3 Ways Hiring Leaders Are Improving The Candidate Experience In 2021


Posted April 6, 2021 by Mark Perna

The rise of tech, automation and diversity is changing the game for candidates and the HR professionals who hire them. Mark’s article, “3 Ways Hiring Leaders Are Improving The Candidate Experience In 2021,” published at Forbes.com on March 25, 2021.

Last year, hiring managers pivoted to meet the challenges of a pandemic-struck workforce. Businesses turned to virtual technology to vet and interview candidates, expanding their searches to include remote workers in a more permanent capacity.

Now, it seems that the best of these changes are going to stick.

According to new data released today by HireVue, hiring leaders across the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom are shifting toward a more agile, inclusive and engaging hiring experience in 2021. The Global Hiring Landscape Survey shows how new screening and engagement technologies are changing the way we hire across key verticals and regions, in companies of all sizes.

The top three priorities for hiring leaders include: speeding up the hiring experience, sourcing diverse talent and spending more time engaging with candidates—all of which will result in an enhanced candidate experience.

Here’s why this is good news for candidates—and for the companies hiring them.

Hiring, faster

Sluggish lead times and increased time-to-fill hurt everyone in the hiring process—companies and candidates alike. “Demand for jobs now outweighs the supply, forcing hiring teams to sift through more applicants than ever before to find quality talent,” says Andy Valenzuela, HireVue’s Chief Human Resources Officer.

“Organizations are looking for the speed and simplicity to create an improved candidate experience from end-to-end,” says Valenzuela. “Chatbots and texting capabilities can work together to remove structural obstacles and open up channels of communication that are more accessible and engaging for candidates, and significantly streamline the hiring process.”

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Long lead times can cause companies to lose out on hiring the right candidate. “Many candidates are unemployed by no fault or choice of their own this past year, creating an added urgency to find something as soon as possible to make ends meet,” says Valenzuela. “They don’t have the luxury of waiting it out for the ‘right’ opportunity and instead accept the first offer they receive.”

Long lead times can cause companies to lose out on hiring the right candidate. Click To Tweet

Companies must cut out the delays that hamper the hiring process or risk losing candidates to the competition. “The longer it takes for a company to progress the interview process, the more likely candidates are to move on to other opportunities,” warns Valenzuela.

Saying goodbye to phone screening

One way hiring leaders are speeding up the hiring process is via virtual interviews. More than half of respondents (54%) noted that switching to virtual interviews unexpectedly resulted in a speedier recruitment process, and 41% say it helped them identify the best candidates.

With 96% of the survey respondents agreeing that virtual interviews improve the recruitment experience for candidates, it’s safe to say that the virtual interview will become an integral part of the hiring experience. Forty-one percent plan to use a combination of in-person and virtual interviews moving forward, and 23% will move solely to video or virtual interviewing.

The rise of on-demand video interviews may signal the end of the traditional phone screening process. “The flexibility of on-demand opens up the pool of candidates even more by not limiting it to those who are able to interview in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon,” says Valenzuela. “In fact, weekends are increasingly becoming the most popular time of the week to schedule an interview, according to HireVue data.

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“From the candidate perspective, on-demand video interviews give them more control of the process. It’s a win-win.”

Sourcing diverse talent

In pursuit of their diversity and inclusion goals, companies are planning to expand recruiting networks, connect with equity-minded organizations and hire from diverse student bodies.

By incorporating more automation in their hiring practices, 36% of respondents noticed an increase in the diversity of candidates. “Standardized assessments mitigate bias by focusing on competencies, rather than biased indicators like resumes,” says Valenzuela. “In addition to assessments, chatbots and text capabilities work in tandem to break down the digital barriers to access that often exist for candidates.

“Not every candidate has access to email, for example, and that is often the most common way a recruiter communicates with a potential job seeker. By choosing to rely on text messaging instead as the main form of communication, businesses are able to make the interview process more accessible, equitable and engaging for all candidates,” says Valenzuela.

“Hiring teams need to meet jobseekers where they are—often, right on their phones—to make diversity efforts a reality.”

Not only does it take more time to vet candidates manually, but increased applicant volumes are also a minefield for unconscious bias. “Companies can get ahead of this problem by removing split second decisions—through automated processes for tasks like reviewing resumes—that can get in the way of hiring the best person for the job.”

More time to engage

Of the 1,142 hiring leaders surveyed, 51% want to spend more time engaging in personalized interactions with candidates and less time on scheduling. By using more technology, 35% were able to increase time spent on candidate engagement.

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“Moving forward, hiring leaders want to automate administrative tasks—like reviewing stacks of resumes, scheduling interviews, and sharing feedback with their colleagues—so they can spend more time engaging with candidates and improving the end-to-end hiring journey,” observes Valenzuela.

As hiring leaders continue to integrate technology more deeply into their screening and hiring processes, it’s important to remember that technology can only take the hiring process so far. Instead of relying on technology to find the perfect candidate, hiring leaders should use it to free up their time so they can engage more deeply with the applicants seeking a position at their company.

An improved candidate experience in 2021—and beyond

The unprecedented challenges of 2020 have had many silver linings for companies seeking to enhance the candidate experience. Remote work opened up the opportunity to source candidates beyond an organization’s city or headquarters, allowing companies to cast a wider net for their talent pool and ultimately make more diverse hiring decisions moving forward. Virtual interviewing has also leveled the playing field while saving companies time and money in the hiring process. Finally, increased use of hiring technologies has allowed HR leaders to spend more time engaging candidates on a human level.

As we enter the second quarter of 2021, better hiring practices will continue to improve the overall experience for both hiring teams and the candidates they’re engaging. More agile, inclusive and engaging—this is hiring for the future of work. And we’re here for it.

More agile, inclusive and engaging—this is hiring for the future of work. Click To Tweet

Read at Forbes.com

About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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