4 Companies Pioneering the Future of the Distance Economy

Remote employees on a call with in-person employees, working together in the Distance Economy.

In the Distance Economy, work transcends beyond physical offices and across time zones. “It doesn’t matter where you live” is now the new hiring mantra. More and more employers recognize that candidates want freedom, autonomy, and trust—all found in flexible and remote work arrangements. 

While our new world of work widens the talent pool, it also widens the employer pool. Companies must offer applicants the work models that they seek, or get lost in the competition. After all, if your organization doesn’t give candidates what they want, another organization will.

Here are four trail-blazing companies that have reimagined what the workplace can be.

Spotify’s Work From Anywhere Program

In Spotify’s opinion, work is something you do—not somewhere you go. The streaming powerhouse uses their Work From Anywhere Program to allow employees to work wherever suits them best.

How They Navigate the Distance Economy

  1. Allow employees to choose their “work modes” (mix of home and/or office).
  2. Set up multiple registered entities in different locations across the globe for employees who want to work in the office. 
  3. Focus on creating virtual experiences, rather than in-person events, to emphasize belonging across the company.

Why This Work Model?

On their HR blog, Spotify described how the flexibility within their work model benefits everyone. Flexible companies not only retain existing employees thanks to a better work-life balance, but they also attract large sums of candidates.

Spotify’s thinking in the right direction. Our latest data shows that 32% of HR teams expect to struggle with retaining talent in the next 12 months, and 28% believe that they’ll face difficulties in attracting qualified candidates. The way forward is clear, and it’s offering flexible work.

Zapier’s Long Remote Work History

Remote work is nothing new to Zapier. They’ve been remote-first ever since their inception in 2011. The software company’s employees are spread across over 18 different time zones and 38 countries.

How They Navigate the Distance Economy

  1. Establish a 100% distributed workforce.
  2. Create a global community founded on DEIB principles. Hold candid conversations on the experiences of employees and take active steps to boost diversity and inclusion.

Why This Work Model?

Zapier cited that on multiple grounds, remote work just makes sense. From a financial perspective, they don’t have to handle the significant expenses that come with maintaining a physical office. After all, flashy office perks are old news. 

Their model also increases the amount of time that each employee has at their disposal. Without the distractions that arise in a traditional office space, Zapier allows for more valuable focus time. (And not having to sit in traffic during a long commute is a pretty sweet deal.)

HubSpot’s Flexible Work Options

“Work isn’t a place” defines HubSpot’s flexible work philosophy. In 2021, they shifted to a hybrid remote-office model.

How They Navigate the Distance Economy

The company offers three work arrangements to choose from, called @office, @flex, and @home.

  1. @office: Work from one of their offices for three or more days per week. Employees receive a dedicated desk space in the office.
  2. @flex: Work from one of their offices for two or fewer days per week. Employees get a “hotel desk” rather than a dedicated space, but will receive support in setting up a WFH office space.
  3. @home: Employees do the majority of their work from home and within a HubSpot-approved area. The company assists in assembling their home office.

Why This Work Model?

Before the switch to their current work model, HubSpot considered themselves a “remote-ish” company. However, the feedback from an internal survey signaled that they needed to evolve. Back when HubSpot closed their offices due to the pandemic, two-thirds of their employees reportedly planned on working remotely more often once their offices re-opened.

Determined to elevate their commitment to DEIB, HubSpot also cited how remote work serves as a crucial component in diversifying their community of talent and future employees.

Pinterest’s Pinflex Initiative

Two principles guide Pinterest’s work model: flexibility and collaboration. Their Pinflex initiative champions an autonomous workplace with a healthy dose of in-person interaction.

How They Navigate the Distance Economy

  1. Encourage employees to work wherever feels best, whether this means working at home, in an office, or another virtual location.
  2. Allow U.S. employees to live anywhere in the U.S., and international employees to live anywhere within the country or region where Pinterest employs them.
  3. Create in-person experiences for all employees to attend throughout the year.

Why This Work Model?

While Pinterest recognizes that most work can be completed anywhere, they also see the need for in-person collaboration to drive innovation and connection. Pinflex kills two birds with one stone.

Occasionally bringing employees together in person is a smart move. Studies show that remote workers feel isolated at higher rates than those that work on-site. Like Pinterest, companies should include strategies to foster human-to-human experiences within their flexible work plans.

