• Virtual interviews have become widespread: 61% of companies have used 100% remote or virtual hiring solutions such as interviewing tools, online scheduling platforms, and chat bots. In large companies, that number jumps to 82%. 
  • 83% of employers hiring remotely have had a positive experience, but some anticipate challenges post-pandemic.
  • 66% of job seekers report giving up on a job application if it takes too long to hear back from an employer. Virtual hiring can reduce time to hire and vastly improve the candidate experience.

Last year, companies worldwide acted quickly, adopting new practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As most employees adjusted to working remotely, recruiting teams were also tasked with figuring out how to hire great candidates without ever meeting in person. Virtual interviews were a clear, safe solution presenting many benefits for job seekers and employers: Saved time, reduced travel costs, and access to a wider pool of opportunities and candidates. 

Now, over a year later, how has this transformation impacted job seekers and employers?

To learn more about attitudes toward virtual interviews, Indeed surveyed 500 job seekers and 502 employers from diverse sectors across Canada in May 2021. Here, we draw on our research to illustrate how all involved feel about virtual interviews. Using these findings, employers can design a virtual hiring journey that lets each candidate shine and enhance their recruitment process to win the race for top talent.

Shortening the time to hire is a key benefit for employers and job seekers 

A majority of employers have already made the leap to hire virtually and are experiencing significant benefits as a result. 

Indeed found that 61% of companies have used 100% remote or virtual hiring solutions such as interviewing tools, online scheduling platforms, and chat bots. Large employers have adopted virtual hiring at an even faster pace. In organizations with 1,000 or more employees, the number of those using virtual hiring solutions jumps to 82%. Moreover, 83% rate their experience as positive, with over a quarter of those saying it’s been extremely positive. 

When surveyed, employers noted many benefits of using virtual hiring solutions – the ability to reach a more diverse range of candidates, ease in scaling hiring up or down based on current needs, and an improved candidate experience, to name a few. 

Perhaps the most valuable benefit shared by both employers and job seekers is shortening the time to hire. With less time spent juggling interviews and other hiring steps, recruiters have the opportunity to tackle more strategic tasks like building relationships and improving internal processes. Plus, the shortened time per hire helps reduce the average cost per hire, saving recruitment teams valuable time and money. 

Reduced time to hire provides a better candidate experience for job seekers as well. According to our survey, 55% of job seekers believe it takes too long to hear back from employers after applying, with 66% even reporting giving up on a job application due to this frustrating black hole effect. So, it’s no surprise that the two top benefits reported by 51% of employers speak to these concerns: Virtual hiring solutions make it easier to schedule interviews and shorten the time it takes to complete the interview process. Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve the quality of their new hires by 70%, majorly impacting short- and long-term business performance.

Hiring remotely is more convenient for job seekers, too. When asked what benefits virtual interviews offer over in-person interviews, over half (56%) of respondents said they save time by not needing to travel to a physical location, and 40% said they make the process quicker. 

Using multiple recruiting tools may present challenges

Although 83% of employers hiring remotely have had a positive experience, some face challenges when trying to juggle multiple recruiting tools. Over a third of employers (35%) said that multiple tools take a lot of time to manage, and 34% struggle training employees on how to use them. 

Plus, 27% of employers reported that instead of shortening time to hire, the use of multiple tools extended how long it took to hire candidates.

Many organizations rushed to implement virtual hiring solutions as quickly as possible. Without performing market research, training teams, and testing integration, even the right tools may not do their job right away. 

Moving forward, making sure project plans include a phase before and after product implementation for thorough testing and training will save a lot of time long term. Additionally, look for tools that provide an all-in-one solution, such as the Indeed Hiring Platform, which helps you automate screening, scheduling and communications so recruitment teams can start interviewing faster. 

Humanizing candidate communications is important when hiring virtually

As the hiring process becomes increasingly digitized, many job seekers (36%) revealed that they feel it’s made the process more impersonal.* Thus, recruiters wonder if virtual solutions will impact their candidate experience. For example, will they be able to forge the same human connections with candidates if communication is only taking place virtually? Without coming into the office, how will interviewees witness corporate culture in action? 

Adopting virtual hiring practices without also re-thinking how you will engage your candidates could create a negative experience. If job seekers are confused during your hiring process, the tools may not be the culprit – look at your communications strategy. Make sure candidates feel connected with regular updates. Address confusion by noting frequently asked questions and common technical issues. Provide a resource to candidates that helps prevent potential mishaps before they occur.

Lastly, there are creative ways you can convey your culture to candidates without an office tour. Include their potential team members in the interview process, utilize social media to share your employer brand, and create videos that highlight your authentic employee experience. 

Tips to make virtual hiring more effective for recruitment teams – and job seekers

A virtual recruiting process has the potential to reach more qualified candidates, keep them engaged, and help you select the best fit for each role. Ensure your process is seamless by applying Indeed’s research findings with these tips. 

  1. Incorporate automation. 66% of employers say they use multiple recruiting solutions during the hiring process. Simplify this by finding solutions that automate multiple steps and reduce the number of tools and platforms used by recruiting teams. 
  1. Reduce bias during the hiring process. Top talent is often overlooked due to unconscious bias. More than half of talent acquisition professionals (61%) believe recruiting automation can help reduce this bias. Additionally, 42% of job seekers think the way employers decide who to interview for a job is not fair. Automation can be programmed to ignore demographic information like name origins, gender, race, and age. 
  1. Find ways to communicate corporate culture. Virtual interviews save employers and candidates time and travel expenses, but can lack in accurately conveying corporate culture. To help candidates envision working for the company, include others in the interview process and lean on creative resources like your social media channels. 
  1. Provide support to both job seekers and recruitment teams so they’re comfortable. For best results, create a candidate resource that answers FAQs and highlights your employee experience. Internally, work with your team on a central resource that covers equipment prep, troubleshooting, dress expectations, general best practices and reminders. 

Last year, an Indeed poll of employers found an overwhelming prediction that an increase in virtual hiring would be the most common workplace change post-COVID-19. As restrictions are lifted, new protocols put in place, and 61% of companies begin to hire more, this previous prediction holds up. 

Virtual interviewing is transforming hiring, connecting candidates and opportunities unlike ever before. Utilize this research to design a virtual hiring process that improves time to hire, supports recruiting teams, and empowers candidates throughout the experience.


*Indeed survey, n=1,000

Indeed job seeker survey = 500 

Indeed employer survey = 502