecture recommendations, design wireframes, direct user flow by role type, reduce friction points for applicants, contribute to the visual design, and prototype new features.
Leveraging compelling storytelling to answer ‘why work at Sobeys?’ research was conducted through an audit of the existing site, and a competitive analysis of Sobeys’ two biggest Canadian competitors. We also chose to review Kroger as the US equivalent to Sobeys, a national chain with multiple retail banners operating under the Kroger umbrella of companies. To help identify and validate design choices our strategy also focused on HR-related trends and key considerations when hiring millennials.
An audit of the existing site, coupled with a discovery session of CMS constraints helped to identify the following issues:
To get a better sense of how to position Sobeys as an employer of choice, it was important to understand how other retail employers and grocers were representing themselves online. We wanted to ensure that our site would engage qualified candidates and encourage their application, while clearly showcasing Sobeys’ value proposition to employees.
Intake questionnaires helped in discovering the benefits/differentiators across each department, in the employee’s own words. Short questionnaires were circulated across retail, corporate, distribution, and pharmacy.
Todays workforce is comprised of Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists
Our guiding principles
Our team initially explored two separate site structures using the following ‘how might we’ statements. Card sorting exercises helped our team group and categories the various sections we hoped to offer to candidates.
1) How might we allow applicants to browse opportunities by job family and gain a birds-eye view of the Sobeys career path structure.
2) How might we structure navigation based on the common questions and areas of interest users may have.
We continued this exploration through various iterations, numbering wireframes and page sections for easy reference and annotation, and to allow both our stakeholders, and copywriters, and developers to refer to specific sections by number.
After all of the feedback had been collected and wireframe iterations presented, a direction was agreed upon.
Working closely with Sobeys HR and internal developers, a structure was proposed with clearly labeled departments in four main career paths – retail, corporate, distribution, and pharmacy – while eliminating redundant sub-section and pages. An integrated ATS and search function make it easy for applicants to find roles by keyword or location and set job alerts.
Arial was chosen to be highly accessible to site visitors and best align with the constraints of the CMS the site would be developed on.
The brand palette provided direction but would require some adjustment to meet AODA contrast compliance.
Photography that complimented the brand palette would be prioritized.
Iconography using a light outline format would be chosen to match the various retail, corporate, and warehousing departments.
Multiple designs were explored by our team and tested with the client.
The site uses a responsive design based on a 12-column structure.
Our team prepared all the hand-off materials in accordance with the developers’ specs and answered any questions about the design or functionality of the website. The site is currently with the developing team, and a go-live date is yet to be determined due to client-side internal priority conflicts brought about by Covid-19.
All visual elements have been brought inline with Sobeys primary retail website, so the main retail brand and career site experience feel cohesive. Featured roles are displayed prominently on the homepage and are also filtered by career path or individual career path, so Sobeys can act quickly to fill key positions – such as the need for additional drivers and warehouse workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The site design is now streamlined and persona-driven, offering candidates the ability to see the Sobeys enterprise at-a-glance and easily apply to available roles across the country. Candidates can explore departments and roles with additional detail, and the ability to apply is always present.
Ultimately the site re-design delivers our key objectives: