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Written by

Kene Anoliefo


Published on

June 4, 2024

How Gigs used HEARD to interview 200 job seekers and create a customer persona.

Learn how Gigs, a job marketplace for hourly workers, used HEARD to conduct customer interviews and build a customer persona.


HEARD is an intelligent research platform that uses AI to conduct customer interviews. HEARD helps product and marketing teams learn from customers at key moments in their lifecycle, like validating customer needs before building a new feature or getting feedback after a new product launch.

HEARD uses AI to design research studies, moderate 1:1 interviews and create summarized insights reports instantly. As a result, teams are able to learn from customers fast and skip scheduling, moderating and analyzing interviews.

Gigs is a job board on a mission to empower the hourly worker.

Hourly workers like delivery drivers, waiters, and cooks are the backbone of the American economy. But most job boards don't cater to their unique needs. They often lack important data that hourly workers value, such as pay transparency and information on work schedules and shifts.

After stints working at Lyft and Uber on their driver marketplaces, Allen Narcisse realized that there was an opportunity to build for this underserved audience. He founded Gigs in 2022 with the mission of bringing hourly workers closer to economic prosperity by creating a transparent job board. Gigs provides hourly workers with important information including pay, commute time, location, and shift flexibility upfront so that they can easily find the best job opportunities for them.

Before HEARD, Gigs struggled to find time to complete research and schedule busy job seekers for interviews.

Gigs faced several challenges in conducting customer research. Because hourly workers have busy schedules, it was difficult to schedule in-person interviews. In fact, 90% of the job seekers that scheduled interviews with Gigs didn't show up.

Even though Gigs was growing fast, they didn't yet have a dedicated user researcher on the team. Team members struggled to fit customer research into all of the other tasks they were responsible for. And when they did, they weren't confident in the process given their lack of research expertise.

Gigs wanted to find a solution that would enable them to reach job seekers in a format that was convenient for their schedules and save their team valuable hours every month to enable more continuous learning.

Gigs chose HEARD because of the AI features that helped to design research studies, moderate interviews, and analyze the results.

For Gigs, finding a tool that could help their team design research studies was a huge win. Instead of spending hours agonizing over which questions to ask, the Gigs team could enter their learning goals and have the AI suggest questions that were unbiased and tailored to their objectives.

Gigs was also attracted to HEARD's AI-powered interviews. In these interviews, the AI adapts the questions it asks in real time to have a personalized conversation that can dig deep and collect important context.

"We wanted to go deeper with the job seeker. We had deeper questions about their drivers, their motivations, and their goals. A conversation is really the best method for getting to that and the AI driven process allowed us to scale that in a way that we couldn't do without HEARD," says Allen. It would also allow job seekers to participate in interviews on-demand at whatever time was most convenient for them, which could increase participation.

Finally, HEARD's automated insights report saved the Gigs team hours of work. Instead of spending days completing manual analysis, the AI could automatically identify key themes and trends in the data, and then create summaries and graphs for them.

"Analyzing insights might actually be the hardest part of conducting research. It's a lot of information to compile and organize in a way that the team can trust. We didn't have the resources or the capabilities to do that really well and so we needed the expertise of HEARD."

For their first HEARD study, Gigs wanted to create a customer persona to help direct their product roadmap.

Gigs wanted to build a customer persona that described the core needs, goals and challenges that job seekers face. This persona would enable their team to have a deep understanding of the job seeker journey and identify the top opportunities to focus on in their product roadmap.

Based on Gigs' learning goals, HEARD's AI designed a research study by building a discussion guide and recommending a sample size for the interview.

The Gigs team was able to train the AI Interview Moderator by giving it feedback on what they were most interested in learning. This gave their team confidence that the AI would have valuable conversations with their users.

After finalizing the study, Gigs sent the interview out to their customers. Job seekers participated in short 3-5 minute interviews to share their experience.

HEARD interviewed 200 job seekers in 48 hours and gathered key insights about their experience and journey.

After interviewing 200+ job seekers, these are some of the key insights the Gigs' team learned.

Key Learning #1: Gigs' customers are always looking for a job.

"One of the things that we learned that I still mention to my team often is that 60% of job seekers already have jobs. We thought that job seekers would come in once a quarter or twice a year to start their job search,  but they're constantly looking. That told us that the job seeker journey is persistent and continuous," Allen says. With this information, the Gigs team prioritized features that could help job seekers consistently discover new opportunities and quickly apply for them.

Key Learning #2: Job seekers want more transparency about the application and interview process.

"One of the biggest insights that we learned that seems obvious now but wasn't obvious before the HEARD interview, is that jobseekers wanted to know the interview steps. For example, if you're applying for a job at Taco Bell, how many steps in the interview are there? That's a really great value add in terms of what we can put on a job listing. We would have never had that insight without HEARD."

Key Learning #3: Resumés aren't built to showcase the skills that many hourly workers have.

"The resume is designed for white-collar jobs. For entry-level jobs, there are other characteristics that could be showcased, like attitude or reliability. The insights from the interview gave us confidence to pursue a different design for how a job seeker can showcase themselves."

With these valuable insights, the Gigs team was able to prioritize key strategic features for their product roadmap that would further differentiate them from other job boards in the market.

HEARD enables Gigs to build customer research into their monthly process by saving the team time.

"HEARD saved us hundreds of hours of work and allowed us to touch hundreds of job seekers that we wouldn't have otherwise," Allen reports. "It's like having an additional person on your team that's able to help you learn about your customer in ways that you couldn't without."

Before HEARD, it took the Gigs team months to complete a handful of interviews. Now, they can gather impactful insights to support their product strategy in just a few days.

Each month, the product and marketing teams gather to discuss priorities and choose a research topic to focus on. In the past few months, they've run studies to learn more about their biggest touchpoints with job-seekers: the job listings page on the website and their Daily Gigs email. HEARD helped them get feedback on how clear, user-friendly and useful each of these surfaces were so that the team could identify ways to improve them.

HEARD enables Gigs to prioritize what to work on, and quickly learn about what job-seekers need in order to make the best decisions fast. Even as an early-stage startup, they are building a new muscle around infusing customer insights into everything they do.

"One of the first values that I designed with the company was to learn every day. For us to be the leading company, we need to be the fastest-learning company. And HEARD enables that mindset and that value for our entire team."

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