Career Sites by Design: A Q&A with the Shaker Designers


Our approach to design at Shaker is one of the most unique and essential aspects of our creative process. Everything within our process and capabilities is geared toward providing our designers with as much freedom and horsepower necessary to shape the story and experience that our candidates are going to have across every aspect of the brand; none of which are more vital than our career sites. Career sites are the home of the brand story and will be the closest thing a candidate will experience that truly represents the heart and soul of the brand, culture, and workplace that awaits them.

Before joining the Shaker team, we all applied to positions through uninspired career sites that proved detrimental to employers and candidates alike. By recalling roadblocks we’ve encountered, we’re now able to pave a new path for candidates that leads them right to the information they need through our user-focused approach. We place ourselves in the shoes of our users and clear the path for them to easily get to where they need to be and deliver an amazing story along the way.

Every aspect of a career site sends a message to each candidate. A custom, well-crafted site draws on notes and experiences that resonate with candidates. When candidates experience a unique, dynamic, and engaging career site, they realize the authenticity of the message that is being delivered to them. The trust gained by investing in candidates at that stage is passed directly onto the brand and the job opportunity that is being presented. It creates stronger and more engaged candidates who view our clients’ offering as more than a job or application to be completed, but rather a milestone within their own lives. Their stories interweave and the candidates begin to see themselves in the story and culture they are experiencing.

The balance between all of our creatives, whether through design, development or content, allows these stories to come together in unique and amazing ways time and time again.

As VP of Creative, I’m proud of the work my team is creating. That’s why I’ve asked Shaker designers, Anthony Cruz, Celeste You, Sarah Kane, and Donny Chen, to dive into their perspectives on all things Shaker design.




DJS: How do you approach creating a career site?

SK: We approach career sites by working as a team to identify the client’s wants, needs, and problem areas, while cross-referencing their existing site (if they have one), social media presence, and career reviews. We always keep in mind how demoralizing searching for a job felt prior to working here…especially when a prospective employer’s career website was difficult to use. My approach for any website is to do my best to put myself in the user’s shoes and try to understand what their approach, needs, and experience should be, and then find ways to deliver that experience in the most engaging way possible.


DJS: What makes the Shaker design process unique?

DC: We’re involved in every step of the process, so we learn a lot about the brands and understand what the client wants and how to approach their problems to create an effective solution. Also, we’re highly collaborative. Most of the projects I’ve worked on have had multiple designers work on them. 

CY: Every client is really treated uniquely. We create a totally different experience for every client depending on what their needs are and what their candidate experience should be. It’s really exciting for designers as well. We get to create new things—we get to push the envelope. We have a whole team of specialists that all come together from the beginning and take UX first, talk it out, and build something great as a team.

AC: As designers, we come up with a lot of campaigns and concepts that influence the overall structure with a project. Since we collaborate so closely as a team, many times, an idea will pop up almost by accident and it ends up becoming the actual campaign. By exploring new ideas, we’re encouraging clients to take a bigger leap and dive a bit deeper. Because of our comprehensive strategy and experience, we’re catering our design process to each client while aligning with their corporate brand.


DJS: What’s the most impactful lesson you’ve learned during your time at Shaker?

DC: I’m learning how to create an experience with design. Now, I’m thinking more about how to create an experience that’s both beautiful and practical so that the content is able to shine without distractions.

SK: I’ve learned to trust the rest of the creative team, and to always push creative boundaries–within myself, my coworkers, and with projects. We start at the maximum that can be achieved, then scale back as needed.


DJS: What skills does the ideal Shaker designer need?

CY: Of course, the ideal Shaker designer should have a good sense of design and creativity, but also, they need to think of their work as strategizing. It’s not just building a pretty site—it has to be directly related to the client’s—and users’—needs. Also, a Shaker designer must work within the existing corporate brand and be able to narrow it down to incorporate our own employer brand. They need to understand how to push the envelope within its limits.

AC: Initiative and confidence are key. You have to be able to work independently and collaboratively. You need a strong belief in your ideas, plus the flexibility to watch them transform and evolve through the process.


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