Employee Experience

10 hiring trends recruiters need to know in 2021

The pandemic has changed the way we work – and the way we hire. In turn, talent acquisition teams must adjust to meet the evolving expectations of candidates if they want to continue to attract and retain top talent. 

From all-remote interviews, to knowing where companies stand on social issues, the past year has reshaped what candidates expect from a potential employer – and the interview process.

We asked industry experts for their advice on what hiring teams can do to meet candidates’ evolving expectations. Here’s what they had to say...

  1. Talk about employee well-being in the interview process

Well-being initiatives have become an essential part of an organization’s toolkit – not only for attracting and retaining talent, but also for demonstrating a commitment to employees’ health and safety.

It’s important for recruiters to talk about these programs during the interview process so candidates know what they can expect from an employer.

  1. Be transparent at the application stage

“Candidate preferences are evolving and they want to know whether a role is remote-only or office-only before they apply,” shares Celinda Farias Appleby, Director of Global Talent Attraction at Visa.

“At Visa, we put those requirements at the top of job postings so that applicants are armed with that information from the start.”

  1. Rethink the perks of the workplace

Prior to COVID, many companies leaned on the perks of their physical workplace to attract new employees. Now, to better support remote and/or hybrid work styles, organizations are pivoting to offer benefits similar to those offered in an employee assistance program (EAP), such as support and resources for managing finances, managing stress, coping with life transitions, adapting to virtual schooling, and more.

  1. Use candidate feedback to help drive business decisions 

“We know that candidates are looking for certain qualities in a company in this new world of work,” says Charlotte Marshall, Global Employer Brand Leader at Danaher.

“At Danaher, we use pulse surveys to collect feedback from our candidates to help us understand their evolving wants so that we can continue to attract the right talent.”

Find out how our Candidate Experience solution can help you collect and analyze candidate feedback to close experience gaps.

  1. Place a greater focus on telling employees stories 

In place of face-to-face interactions during the interview process, hiring teams are relying on employee storytelling to convey what makes their culture unique to candidates.

“When it comes to talking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging – this year in particular – we’re telling stories about the actions we’re taking to grow, evolve, and change,” says Charlotte.

  1. Make meet-and-greets more intentional

Recruiters have to work differently to convey the benefits of the organization to those candidates interviewing for jobs that are all-remote or hybrid. A sense of belonging is especially important to those candidates who live alone and would rely on the sense of belonging at work.

At Qualtrics, our recruiting teams arrange virtual meet-and-greets with various members of the hiring team to help foster relationships that might not otherwise happen in a remote work environment.

  1. Personalize the interview process 

“Give candidates choices along the interview journey so they can articulate their preferences and be in the driver’s seat,” recommends Meagan Gregorczyk, Global Head of Talent Strategy at ServiceNow.

“This can look like, ‘You have five hours of interviews – during your break, would you prefer some independent time to recharge or do you want to have lunch with a team member to ask questions?’ Any time we can give candidates the chance to express what’s important to them is an opportunity to help them feel connected to the process, to the hiring manager, and to the company.”

“Any time we can give candidates the chance to express what’s important to them is an opportunity to help them feel connected to the process, to the hiring manager, and to the company.”

- Meagan Gregorczyk, Global Head of Talent Strategy at ServiceNow

  1. Look to hiring managers to discuss social issues

“With the social impacts of the pandemic and social injustices of 2020 and 2021, people are looking for humanity,” says Celinda. “It’s not just about what the company is doing to address these issues; candidates want to know what his or her immediate manager is doing to support underrepresented groups and increase inclusion.”

“Those conversations need to happen in the interview process to address what candidates are thinking around topics like belonging and culture.”

  1. Reflect the employee experience in the candidate experience 

Companies are creating intentional moments in the candidate experience to mirror what it’s like to work for them.

“At Danaher, we want to introduce those real touchpoints for candidates so they can understand what’s unique and interesting about our company,” says Charlotte. “Our job is to define what the universal experience of working at Danaher looks like. We hope by doing so, we’re making it easier for candidates to then self-select – in or out – based on how we portray our culture.”

  1. Lean on hiring managers to improve the candidate experience

“Part of your job as a manager is to bring in great talent,” says Meagan. “That includes interviewing, preparing for interviews, communicating and following up with candidates during the process– all of these responsibilities cascade from your overall goal of hiring the best talent.”

To better understand how hiring managers are performing, she recommends utilizing surveys to ask candidates about their interactions during the interview process.

“Was the manager engaged throughout the process? Did the manager help inform and educate the candidate about the organization – and how he or she would fit into it?

“By asking these questions of candidates, you create a sense of accountability for managers to be engaged.”


Find out how to design and improve your candidate experience

Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics is the technology platform that organizations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organizations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—on one platform.

Over 12,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands.

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