The New World of Work Means New Hiring Tools

Spotify, Zapier, HubSpot, and Pinterest embraced flexible work in varying ways. But the common thread that unites them? They all use GoodTime.

The Distance Economy flipped recruiting on its head, but GoodTime Hire helps talent teams win candidates throughout each challenge. Hire harnesses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to build connections with every single applicant.

But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from HubSpot, Pinterest, and more in our customer testimonials.

DEIB in Hiring: Data Shows Talent Teams Fall Short

Talent team leader reading documents.

DEIB is a hot topic among HR professionals, and rightfully so. Conveying a commitment to DEIB in hiring not only attracts candidates, but also benefits your bottom line.

Companies that emphasize DEIB come out on top. However, our 2022 Hiring Insights Report shows that these companies are few and far in between. The report features responses from 560 HR, talent, and recruiting leaders across the U.S. on their most critical challenges. We found that despite the buzz surrounding DEIB in hiring, active commitments are scarce.

Few Companies Prioritize DEIB in Hiring

Take a scroll through LinkedIn and you’re bound to come across at least one post on the importance of DEIB. No matter the industry, people keep talking about how crucial it is for organizations to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. 

…But is this all just talk? Or is there action behind these conversations? Unfortunately, the responses from our report aren’t too hopeful. When asked to identify what they improved in their hiring process over the past 12 months, making DEIB a measurable priority was the least selected option (31%). The next 12 months look just as bleak. Only 33% of companies plan on prioritizing DEIB in the year ahead—still the least selected option. Oof.

Failing to prioritize DEIB is simply bad for business. In fact, diverse teams produce 19% higher revenue. But finances aside, focusing on DEIB just makes sense. Today’s Distance Economy opens the talent pool to a wide range of diverse candidates. Those candidates don’t just want to see an emphasis on DEIB in the hiring process—they expect it.

Disconnect Between DEIB and Employee Well-being

Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news, but the data doesn’t lie. Our report shows a disconnect between employee well-being and DEIB—a crucial component that goes into creating that well-being. 

When asked what they communicate to candidates during the hiring process, the lowest percentage of companies (32%) selected a commitment to DEIB. But here’s the catch: the highest percentage of companies (59%) chose employee well-being. 

DEIB and employee well-being should go hand in hand, especially when it comes to recruiting diverse candidates. If a candidate is part of an underrepresented community, is a company really considering their well-being when their commitment to DEIB is last in line?

The smartest companies communicate DEIB to candidates. Need proof? The average time-to-hire among the 179 companies that communicate DEIB to candidates is two and a half weeks, shorter than average (three weeks). A lack of communication on DEIB leads to fewer applicants, rejected offers, and less diverse teams.

Remote Companies Pick up the Slack—Slightly

While our report pinpoints multiple areas where remote talent teams falter, committing to DEIB isn’t one of them.Thirty-eight percent of remote teams plan on making DEIB a priority in the next 12 months, making them more likely to emphasize DEIB than their in-person counterparts.

When considering the previous bleak data points on DEIB in hiring, this statistic seems like a sign for hope. In a way, it is. But let’s be real: companies could do better. Much more than 38% of remote workplaces should focus on DEIB. This percentage is a fine start, but if remote teams want to draw in diverse applicants, more teams need to kick DEIB initiatives into high gear.

All in all, with 63% of remote companies agreeing that the hiring landscape will become more competitive in the coming months, keeping DEIB top of mind is the best decision. A commitment to DEIB is high on the average candidate’s wish list. The companies who openly convey this commitment possess a major advantage in snagging the best talent.

The C-suite Must Step Up

Let’s make one thing clear: despite the needs for improvement, making a high-quality DEIB program is a lot easier said than done. Uplifting DEIB across an organization can be a big undertaking, especially for companies with limited resources and people to get the job done.

Yes, the data shows that most talent teams stumble in conveying DEIB to applicants, but this isn’t all their fault. DEIB must start at the top. Having a CEO who includes DEIB in their company roadmap is a major asset. In order for talent teams to fully breathe life into DEIB, the C-Suite needs to partner with them.

