The value of a positive candidate experience cannot be understated: Indeed India’s Sashi Kumar – People Matters

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Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales for Indeed India, is responsible for driving sales in both enterprise and corporate and leading new business development nationally by syncing with the company’s mission and business objective internationally. His experience in dealing with key accounts has bought in a stream of opportunities to the Indian arm of Indeed.com since joining the company a little over two years back. Sashi is known for creating a friendly teamwork environment, augmenting revenues, handling large enterprise accounts, introducing HR automation software and media solutions to various stakeholders at client organisations and his knowledge of the internet industry. 
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, he shares groundbreaking insights on key hiring trends, re-designing the candidate experience, the critical role of technology and employer branding and more. 
Indeed’s recent Recruitment Outlook 2022 report with People Matters surveyed almost 600 HR professionals to identify what they believe will be the latest trends that will shape the recruitment industry in the coming year. We found that there are chiefly two key realities facing recruitment teams today. The first one is the need to grow their workforce amidst an intensifying war for talent. With an increased candidate withdrawal rate or ‘ghosting’, it is quickly becoming apparent that employers need to engage with candidates on a meaningful level to ensure they complete the evaluation process. This signals a greater need for employers to communicate often and more transparently.
The second reality is that employers today need to adapt and remain relevant to changing workforce expectations. In a competitive, candidate-driven market, ensuring your brand voice and what you stand for resonate with your candidates is imperative.
Therefore, I’d say the importance of employer branding cannot be overlooked as a critical driver of hiring success, as will technology enable employers to automate tasks and build more meaningful connections with prospective candidates.
At Indeed, we constantly innovate to ensure that our products and solutions help employers overcome some of their key hiring challenges to set themselves up for success. We believe thoughtfully implemented technology can help recruiters find time to do what they do best – meet and interview candidates. To this end, we help teams source, screen, schedule and interview candidates, all in one place, on Indeed. 
As candidates increasingly evaluate the values and purpose of their jobs with their next employer, we provide employers with the opportunity to highlight their employer value proposition (EVP) through our partnership with Glassdoor, integrating the combined capabilities of job advertising and employer branding across both platforms to provide a unified experience.
A positive candidate experience determines whether a candidate chooses to follow through on the selection process to eventually join the organisation. Therefore, its value cannot be understated. Our Recruitment Outlook 2022 report outlines vital strategies around driving a powerful candidate experience to ensure positive hiring outcomes. This includes various touchpoints, such as clear and authentic communication, highlighting key attributes that matter to jobseekers today. This includes conveying aspects like flexibility, learning and growth opportunities, purpose, inclusion and trust. When crafting a brand voice, it is essential to consider the employee voice and aspirations to understand what matters to them. Once they have identified this by speaking to their employees, we encourage employers to highlight these key attributes through authentic and transparent storytelling on their company pages on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor.
The pandemic ushered in the era of technology adoption at an unprecedented rate. It enabled remote teams to connect and ensure business continuity in turbulent times. Being a technology-first economy, Indian firms are rapidly investing in technologies that will put the country at the forefront of this new digital era.
Regarding technology adoption in hiring, employers need to ensure their teams are trained to utilise these tools to achieve their required outcomes. In addition, it is important to constantly monitor and evaluate if they are delivering value, be it automating tasks or simplifying repetitive processes to streamline your hiring process. Technology can also help measure the effectiveness of your processes and helps you identify areas that need improvement.
One key imperative for candidates that employers need to take cognisance of is the need for greater flexibility. With flexibility being entirely subjective, employers need to consider its various facets, including but not limited to hybrid work. According to Indeed data, only 18% of start-ups prefer hybrid work roles that offer flexible work-from-home and work-from-office options. However, among MNCs, around 30% prefer hybrid work.
Our survey found that with the successful rollout of vaccines and reduction in Covid-19 cases, most employers (77%) plan on having their employees working from the office. In contrast, only 48% of employees and job seekers preferred working from the office, while 31% favoured remote or hybrid work. In addition, most employers in e-commerce (95%) preferred to have their staff working from the office, while 37% of employers in the information technology sector planned on having their employees work remotely.
Given that flexibility is one of the significant negotiation factors for employees after pay and compensation, employers need to be prepared to address these requirements to attract and retain talent.
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