Sports Reference LLC (https://www.sports-reference.com/) is searching for a User Experience Researcher to lead our user research efforts. Sports Reference currently serves a still-growing 20m monthly users through our Reference sites and our SaaS business line at Stathead.com (https://stathead.com/). Our core purpose is to be the trusted source of information and tools that inspire and empower users to enjoy, understand, and share the sports they love. Can you help us learn from our users (and potential users) so we can better fulfill this purpose?
Our sites are used worldwide every day by professionals and non-professionals alike. They are: Baseball-Reference.com (https://www.baseball-reference.com/), Basketball-Reference.com (https://www.basketball-reference.com/), Pro-Football-Reference.com (https://www.pro-football-reference.com/), Hockey-Reference.com (https://www.hockey-reference.com/), SR/College Football (https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/), SR/College Basketball (https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/), FBref.com (https://fbref.com/), and Stathead.com (https://stathead.com/).
Please visit our jobs website at https://sports-reference-llc.breezy.hr/ and submit your resume and a cover letter for this position. We will begin reviewing applications the week of August 22 and phone interviews will be scheduled after Labor Day (September 5). We have provided a general outline of our interview process here: https://www.sports-reference.com/job-interview-process.html
Our Purpose and Values
We will be the trusted source of information and tools that inspire and empower users to enjoy, understand, and share the sports they love.
- Respect for our users, the athletes we cover, and our team;
- Craftsmanship in building tools and products;
- Reliable tools and services that meet our users' needs every day; and
- Data democratization. We publish many data sets for emerging and underserved sports. For instance, the New York Times covered our recognition of the Negro Leagues as major leagues in the summer of 2021 (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/15/sports/baseball/baseball-reference-negro-leagues.html).
To meet these expectations, we encourage team members to participate in company discussions and share new ideas, features or potential solutions to problems.
Our product team is growing and our UX Researcher will play a crucial role in this group. We regularly engage with our users through interviews, surveys, customer success, and social media, but we're looking to incorporate user research into all facets of our business. Our UX Researcher will be key in expanding our recruiting reach, promoting continuous discovery in the company, and turning the insights we've gained into exciting new features and products.
We envision this as a full-time role, but for the right candidate we would consider part-time arrangements.
Goals and Tasks for Your First Year (In rough order of importance)
Must-Reach Goals and Tasks
- Develop a strong understanding of our Reference and Stathead product lines and how they relate to the sports we cover. We DO NOT expect you to be a sports expert. Some interest in sports would certainly help you get up to speed, but foremost we value your ability to build trust with users and discuss THEIR fandom and their jobs to be done.
- Develop a deep understanding of the different types of users we have for our different products, from the media and front-office executives to hobbyists. From this understanding, you will be asked to enrich our entire team's understanding of the needs of our existing and potential users.
- Lead end-to-end research projects.
- Expand the reach of our user research recruiting efforts. A huge percentage of our traffic comes from search engines. This group has been difficult to target with our current research practices. You will identify ways to recruit these more casual users who have not yet developed a brand affinity.
- Schedule, conduct, and lead a steady cadence of interviews, surveys, and other research methods with a wide variety of users (in terms of demographics, familiarity with our sites, sporting interests, and ways they express their fandom).
- Develop a system for turning user insights into actionable recommendations. These recommendations could be changes to make to our existing products or they could also be new product ideas we could explore.
- Be an active member of our product team. Our product team is small—you will be the third dedicated member—but our product group meetings are cross-functional conversations between the executive team, data team, engineering, marketing, and customer success.
- Facilitate all members of the team to take part as observers during user interviews.
Nice-to-Reach Goals and Tasks
- Use a mixed method approach to combine qualitative and quantitative research to promote greater understanding.
- Identify ways we could apply more experiments to quickly learn.
- Produce low-fidelity prototypes for use in interviews (possibly with interactivity using a tool like Invision).
- Introduce any tooling you feel would be beneficial to our research process.
- Strong understanding of the strengths and shortcomings of different qualitative research methods, including when and how to apply them during the product development process.
- Complete projects related to company objectives as time and skills allow.
- Continue your ongoing professional development, which we will support.
- Look for ways to improve our existing practices so that user research remains a strength and advantage for Sports Reference.
Qualifications and Skills
A qualified candidate will satisfy the following:
- Evidence that you are capable of meeting many of the goals listed above.
- We will not consider applicants who do not have experience designing and conducting interviews, surveys, or other research methods.
- This position will have no direct reports at this time.
