The pandemic years have upended hiring and created a lasting impact on the future of work. Now, with labour markets in Canada tightening up after the height of COVID-19, organizations must offer a positive experience at every stage of the candidate journey to succeed in attracting and retaining top talent. 

Research from Glassdoor suggests organizations investing in a strong candidate experience improve the quality of their new hires by 70%. Since this includes authentically articulating what job seekers can expect as employees, the link between candidate experience, employee experience, and employer brand is more important than ever.

According to Indeed Vice-President of Global Talent Attraction, Scott Bonneau, “What we’re seeing is really an opportunity for reimagining the hiring process that puts job-seekers at the centre.” 

In this article, we explore ways your organization can amplify the link between candidate experience and employee experience to make happier hires in a changing work world.

What are job seekers looking for?

Just as the world of work has changed over the last couple of years, so too have workforce expectations, with employees and candidates demanding more flexibility, greater control over their time, and enhanced physical and mental health support.

According to an 2020-2021 Indeed survey1, the top three factors compelling job-seekers to apply to a new role include:

  • Good pay/compensation (63%)
  • Flexibility for working hours (35%)
  • Good work-life balance (34%)

Interestingly, while compensation and flexibility are typically top-of-mind, once these basic needs are met, emphasis shifts to happiness and well-being. In a deeper analysis of what drives happiness at work, factors like belonging and inclusion become much more important to current and prospective employees.

What new workforce expectations mean for your talent strategy

Although change is never easy, embracing an agile, adaptable talent strategy is essential in the new world of work. 

Meeting flexibility demands

Not only does research from the Future Forum show an overwhelming 72% of knowledge workers want a combination of office and remote work, 50% of organizations surveyed by The Conference Board of Canada report offering flex time. 

With demand running high, your company will benefit from providing more flexible work options where it can.

Consider where you can go remote. In addition to providing an attractive incentive for recruiting and retaining talent, remote work removes geographic constraints, potentially yielding a bigger and more diverse pool of candidates. 

Explore a hybrid work model. By combining the flexibility of remote work with the benefits of time in the office for team collaboration, hybrid work can strengthen the social ties so crucial to worker well-being.

Experiment with flex scheduling. Shifting focus from hours worked to impact allows for greater experimentation with 4-day workweeks, reduced-work-for-reduced-pay programs, adjusted shift schedules for hourly employees, and non-linear workdays revolving around core collaboration office hours. 

Meeting DI&B demands

According to Indeed research 2, 52% of job-seekers say it’s very or extremely important to work for an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. BetterUp findings, meanwhile, show workplace belonging is tied to a 50% drop in turnover risk and a 56% increase in job performance. 

With DI&B issues so important to so many, adjusting how you recruit is as important as changing your workplace. If you’re recruiting from the same handful of universities or relying solely on internal referrals, for example, you could be missing out on quality candidates.

To diversify your sourcing strategy, try:

  • Recruiting from new locations where there’s a concentration of talent with the skill sets you need
  • Exploring new industry networks and associations that could be untapped sources of talent
  • Identifying transferable skills that would allow you to consider candidates with non-traditional backgrounds

By communicating your approach to flexibility and your DI&B efforts throughout the candidate experience, you’ll help would-be employees connect what you’re presenting to what they can expect once they’re hired.

Employer brand: your first line of communication

Your employer brand plays a key role in linking the candidate experience with the employee experience. Employees want a more humanized work experience. Candidates are looking for that human connection from the beginning of the hiring process. 

While a poor candidate experience can damage your employer brand and shrink your future talent pool (45% of job-seekers share negative candidate experiences with their networks, according to Indeed research3), a positive experience — one that begins with a strong employer brand — will go a long way to showing job-seekers that working for you would also be positive. 

Here are 3 ways to better incorporate your employer brand into your talent strategy:

  1. Communications: As you adapt policies to meet changing workforce demands, make sure you’re communicating these developments to job-seekers (with more candidates looking for remote work, for example, it’s important to distinguish this option in your postings)
  2. Online presence: Review your online presence and keep your social media accounts, website, and Indeed Company Page up to date 
  3. Current employees: Encourage current employees (your most powerful ambassadors) to share their experiences internally and externally — and consider integrating them into recruiting processes

Showing an authentic candidate experience, where you convey what it’s really like to work for your company, will ultimately lead to happier hires.

Rethinking the hiring process

The massive employment shifts of the past two years have provided a unique opportunity to rethink your hiring process and put job-seekers at the centre of your efforts at every stage. Not only can this increase the chance of retaining chosen candidates, it can boost your attractiveness to future employees.

Start with these simple suggestions:

  • Leverage automation to create a faster, more engaging application process
  • Strive to provide clarity around how interviews will be conducted (in person, by phone, via video call), who they’re with, and how many rounds there will be
  • Be purposeful with communication and team-building during onboarding—especially for remote or hybrid employees

Ultimately, by rethinking how and where we hire and work, we can meet new workforce expectations and reimagine a talent strategy that will set your organization up for success no matter what the future holds.


1 Indeed survey, n=325 (Canada)
2 Indeed survey, n=250 (Canada)
3 Indeed survey, n=7,735 (worldwide)