More Hiring Trends Coming Your Way

Keeping up with the latest happenings in the hiring landscape is the key to staying ahead of the game. Lucky for you, we have plenty of information on the most crucial hiring trends. 

Download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report to get the data that your team needs to succeed.

GoodTime’s Ahryun Moon Talks the Evolution of the Hiring Landscape

A word of advice for the modern-day hiring team: get comfortable with change. Because if there’s one thing that we’ve learned in recent years, it’s that the hiring landscape can evolve in an instant. GoodTime’s Co-founder and Head of Company Strategy Ahryun Moon met with RecTech Podcast’s Chris Russell to discuss recent and upcoming shifts in the hiring industry, and how GoodTime helps teams adapt to the changing times.

If you’d like to hear the conversation in full, the podcast episode can be found here. Read on for a quick rundown.

“Everything has shifted so quickly and so fast over the last couple of years. Even the most tenured HR leaders with multiple decades of experience are still trying to figure things out.”

— Ahryun Moon, Co-founder and Head of Company Strategy at GoodTime

Tumultuous Recent Years in Hiring

A lot has changed in the hiring industry and job market—where do we even start? For one, companies felt the sting of the Great Resignation back in 2021, and the phenomenon is still going strong. A record-breaking 4.5 million people in the U.S. quit their jobs in March 2022.

Ahryun noted that based on GoodTime’s conversations with customers, the “big quit” isn’t limited to just the U.S. It’s happening across the globe. And that’s not the only worldwide hiring trend; the entire world is also facing a severe shortage of knowledge workers. In February 2022, there were 5 million more job openings than unemployed workers in the U.S. alone. This all culminates into a hyper-competitive job market.

On top of these changes, job seekers have drafted up new demands, heralding the next era of recruitment tactics.

“Now that we’re working remotely and in hybrid mode, all the past lure of office spaces, the physical spaces, those perks are not very relevant anymore,” Ahryun said. 

Instead of placing value on in-office benefits, candidates now vet employers on elements such as DEIB, work-life flexibility, vision, and mission. Above all, candidates want to connect with employers.

Upcoming Changes in the Hiring Landscape

An outpour of hiring freezes, slowdowns, and layoffs characterize the latest changes in the job market. Major tech companies like Uber and Twitter slowed their hiring, while startups like Klarna and Carvana laid off employees.

Ahryun’s take? The market is correcting itself. She noted that it doesn’t look like these recent events in the market will remain as permanent trends. From her view, it seems that the market will stabilize over time.

All things considered, the market’s recent volatility shouldn’t come as a surprise. In many ways, 2021 created an unsustainable environment.

“Last year was crazy, a whole slew of unicorns had been born,” Ahryun said. “Some companies are extremely solid companies that are worthy of becoming unicorns, and some probably not in terms of the metrics.”

In opposition to the downturn in Silicon Valley, there’s several forces at play that will keep other companies hiring. A severe lack of knowledge workers remains within an extremely competitive hiring market, Ahryun added. Companies will continue hiring—just not as recklessly. The smartest companies will implement the best TA tech to hit the ground running and prepare for future growth.

How GoodTime’s Adapted to the Shifts

Talent teams aren’t the only ones that must adapt to the ever-changing hiring landscape. In order to solve the most pressing issues facing companies, TA tech must also evolve with the times.

GoodTime Hire has changed quite a lot to respond to the latest customer needs, Ahryun said. Hire uses Candidate Relationship Intelligence, which includes two main focus areas: speed and relationships. The focus on speed comes from the increasingly fast-paced talent competition. 

“Nowadays, candidates get about four offers on the table within about 18 days of their job search, which is crazy,” Ahryun said. 

The fastest talent team is often the team that snags the best candidates. On the flip side, a slow hiring process heightens the risk of losing qualified candidates in the middle of the funnel. To satisfy the need for speed, Hire’s automation removes any time lag that occurs on both the recruiting team and candidate side.

Hire’s focus on relationships stems from the need to form meaningful connections with candidates to win top talent. As a way to cultivate these connections, Hire makes data-driven decisions to place the right interviewers into each and every interview. Better yet, one of the latest features, Candidate Pulse, gathers candidate sentiment throughout the interview process to help teams better understand the quality of their relationships.

