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2021 Candidate Experience Must-Haves

For years it was a candidate’s job market. Every hire was a battle for recruiters, and the hiring experience became a vital edge for hiring teams. Last year that candidate-scarce market reversed to a candidate-abundant market with the COVID-19 pandemic. Though today’s talent pool is large, now is not the time to ease up on your candidate experience. The trend for 2021 is to be more intentional than ever with your employer brand.

Candidate experience as brand experience

There are quite a few reasons to keep your candidate experience on point. Maybe your organization is doing business differently post-pandemic, and you need a higher caliber of employee. You may have needed to let many employees go during the economic shutdown, and now you’re rebuilding. Or, as with many organizations, your talent pool and customer base are nearly the same, so your consumer brand and employer brand must also be aligned. Any of these reasons make it imperative to prioritize the candidate experience, even when you’re refining virtual hiring or trying to meet high-volume hiring requirements. Candidates should exit your hiring process with a positive impression, whether or not they received a job offer.

Candidate experience essentials

These are some of the critical aspects your hiring process needs for a modern, engaging candidate experience in 2021 and beyond:

  • Opportunities for candidates to demonstrate their skills and provide job-relevant information about themselves
  • Opportunities for candidates to get to know the job and the organization, either in job previews, job simulation assessments, or ideally, both 
  • Opportunities for candidates to give and receive feedback. Personalized feedback – in as close to real-time as possible – continues to be a primary driver for the impression candidates form about your organization and their willingness to expand their relationship with you.
  • Hiring experiences able to be shown to be unbiased and fair

If this sounds like a tall order, rest assured, it is. Hiring teams need to build a brand-rich candidate experience that includes these components while at the same time efficiently collecting the information they need to make data-driven selection decisions. 

One of the most effective ways forward is with a hiring platform that integrates selection science, AI-equipped tools, and opportunities for communicating a strong employer brand message. An all-in-one platform like Modern Hire delivers branded, personal hiring experiences to candidates in a variety of modes:

  • On-demand and live video interviews help you showcase your employer value proposition (EVP) in many ways. You can include welcome videos from company leaders and potential colleagues. Using live video interviews, company leaders or potential coworkers can drop in remotely for a few minutes to answer candidates’ questions. Having the hiring manager record the questions for on-demand videos gives candidates insight into who they would be working for. 
  • Pre-employment assessments enable candidates to preview the role and participate in job simulations that help them understand more about the job, your culture, and your EVP.
  • Hiring Blueprints are ready-to-go hiring templates built around scientifically validated, job-specific assessment and interview content. Each Blueprint is highly configurable, so you can tailor the workflow and build your employer brand right in by customizing assessment content and personalizing job previews and candidate communication. Hiring Blueprints are available for more than 40 roles, some industry-specific and others applicable across sectors.

All of these opportunities to bake your employer brand into your hiring increase candidate engagement. And the great news for recruiters is that all-in-one hiring experiences earn the highest candidate completion rates. Candidates prefer it when all parts of the process can be handled seamlessly and in a single session.

So, what has your candidate experience done for you lately? If it’s not driving a faster hiring process and qualified candidates to your finish line, it’s time to improve.

Like to see what other trends TA practitioners should have on their radar this year? Find out in our 2021 Hiring Trends Reportavailable now for free download and sharing