Responses by Hector Garcia, chief innovation officer, associate partner; and Trevor Hubbard, global chief executive officer, Butchershop® Global.
Background: This site aims to create a consumerized global hiring experience for Nike and its family of brands. We transformed Nike’s employer brand, digital experience, technology, platforms and content to attract, recruit, hire and retain top talent worldwide. This extensive project involved numerous talented individuals and took more than a year to complete. We faced the challenge of making job searching as engaging as buying shoes, creating a database that matched candidate personas to teams, groups and jobs—as seen in the “Find Your Fit” application. Catering to a diverse, global audience, we ensured each geo was represented in the content and prioritized diversity and inclusion, reflecting Nike’s thoughtfulness and values.
Technology: The project was technically divided into four key elements. The first one was the front end. We aimed for a snappy, fluid experience where everything felt connected. To achieve this, we used React as our front-end framework with Next.js for server-side rendering. We also added an additional functional layer to the front end for easy integration of third-party features like chatbots and custom-tracking tools.
The second element was a robust, fully custom CMS. Our challenge was that Nike has many offices, and it was vital to showcase the specific benefits, lifestyles and microcultures of each location, along with attaching particular job listings to each site. We needed a comprehensive layer of localization since people worldwide access the site. We chose Django as the base for the CMS and built all the necessary customizations, including a custom UI and metric dashboards for tracking aggregate data.
The third aspect was the job postings themselves. Like any large company, Nike requires multiple options for talent tracking systems. Each global Nike office supported more than four talent platforms, like Taleo or Avature, and local offices could add more. Due to this fragmented ecosystem, we needed to create a Jobs API that would connect to each talent provider and unify the response for our CMS and front end. The Jobs API, or internal talent system, had its infrastructure, database and CDN; was fully independent; and solely focused on syncing and unifying job listings.
The fourth and final piece was the infrastructure and scaling strategies we employed. We created a Kubernetes cluster to define rules and metrics for monitoring traffic and server loads and to increase or reduce the number of instances for each service. Additionally, we ensured optimal performance worldwide by dividing our infrastructure setup into three main regions, each operating under different strategies.
The x factor was that we also built all this for other Nike standalone brands, like Converse.
Challenges: Building an extensive experience with functionality and tools for HR managers and recruiters at Nike posed two main challenges.
First, data management was a hurdle, as numerous teams, job data, geos, benefits, profiles and applicant-tracking systems were compiled and stored in different locations, hindering innovation. Our first step was centralizing and structuring the data to enable layering and tagging, such as persona information and behavior information for job search optimization. Our data teams and experience strategist developed a core data engine for managing thousands of jobs, making it easier to create new teams, jobs and content.
Second, content was crucial to build a platform that would improve recruiting and hiring top talent. Acquiring Nike’s renowned content was challenging, as much of it was in the hands of vendors worldwide, focused on marketing products rather than showcasing the work experience. Our idea, Look Closer, aimed to reveal Nike’s work culture worldwide. We compared the process to furnishing a beautiful house, making it inviting and comfortable for guests and family. We secured the budget and endorsement to create numerous videos and thousands of images by sending three crews to sixteen countries over six weeks, resulting in a content suite mapped to the site’s architecture. This hard work paid off, enhancing the overall experience.
Favorite details: The most impressive features of the Nike Career site include the job cart functionality, which enables users to add jobs to which they’re interested in applying. The Find Your Fit search tool helps users find suitable teams or jobs based on their skills, experience and personality. The site provides an insight into working at Nike locations worldwide, from Japan to the Beaverton, Oregon–based headquarters. Additionally, the team’s motion language subtly reflects Nike’s brand movement. These elements combine to create a powerful, delightful experience befitting Nike’s career site. Lastly, the speed of the site and the technology used to power its functions are top notch. You can truly feel it while browsing the site.
New lessons: We employed our Beat Failure® methodology to extract these learnings. Like most agencies, we started by asking the cliche question: What does success look like? After gathering responses, we held a Beat Failure clarity session with our client and team to explore what would make this project and career site experience fail. Numerous unanticipated failure points emerged that would have hindered success. We discovered that obtaining content from Nike was impossible, the job matrix and data sources were siloed, and we needed to navigate various stakeholders and decision makers. Addressing these challenges proved to be crucial as the project impacted every aspect of the global company.