IBM Logo


Creating efficient internal career mobility tools that champions employee growth.

How can IBMers have a smart and assistive experience discovering their next (internal) job opportunity and envisioning their career?

Role: UX Researcher and Designer
Advisors : 

Why is moving internally harder than moving externally?

"There were many people who just gave a one liner saying the person does not have the required skills."

"...You cannot automate networking..."

"...IBM complicates things, there's got to be a better way"

-8 Sponsor user interviews

-8 Informal user interviews

-20 Research Articles

-24 Survey respondents

Key Insight

If employees believe their current organization is failing to recognize their value, make career paths more visible to them, and make sure employees feel you are investing in them, they’ll stay.

Hill Statement

We want internally job seeking (WHO) IBMers to

be surfaced with relevant job opportunities (WHAT)

to make moving within IBM easier than moving out (WOW)


Frustrated Francine


4 Years @ IBM

Software Developer



Company Reputation

Career Development


Francine is ready to explore new opportunities. They feel unengaged in their current roles. They start looking for opportunities internally within IBM before looking outside.

As-Is Scenario

Internal tools are difficult

Francine has begun their internal job search leveraging tools like GOM and Your Career at IBM. However, they are met with many technical difficulties and clunky experiences.

Job recommendations are irrelevant

Francine also receives job recommendations via email, and finds them exciting but most are not representative of her current job role needs - especially around location and skill level. She feels like the algorithm is restrictive - and doesn't provide much flexibility.

Empty feedback

After a long struggle, Francine was able to find a couple of jobs to apply to, however, there were no updates and feedback on the status of their application.

Silent Rejection

After a while, Francine finally receives an update on their applications. They were rejected from each job and not given any useful information on why they was turned down. Francine is now 2x more likely to leave IBM.

Goodbye, IBM

Francine turned to the external job marketplace and within a few weeks they received and accepted a job offer.

What do internal IBMers need?

Need Statements

Francine needs a way to have opportunities surfaced to them so that they can find the  best  job for them internally.

Francine needs a way to be able to link their interests and skills so that they can evaluate and be matched with the next position 

Hill Statement

In IBM's Enterprise Design Thinking Framework, hills are statements of intent written as meaningful user outcomes with the elements Who, the What, and the Wow.

We want internally job seeking IBMers to be surfaced with relevant job opportunities to make moving within IBM easier than moving out.

Job recommendation algorithms are based on Role and Location, which is inflexible for IBMers.

From the Watson Recruitment research we now understand that the current recommendation is based on role and location. These four categories are same role-same location, same role-similar location, similar role-same location, and desired role-similar location.

31% of IBMers identified as being satisfied with the current job recommendation emails from IBM. (n=16)

"I can only go through 7-8 applications and most aren't relevant."
-Sponsor User 3

"I don't know if the job posting is outdated or not"
-Sponsor User 6

IBM's research on 'Social Listening' explains using user's interests and focus areas by understanding any initiatives they take on online platforms. For IBMer's internal use it’s IBM's YourLearning and YourCareers pages. We could utilise the data we can get from these pages. Skills from the Expertise Section, Strength in skills by the courses they take, and so on. We also took the best examples from other platforms like LinkedIn's 'Search Personalisation'.

One of the main concerns with job recommendation is the lack of skill match. It is not just an information the IBMers need. It’s a parameter that other companies LinkedIn and Google use to match relevance of a job postings. Not just that but, thousands of IBmers are upskilling themselves on YourLearning. They need their upskilling effort to reflect in the growth opportunities they receive.

"Unfortunately, the vast, vast majority of recommendations I get do not even match my skill set."
-Sponsor User 2

"My upskilling effort is not reflected in the job opportunities I receive." -Sponsor User 7

"How do I find opportunities outside of my existing job ladder?"
-Sponsor User 8

From asking IBMers to card sort parameters they look for and prioritise during job search, we found out, that ‘new opportunities’, ‘roles’ and ‘responsibilities’ are what IBMers seek when looking for a growth opportunity.

Finding 1

When searching for new job opportunities, IBMers are prioritizing for new challenges and growth potential for their careers.

Finding 2

IBMers rank skills as one of the top 3 information they would like to see in a job posting

Finding 3

IBMers view career growth as getting promotions, increasing scope of work, and the ability to apply their skills to new domains.

To-Be Scenario

To-Be Scenario where IBMer searches for jobs and sets preferences, gets updates via email notifications, send application through a pre filled form and waits for updates and acceptation.
To-Be Scenario where IBMer searches for jobs and sets preferences, gets updates via email notifications, send application through a pre filled form and waits for updates and acceptation.

Experience Based Roadmap

Our Users Can..

Cupcake Journey

  • Set open to explore
  • Set job preferences
  • Get notified on new jobs based on preferences via 
  • See skill-job match %
  • Apply on GOM (Global Opportunity Marketplace)
  • View full job details on GOM

Birthday Cake Journey

  • Get job recommendations via Slack
  • Get notified on new jobs based on 
  • See job recommendations on ICM(internal career mobility) platform
  • Save applications to review/apply later
  • View/contact hiring manager/team
  • Share job posting

Wedding Cake Journey

  • Pre-filled job application
  • See the status of their application within the tool
  • Instantly give feedback if they incline to the recommendation or not
  • Can find learning material for the skills required in a certain role
  • Find information on BU (Business Unit)
  • See more details of the posting on the same page

Cupcake Journey

Job Preferences Overview

Francine would be able to enter Your Career as an entry point in the dropdown menu and be able to click into the explore page. When she lands on the explore page, she would be greeted with the job recommendations tab and be able to navigate to a tab called job preferences to set filters that would impact the algorithm to present her recommended jobs that are relevant to her goals and values.

Step 1 – Entry point

Your Career at IBM

Step 2

Explore page

Step 3

Job preferences tab

UI Overview

When Francine clicks on the job preferences tab she would be able to turn on email preferences, get a high level overview of her filters set. Their filter would be organized in categories by cards and they would have an option to clear and save their editted filters. Upon doing important actions, they would be given feedback through modals and notification toasts.

Card Filtering

When Francine looks at their card filters, they would be able to see the card description which details the category information. They can see their filters sorted by colour to help them differentiate between the filters. 

When Francine wants to add filters, they can choose to search and add filters through a multi-select modal or choose to be recommended filters.

Adding Filters

After getting a quick overview of the site, Francine can now go in and begin setting their filters. By setting filters, they will have more flexibility and control over the job recommendations they receive by searching and adding their desired filters. They now receive more relevant recommendations that aligns with their goals and values. 

Checking recommended

They can also be assisted by checking the recommended filters the system has for her based on her profile in Your Career. 

Turning on emails

In addition, Francine can choose to opt into receiving job recommendation updates daily, weekly or monthly by switching her email updates toggle on. A notification toast will pop up to provide her feedback if the emails are successfully turned on or not.