Learn More About the Latest HR Trends

Keeping up with the constant flow of changes in the hiring landscape can feel overwhelming. Luckily, our 2022 Hiring Insights Report has you covered.

The report highlights the most critical hiring challenges facing modern talent teams. Spoiler alert: companies surveyed only hit 50% of their hiring goals in 2021 (oof). 

Dig into the insights by downloading the report today.

Remote Companies Stumble in the New Hiring Landscape

Recruiter at a remote company works on her laptop.

The rise of remote hiring stands as one of the most influential trends impacting today’s hiring landscape. What started as a way to adapt to the pandemic has evolved into a method to combat the talent shortage and deliver on the work flexibility that many candidates now desire. The problem? Most remote companies have stumbled rather than soared.

For our 2022 Hiring Insights Report, we surveyed 560 HR, talent, and recruiting leaders across both remote and in-person workplaces. We learned that compared to their in-office counterparts, remote TA teams fall flat on multiple grounds, from hiring efficiency to connecting with candidates.

And to top it all off, most remote TA leaders don’t even have full confidence in their own operations. When rating their overall recruiting process, 25% of remote leaders rated it as excellent—compared to 42% from in-office leaders.

Let’s dig into the data.

Candidate Relationships Take a Back Seat

Applicants expect to form a relationship with your company and your TA team that’s founded on trust and mutual respect. Our report’s data shows that fully-remote companies are least likely to create bonds with candidates—though if anyone should, it’s them.

Among fully-remote workplaces, just 25% will look to build relationships with candidates in the next 12 months. This is 11 percentage points lower than in-person workplaces.

Remote employees report higher rates of isolation, yet connection is at the top of most candidates’ wish lists. When hiring at a distance, it’s even more important to invest in these connections—and the data shows that these companies have a lot of work to do.

With the lack of emphasis on candidate relationships, it’s no wonder that 63% of remote workplaces reportedly struggled with retaining talent in the past 12 months. Talent retention begins once a future employee has their first conversation with a recruiter. The secret to turning candidates into long-term hires lies in creating authentic connections with new hires from the start.

Remote TA Teams Struggle With Efficiency

The efficiency of remote companies’ TA processes leaves much to be desired. But at least the majority of them aren’t blind to this; just 38% of remote workplaces rated their TA process as very efficient, compared to 56% of in-person companies.

In today’s intensely competitive job market, hiring fast is essential. The best candidates disappear from the market in just 10 days. Yet here’s the kicker: a shocking 100% of fully-remote companies said that their rate of time-to-hire increased in the past 12 months. In comparison, 65% of in-person companies said the same.

Even worse, remote talent teams said it takes them an average of five weeks to hire a new employee—contrasted against three weeks for in-person teams. With a hiring process that lengthy, remote employers shouldn’t be surprised when their star candidates lose interest and look elsewhere.

Remote companies reportedly spend 41.6% of their time scheduling interviews, three percentage points higher than in-person companies. Yet while remote companies spend a bit more of their time on interview scheduling, they’re way behind in-person companies when it comes to the number of interviews that they schedule. On average, remote workplaces schedule 50 interviews per month, versus 125 for in-person.

So what’s the hold up? It’s possible that remote teams haven’t equipped themselves with the proper TA tech to get to where they need to be in scheduling volume. But if anything’s certain, it’s that if remote TA teams don’t get to the root of their efficiency issues, they’ll only continue to struggle.

DEIB Efforts Show Grounds for Hope

Want some positive news for a change? On the bright side of things, fully-remote companies are most likely to emphasize DEIB in the near future. Thirty-eight percent of remote workplaces surveyed will make DEIB a priority in the next 12 months, two percentage points higher than in-person workplaces.

This is a good move, especially considering how 25% of remote teams reportedly expect to struggle with a lack of qualified candidates. A broader talent pool comes with more diverse candidates, and an increased need to improve—and communicate a commitment to—diversity.

While the stats on DEIB and remote companies are promising, all companies surveyed could—and should—make greater strides in championing DEIB. Diverse teams that feel welcome and supported boost revenue and innovation. Smart companies make DEIB a top priority.

Read the Latest HR Trends

Remote companies, you have your work cut out for you. While some assume that remote workplaces have it easy thanks to a wider talent pool, they forget that the Distance Economy also widens the employer pool. This makes it even more critical for remote TA teams to take meaningful, calculated steps to attract, win, and retain candidates.