- Have a history of getting things done (and done well).
- If you don't think your application will have evidence that you can meet all of the "nice-to-reach goals and tasks" above but still are interested in the job and otherwise qualify, please apply. Nobody checks every box—we're looking for candidates that are particularly strong in a few areas, and have some interest and capabilities in others.
Salary range starting at $82k for U.S. based employees. We are a remote-first company and determine our pay range for this position based on the market rates for Philadelphia, our home base. The salary offered will be based on your experience and skill level.
For candidates outside of the United States, we will calculate a local market rate based on pay for comparable positions in that market and comparable benefits packages when possible.
Annual bonuses are variable and are tied to a percentage of the company's end of year profits and the employee's time worked and salary earned during the year. In the last three years, they have averaged 15% of annual salary.
Even though we are a small company, Sports Reference has a generous benefits package for its U.S. based employees.
- The total value of our benefits package is up to $30,000.
- We cover full health and dental insurance costs for full-time employees and their dependent children. We cover 70%-80% of plans for an entire family.
- We have a 401k with a match on your contributions up to 4% of your base salary. The 401k has many low cost investing options.
- We pay all premiums for company-sponsored life and long-term disability insurance for all employees.
- We provide up to $7,000/year in continuing education benefits.
- Even if you live in or near Philly, you have the option to work remotely as much as you choose. We generally work a standard workday, but with flexibility to flex hours within that framework.
- Any parent welcoming a new child to their family is entitled to 13 weeks of fully paid leave, and up to an additional 26 weeks at half-time.
- Employees begin with 18 days of PTO per year and an additional 8 paid company holidays and accrue sick leave at the rate of one day per month.
- We will generally buy you whatever equipment will make you the most productive.
- We typically will pay for reasonable moving-related expenses related to your acceptance of a position with Sports Reference. Please ask if you have any questions related to this benefit.
- We provide a $50/month remote work stipend to cover the cost of internet access and incidental expenses.
- For employees outside of the United States, we will work to provide equivalent benefits or additional compensation.
- Sports Reference's first site was launched in 2000. We have bootstrapped ourselves to 27 full-time employees and have no venture capital backing.
- We are willing to provide accommodations for candidates for whom the timing or structure of our interview process may be challenging. This may include early morning or evening interview times or provide payment to cover child care expenses if needed. If you are applying for a role where verbal communication is not a significant requirement, we may consider an alternative form of interview as is reasonably possible and suitable. Similarly if an extended period of internet connectivity is a challenge, we may consider an alternate form of interview. If we invite you to interview, please let us know of any possibly necessary accommodations.
- Our typical interview process is described at https://www.sports-reference.com/job-interview-process.html
- Sports Reference is a remote-first company. Sports Reference is located in Philadelphia and non-Philadelphia candidates will be considered on an equal footing to those who are local. Presently, all Sports Reference employees are working remotely at least some of the time. We have re-opened our office, but well over half of our team is full-time remote and those in Philly are in the office on days of their choosing.
- This is a full-time position.
- Employment at Sports Reference LLC is at-will and this position is an at-will appointment.
- Applicants are generally preferred to have a legal right to work in the United States. Please let us know in your application if you do not have the right to work in the United States. We have hired one employee located outside of the United States, so we will consider foreign applicants.
- We are a corporate sponsor of Women in Sports and Tech (https://www.womeninsportstech.org/).
- 100% of our merchandise sales support youth sports.
Sports Reference is a growing company, and your work will be highly visible and have a definite and immediate impact (Read about us in the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/sports/sean-forman-sports-reference.html) and The Athletic ($) (https://theathletic.com/1502056/2020/01/02/baseball-reference-at-20-after-spawning-a-1b-page-view-business-whats-next-for-the-website-of-record/)). We reach over 20 million users each month and served over 1.4 billion pages in 2021.
Sports Reference provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, civil union status, color, discrimination, domestic partnership status, domestic violence victim status, familial status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, gender transition, genetic information, immigration status, marital status, marriage to a co-worker, mental or physical disability or illness, military service, military and veteran status, national origin (including physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics), nationality, parental leave, pregnancy (including childbirth, breastfeeding or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), race (including traits that are historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles, including braids, locks and twists), religion, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual or affectional orientation (actual or perceived, whether or not traditionally associated with the person's designated sex at birth), status with regard to public assistance, transgender identity, unfavorable discharge of military status (less than “honorable” but not “dishonorable”), or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws and ordinances, or on the basis of sports franchise preferences.
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