Lead User Experience Researcher

San Francisco, CA
Posted on:
December 3, 2020

Handshake’s mission is to democratize opportunity for students and early career talent everywhere. We believe that every student should have an equal opportunity to build a meaningful career regardless of where they go to school, what they major in, or who they know. The Handshake community includes 14 million students and young alumni at more than 700 universities. We connect talent from across all 50 states with over 300,000 employers recruiting on Handshake - from every Fortune 500 company to thousands of local small businesses, nonprofits, startups, and more.

We welcome all people. We celebrate diversity of all kinds and are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We seek to hire, develop and retain talented people from all backgrounds. Individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups strongly encouraged to apply.

If you are not sure that you’re 100% qualified, but up for the challenge - we want you to apply.

Design at Handshake

We’re designing the future of career discover and recruiting for students; from their initial school acceptance letters to their first job offers, we’re committed to understanding and supporting each student as they navigate one of life’s most complex journeys.

Our design team is growing and we cover a lot of ground. We collaborate with every team across Handshake—from product management to engineering; from sales to support—because incorporating user insights from across the business leads to better design outcomes. Creativity thrives in diverse environments, and we’re committed to growing a design team that reflects the diversity of students we serve and support.

Your Impact

Handshake is hiring our first full time user experience researcher reporting to our student design manager on our growing design team. In this role you will be responsible for establishing both foundational user research on our consumer product as well as developing a program to produce ongoing, qualitative insights to help strategically position us for success. You will work closely with product designers, program managers, product partners, and data scientists to help form hypotheses from raw data, run research sessions, and inform our roadmap.

In this role you will have the opportunity to develop Handshake’s research program from the ground up and grow in your role as the team scales.

Your Role

  • Independently plan and lead research initiatives from beginning to end
  • Establish methodologies and best practices when conducting research across a diverse set of students and employers
  • Advocate for our customers by sharing research findings in written reports and presentations.
  • Collaborate closely with product, data science, engineering, and other stakeholders to identify and prioritize research needs
  • Establish research as a discipline within Handshake’s design organization
  • Leverage both generative and evaluative research methodologies to understand students' career discovery journey.
  • Screening, recruiting, and scheduling research participants
  • Note taking, analysis and organization of research data.
  • Key member of a small, highly leveraged design team, and supportive of the organization’s ability to engage directly with users.
  • Conduct iterative research in conjunction with designers, product managers, and engineers.

Your Experience

  • University degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Human Centered Design, Sociology, Psychology, Information Science, Computer Science, or equivalent experience.
  • 8+ years industry experience.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.
  • Experience managing cross-functional projects/teams.
  • Experience conducting focus groups, in-home interviews, and usability tests.
  • Excellent communication and organization


  • Stock: Ownership in a fast-growing company.
  • 401k: We care about your ability to save for your future.
  • Family Focus: Parental leave and flexibility for families.
  • Fitness: Free fitness facility in our office building
  • Time Off: Flexible vacation policy to encourage people to get out and see the world.
  • Healthcare: World-class medical, dental, and vision policies.
  • Goodies: Whatever hardware and software you need to get the job done.
  • Team Fun: Regularly scheduled events, sports, game nights, book clubs.
  • Learning: Learning & Development opportunities for you to grow your skills and career.
  • Great team: Working with fun, hardworking, nice people who are committed to making a difference!
  • ...and much more!

We value diversity of all kinds, and are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome people of all different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives.

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