From connecting with candidates without physical interaction, to conveying intangible company values through a Zoom window, it’s not too unexpected for newly remote workplaces to trip up. Hiring remotely comes with a learning curve. Yet despite the challenges ahead of them, remote TA teams must act fast to avoid getting swallowed up by the talent competition.

Want to sink your teeth into more HR trends? Download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report today.

Meetings Suck. Here’s How to Fix Them.

Workers, falling asleep, attending a meeting that isn't smart.

You know the feeling. You’re sitting in a meeting, watching the clock, and before you know it, the conversation goes sideways. You ask yourself, “Why am I even here? Why are any of us here?” 

Your mind wanders to the multitude of tasks that you’d rather be dealing with. Finally, the meeting ends and your real work begins. You start crossing off items on your to-do list, and then—

Bam. The calendar notification of doom: time for the next meeting.

How did we get to this point? Why are we up to our eyeballs in meetings?

Some argue that the pandemic created our current avalanche of meetings—and they’re not completely wrong. Since 2020, companies have gone from holding 40 to 66 million daily meetings in the U.S. alone. And given the meteoric rise of remote and hybrid work, the amount is sure to increase.

But that’s not the full story. The phrase “this should’ve been an email” made its way into our lexicon long before the pandemic. The truth is that we never mastered meetings. The pandemic accelerated the issue, and now we’re finally facing the consequences of our haphazard meeting culture.

We need smart meetings, and we need them now. It’s time to stop the meeting mayhem.

Meeting Mayhem by the Numbers

The data doesn’t lie: our meetings are broken. Like, really broken.

We waste a whopping 24 billion hours each year due to unproductive meetings. The majority of professionals now spend up to a third of their workweek stuck in meetings.

And the financial costs? They’re devastating. U.S. businesses reportedly lose a grand total of $37 billion a year due to unnecessary meetings. Bad meetings mean bad news for businesses.

Unsurprisingly, the general consensus is that meetings suck. Working professionals ranked having too many meetings as the biggest workplace distraction. Research shows that 90% of people daydream in meetings, and 73% use meeting time to get other work done. To make matters worse, 75% of people haven’t even received training on how to conduct a meeting.

If all of that wasn’t bad enough, there’s now a term for the negative effects of meetings: “meeting recovery syndrome.” This phenomenon refers to the feelings of fatigue and frustration that arise from a bad meeting.

“No Meeting Monday” Won’t Save You

To mitigate the onslaught of meetings, companies resorted to establishing “No Meetings” days. Blocking off days for uninterrupted heads-down work sounds great in theory. But in practice, workers end up with back-to-back meetings the following day to make up for their singular day of meeting-free bliss.

Eliminating meetings isn’t the best way forward. After all, there’s a reason why people hold meetings. Meetings can be extraordinary; they’re where collaboration moves mountains, and where big ideas find their legs. With less than one-third of knowledge workers coming to the office each day, meetings offer one of the only opportunities for coworkers to connect face to face. 

Meetings aren’t the problem. The problem is how we conduct them. Instead of getting rid of meetings, the solution lies in making meetings smarter. So—how do we do that?

Fundamentals of Smart Meetings

The hallmark of a smart meeting is if a meeting is attended by the right people, at the right time, in the right place for a clear goal. Attendees of these meetings make bigger accomplishments and more meaningful progress than ever before. And, most importantly, smart meetings cultivate the type of genuine relationships among attendees that no other form of communication can replicate. 

Luckily, you don’t have to create smarter meetings on your own. A Meeting Optimization Engine handles the entire coordination, relationship building, and insights gathering process to make smart meetings come to life. 

Let’s dig into the three foundational elements of smart meetings:

The Right Attendees

Meetings are breeding grounds for collaboration and connection. And in the distance economy, where 98% of today’s meetings reportedly include at least one remote attendee, meetings stand as optimal spaces to form bonds in the absence of physical interaction.

However, problems arise when meetings don’t include the right key players. When the wrong people are placed in meetings, frustration builds, which erodes any sense of community within a team.

That’s why smart meetings include the most suitable attendees. When the right people join forces, teams accelerate towards their goals and meaningful relationships blossom.

