Candidate experience in recruitment has always been top of mind for employers interested in attracting top talent. But as the hiring process went remote during the pandemic, recruiters had to get creative amid virtual interviews, virtual onboarding and, well, virtual everything! 

As the old adage goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Recruiters found innovative ways to hire candidates in remote settings without sacrificing a positive candidate experience. And according to new global research from Indeed, many of these changes are sticking as we emerge from the pandemic.

So how can we better connect with candidates in an increasingly virtual world? This is what Daniel Wahlen, Indeed’s Director of Client Engagement, Global Enterprise Marketing explored at Indeed Interactive 2021. Let’s find out how to create a positive candidate experience in this brave new world of work.

Leverage recruitment automation for a fast and engaging application process

The first stage of the jobseeker journey includes everything from the moment they begin researching a company through the days and weeks after they submit their application. With many employers urgently hiring for open roles, the ability to quickly source and screen candidates is crucial for success. Watch this clip to learn about the creative ways employers use recruitment automation to reduce time-to-hire and improve candidate experience.

The use of recruitment automation — whether for basic communication, like confirmation that an application has been received, or assessments to screen qualified candidates — frees up recruiters’ time to spend on more value-added activities, like building relationships with prospective candidates. For instance, Indeed offers a collection of 135 assessments across a wide range of job levels and industries to help employers screen candidates. And Indeed Hiring Events, an integrated hiring solution that automates time-consuming steps in the hiring process, was created to help make recruiting faster, simpler and more human.

Support candidates during a virtual interview

This brings us to the next stage in the hiring journey: the interview. Today, employers rely on virtual interviews more than ever. According to Indeed data, while the number of phone interviews on Indeed increased 60% over the past year, video interviews increased a whopping 1,600% — and use of video interviews has stayed elevated above pre-pandemic levels. Even industries that hire for in-person roles — like retail, warehousing and healthcare — continue to leverage virtual interviews to quickly vet candidates, especially when hiring at scale.

The interview is an important opportunity for employers to connect with candidates. In this clip, Daniel discusses how we can bring a more empathetic approach to the virtual interview process so candidates can put their best foot forward.

In addition to practicing empathy, recruiters can also take practical steps to empower candidates before and during the interview. Candidates are probably already nervous, and the potential for technical difficulties in a virtual setting can add to their stress. In fact, Indeed research shows that nearly one in five candidates experienced technical difficulties during their virtual interview. Make sure to provide information about what to expect, like the length of the interview and how many people will participate, as well as detailed instructions on how to use your virtual interview platform. Offer an email, phone number or chat support line for candidates if they experience any technical glitches.

Use a mix of in-person and virtual onboarding for new hires

Once you’ve found a match and made an offer, the candidate experience doesn’t end there. Onboarding is another important step that, when done right, leads to higher productivity and retention rates for your new hires.

What’s next for onboarding? This may follow the same trend we’re seeing with “hybrid organisations” — companies that plan to be “remote-first” or offer a mix of in-person and remote work settings post-pandemic. This provides the flexibility of remote work with opportunities to regularly connect with coworkers in the office. 

Watch this clip to learn how to make virtual onboarding a better experience for your new hires in remote or hybrid workplaces.

The massive shifts we’ve undergone these past 18 months provide a unique opportunity to rethink our approach to hiring. We can leverage recruitment automation where it counts to create a faster, more engaging application process; set candidates up for virtual interview success by providing them with key resources and practicing flexibility and empathy; and be purposeful with communication and team building when onboarding remote or hybrid employees. This will create a consistently positive and seamless candidate experience that leads to happier hires and lower turnover — even in today’s increasingly virtual world.