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.

Sluggish lead times and increased time-to-fill hurt everyone in the hiring process – companies and candidates alike. 

Currently, demand for jobs outweighs the supply, forcing hiring teams to sift through more applicants than ever before to find quality talent.

Organizations should be looking for the speed and simplicity to create an improved candidate experience from end to end. 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.

Long lead times can cause companies to lose out on hiring the right candidate and 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.

Candidates may not always have the luxury of waiting it out for the ‘right’ opportunity and may instead accept the first offer they receive.

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

First things first: Say goodbye to phone screening. 

One way hiring leaders are speeding up the hiring process is via virtual interviews. Switching to virtual interviews results in a speedier recruitment process, and helps recruiters identify the best candidates.

Virtual interviews improve the recruitment experience for candidates, and if this past year has shown us anything, it’s safe to say that the virtual interview will become an integral part of the hiring experience. 

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

Second, 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, recruiters will notice an increase in the diversity of 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.

Hiring teams need to meet job seekers where they are – often, right on their phones – to make diversity efforts a reality.

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.

Third, make more time to engage.

Recruiters should be spending more time engaging in personalized interactions with candidates and less time on scheduling. By using more technology, you will increase time spent on candidate engagement.

Hiring leaders will want to automate administrative tasks such as reviewing stacks of resumes, scheduling interviews, and sharing feedback with their colleagues so that they can spend more time engaging with candidates and improving the end-to-end hiring journey. After all, this is where the focus should be.

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.

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. 

Additionally, 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.

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 – all in efforts to better the candidate experience.