The Right Time and Place

Smart meetings are “smart” from the get-go, and that means before any meeting even takes place. Coordinating a smart meeting involves identifying the optimal time and place for all attendees to connect. Smart meetings should work for everyone’s calendar.

Overall, the time and place of your meetings should be conducive to productivity and success. If a meeting takes place too frequently, or not frequently enough, it isn’t smart. Likewise, if a meeting’s presence just takes up space on a calendar, it’s not a smart meeting—it’s a time sink.

Achieves a Clear Goal

If you aren’t meeting to achieve a clear goal, ask yourself why you’re even meeting. Your meetings need to be purposeful. The goals of your meetings should be clearly defined, and all attendees should be firmly aligned on what they must achieve.

Each and every meeting should move your team closer to your pre-defined goals. If your meetings don’t generate progress, they must be reengineered.

More on Smart Meetings

Okay, so we’ve laid down the fundamentals of smart meetings. Ready to dive even deeper?

From meticulously crafting meeting agendas, to thoughtfully selecting the best meeting structure, making your meetings smart is a fine art. Here are several elements to consider when crafting your meetings.

The Perfect Meeting Agenda

Far too often, meeting organizers come with an agenda that’s just a list of topics. Even though there’s likely several crucial topics that you want to cover in your meetings, agendas that are just bullets after bullets of topics set your meetings up for failure.

The most purposeful agendas include specific, pre-defined questions for attendees to discuss and answer. Starting meetings with the knowledge of exactly what you must resolve gives them a strategic edge.

Even better, narrowing your agenda topics into questions promotes meeting efficiency. Starting meetings with topics to discuss opens the door for irrelevant conversations that don’t get to the heart of the issue. But when you start meetings with questions, attendees know exactly what they’re there to hash out.

Aside from fine-tuning the content of your agenda, make sure that you’re practicing proper agenda etiquette. Share the agenda with attendees well in advance, always include the agenda in the meeting invitations, and hold yourself to following the agenda’s main points.

All in all, now isn’t the time to just “wing it.” Use your meeting agenda as your road map to delivering smarter meetings.

Selecting the Meeting Structure

There’s plenty of useful meeting structures out there to leverage—when they’re appropriate. When choosing the right structure, consider several factors: the purpose, the attendees, and the group size.

For quick status reports, consider holding daily team huddles. These meetings are normally 10 or 15 minutes. They keep your team aligned throughout the week on their priorities. Attendees provide updates and talk through any obstacles. The brevity of these meetings provides teams with ample time to execute on high-value tasks.

Have a crucial project or campaign that’s in the works? A weekly campaign planning meeting can be a productive time for all of the campaign’s stakeholders to talk through the goals for the weeks ahead, what’s in progress and what still needs to be kicked off, and any roadblocks. However, stay vigilant on the importance of this meeting each week. Some weeks of a campaign may be smooth sailing, with nothing significant to discuss.

If you feel like your projects tend to remain stagnant, it may be time to establish Level 10 (L10) meetings. An L10 is a weekly meeting that takes place at the same time and same day each week. It’s recommended for these meetings to last around 90 minutes, yet the length will depend on your team’s needs. Dedicate the bulk of each L10 to discussing any outstanding priorities.

Know When To Say No

Say it with us: not everything needs to be a meeting. Some meetings are just emails in disguise. In order to truly live by the smart meeting code, learn how to sniff out unnecessary meetings.

Useless meetings come with common red flags. If a meeting doesn’t include even a loose agenda, it’s time to start asking questions. And just because a certain weekly meeting has always taken place on your team, doesn’t mean that it’s needed. Have these conversations moved your team closer to a goal? How has your team progressed thanks to these meetings?

Don’t be afraid to question a meeting’s purpose, or if the meeting needs to occur at all. Your entire team will be better off without these questionable meetings. Ask what’s the desired outcome, or question if the frequency of a meeting is necessary, if applicable.

Maybe a meeting feels necessary for certain members to attend, but not you. Be direct—ask the organizer what value you would add, or why your attendance is important.

Making Every Minute Count

For years, we’ve made attending useless meetings a punchline for office jokes. We bond over these jokes because we all know the feeling of counting down the minutes for a meeting to end. Yet the consequences of wasting precious time in inefficient meetings are no laughing matter.

