Redesigning IATA recruitment journey
Energy & Mobility
Insights & Concepts
Prototyping & Testing
Applied Methods

→ Qualitative user interviews
→ Best practice research
→ Creative brainstorming
→ Rapid prototyping
→ User testing
→ Design sprint

Digital tools

4 days

The capability to attract and retain the best talents is essential for every organisation. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) realised that a new vision together with innovative processes and tools were required to bring their recruiting process to the next level. As a focus, they wanted to make sure that the benefits of working at IATA were clearly communicated to potential candidates.
Qualitative research
User testing

Qualitative research

To kick-off the sprint and understand the context, two IATA teams conducted several qualitative interviews with potential candidates, hiring managers and HR personnel. They did dig deep into their experiences and uncover needs and pain points of all involved stakeholders.


The teams analysed the gathered data from the interviews – enhanced with industry best practices and learnings from competitors – to identify opportunity spaces. As an outcome, they developed a detailed customer journey of a potential candidate and pinned down concrete problems related to the attraction and onboarding of new talents.


Applying various creative brainstorming methods, the teams came up with a large number of ideas to address the identified challenges. After a careful evaluation based on specific criteria like “added value for candidates” or “effort to implement”, each team chose one high-potential idea to further develop in the next steps.


To make the selected ideas more tangible und further sharpen their core function, the teams developed tangible prototypes. This also had a positive impact on the alignment of the team members and clarified the value proposition behind each of the proposed solution.

User testing

At this point the solutions were still based on many assumptions, so the team went out and tested the prototypes with relevant users. On the one hand the ideas were validated by the user feedback, which informed a data driven decision to either pivot, continue or pull the plug on the concept. On the other hand, the interaction with the users triggered new ideas to further improve the ideas at hand.

“When people think about innovation, HR is often the last topic that comes to mind, but to my mind HR is the first place to start, and so it was fabulous to work with Spark Works who really helped us bring the principles of Designing Thinking to a four day sprint where we redesigned our approach to recruitment. They took the time to understand what we wanted to achieve, did extensive research to support us in thinking about the challenges in new ways, and throughout the week kept challenging us to keep the candidate, not the process at the heart of our thinking.  More than that, they are a real pleasure to work with and infused us with an energy and spark that continues to inspire our thinking.”

Jane Hoskisson - Director Learning & Development at IATA


detailed customer journeys developed


ideas generated and evaluated


solutions tested and presented to the board


In 4 days of intense team work, the teams engaged with potential candidates to understand their recruitment journey within IATA, created a large number of ideas and developed and tested two prototypes. These were later implemented to sustainably improve the recruitment process and attract the top talents on the market with a clear vision of what working at IATA means.

Project Lead
Linda Armbruster
Director Collaborative Innovation
Linda holds an M.A. in Strategic Design from the design akademie berlin. As a trained Design Thinker from the Potsdam and Stanford, co-founder of Spark Works and lecturer at the ETHZ, she builds and leads research and training programs in the private and public sector, blending methods grounded in Human-Centred Design to inform and inspire insight-driven innovation.
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