Every once in a while, we attend a meeting that reminds us of how powerful meetings can be. We connect with our teammates, smash through roadblocks, and can practically taste how close we are to attaining our goals. But then this meeting passes by, and we’re back to facing the aimless meetings that we’re accustomed to.

Imagine if every single minute spent in meetings actually mattered. To create this reality, meetings just need a fresh, new approach.

Together, we can stop the meeting mayhem—but only if we make meetings smarter.

The Data Is In: Recruiters Must Connect to Compete

Recruitment teams, let’s make one thing clear: candidates now call the shots.

In every sense of the word, we’re living in a candidate’s market. The job market is twice as competitive as it was pre-pandemic, and it’s increasingly common for candidates to end up spoiled for choice with multiple offers. To top it all off, the Great Resignation is still in full swing, as employees leave for greener pastures in droves.

In our ever-evolving hiring landscape, companies must stay in-the-know on the latest HR trends—or risk getting left in the dust. To gain an inside look on these trends and uncover how to succeed in a candidate’s market, GoodTime surveyed 560 HR, talent, and recruiting leaders across the U.S. for our 2022 Hiring Insights Report.

The findings? Companies that build genuine candidate relationships smash their hiring goals. If teams want to compete with the talent landscape, they must invest time and energy into building relationships with applicants. There’s no way around it.

Candidate Relationships Remain Paramount

When asked how they would describe the changes they’ve observed in the hiring landscape over the past 12 months, 46% of HR leaders said that the ability to create meaningful relationships with candidates has become more important than ever before. This is 1% below the top response, “the hiring landscape has become more competitive due to an increased demand for talent.”

The data shows that focusing on candidate relationships will remain of utmost importance in the future. The ability to create meaningful candidate relationships topped the list of how HR leaders expect the landscape to evolve in the next 12 months. 

Interestingly, when asked which hiring challenges they’ve faced in the past 12 months and which challenges they expect to face in the coming months, HR leaders ranked “retaining top talent” as the biggest challenge each time.

The writing’s on the wall: connecting with candidates is a key component of a successful hiring process. This won’t change anytime soon. But creating candidate relationships is as important for talent retention as it is for acquisition. Retaining talent starts from the very first moment that a candidate has a conversation with a recruiter. In order to turn candidates into long-term hires, talent teams must cultivate genuine connections with new employees from the get-go.

Say Good-bye To One-sided Hiring Practices…

If you didn’t know before, now you know: one-sided, staged hiring practices belong in the past. “Our company has ‘Bring Your Pet to Work Days!’” just doesn’t have the same pizzazz anymore. Candidates expect something deeper.

We asked our report’s respondents what, if anything, does their organization currently do to build a meaningful relationship with candidates throughout the recruiting process. Out of the seven items to choose from, the first seven are candidate-focused hiring practices, and the last two—office tours and free lunch—are outdated methods. Unsurprisingly, we found that less than 35% of companies partake in the last two methods.

The vast majority of companies now realize that one-sided practices don’t generate offer acceptances. Flashy perks hold no value in today’s Distance Economy. (Finally, we can put the in-office ping pong table to rest.) Emphasizing genuine connection, transparency, adaptability, and candidate well-being transforms candidates into new hires.

…And Say Hello To Candidate-focused Methods

It’s no secret that hiring in today’s intensely competitive labor market can feel like an uphill battle. If you want to give your hiring goal attainment a major boost, look no further than candidate-focused hiring practices. 

Among the report’s respondents, we found a notably positive correlation between the number of candidate-focused hiring practices implemented and the percentage of hiring goals met. Specifically, companies implementing seven candidate-focused practices from the previous list saw a 17.7% gain in attaining their hiring goals. 

In fact, as long as companies implemented at least four candidate relationship best practices from the list, they outperformed the average. The business gains from creating genuine candidate relationships are very real. If you care about your bottom line, it’s time to connect.

Dig Deeper Into the Data

The recent changes in the hiring landscape are enough to make anyone’s head spin, but at its core, succeeding at TA in today’s world isn’t as complicated as it seems. If applicants don’t feel connected to your company, they won’t join. And if employees feel disconnected from your company, they will leave. It all boils down to connection. Candidates are people, and everyone yearns for a genuine connection. It’s only human nature.

The solution to TA is right in front of us: invest in candidate relationships as you would in any meaningful asset. You’ll be impressed with the payoff.

Want to dig into more HR data? We got you. Download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report today to get the full story.

3 Ways To Reduce Employee Turnover With Candidate Relationships

Employee quitting amid the Great Resignation.

In the world of recruitment, finding top talent is only half the battle—it’s all about candidate relationships. For hiring teams with goals to not only reel stellar candidates in, but to also ensure that candidates stay engaged in an opportunity that lives up to expectations, talent retention requires just as much attention as talent acquisition.

As a recruiter, if this component of hiring is overlooked (as it all-too-often is), an alarmingly high employee turnover rate can directly negate your efforts to grow your teams. And within the age of the Great Resignation as more and more companies lose their top performers to other opportunities, now is the time to amplify your employee retention efforts.

If the importance of driving retention needed further proof, the cost of replacing an employee reportedly amounts to between 90% to 200% of their annual salary, meaning that keeping retention top-of-mind from the start of the interview process can save both time and money down the road.

We’ve talked about the importance of prioritizing candidate relationships in order to turn candidates into new hires, yet this key component of hiring is equally important when ensuring those new hires decide to stick around for a while. 

While 31% of employees reportedly left their new job within the first six months of working, this statistic doesn’t have to be the reality for your organization. In fact, it is incredibly preventable, and the solution lies in cultivating strong, genuine connections with potential new hires from the get-go. Read on to learn how to use candidate relationships as your secret weapon in boosting retention and reducing turnover.

Be Transparent With Advancement Opportunities

Employees don’t just want to have a job at your organization – they want a career, and part of having a career means having a defined path for promotions and advancement. If these opportunities aren’t present, employees aren’t afraid to look to other places, seen in the more than one-quarter of employees that are reportedly hunting for a new career for better advancement opportunities. 

Clearly and transparently communicating the projected career path in the interviewing stage not only bolsters candidate relationships with a trustworthy foundation of communication but also ensures that both your hiring team and the candidate are on the same page with what can be expected in growth opportunities. 

With 51% of hires left feeling misled over opportunities for career progression, being upfront about how your candidates can advance within the role mitigates the chance that they’ll be disappointed with these opportunities down the line and will decide to move on to a different organization. 

Convey Your Organization’s Culture

Clear communication is undoubtedly a core component in forming a strong relationship with candidates that translates to success and retention once they’re hired, yet this goes beyond articulating growth opportunities: this also means communicating the company culture. 

Company culture has always been somewhat difficult to fully convey to candidates, and the distance economy along with the new norm of remote hiring has made this concept even more abstract and difficult to properly illuminate. But with 38% of workers wanting to leave their jobs due to the culture, it’s evident that taking time to communicate a clear image of the workplace’s culture in the interview process is a must-do.

In the end, a candidate relationship embedded with open discussions on culture ensures that whoever is hired for the role fully understands and aligns with the environment and values of the organization, reducing the likeliness of turnover due to a bad cultural fit down the line.

Demonstrate Flexibility When Hiring

If the rise of remote working has taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is good for business. With 42% of employees reporting that they would leave their jobs for a more flexible work environment, companies that don’t offer flexibility risk losing out on acquiring and retaining top talent.

Facilitating candid conversations with candidates on their options for flexible work and flexible schedules is a great way to both strengthen the candidate relationship and make sure that the new hire won’t quit soon after they start the job due to dissatisfaction with the room for flexibility provided within the position.

But, showing is nearly always better than telling, so if you want your recruiting team to really stand out from the crowd, it’d be wise to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to flexibility using the tools in your tech stack. You can make flexibility paramount in the interview process with optimized virtual interviewing experiences, complete with self-scheduling capabilities that allow candidates to interview at a time that is most convenient for them.

The Bottom Line 

When faced with an increasingly picky candidate pool combined with job-hopping employees that drive up turnover rates, acquiring and retaining talent can oftentimes feel like an uphill battle. In times like this, cultivating the candidate relationship grows ever more important. This means enacting hiring practices that present potential hires with a genuine, true-to-life preview of the job.  

Check out our eBook on the candidate relationship to learn how to give candidates personable experiences at every step in your hiring process.

The Candidate Relationship: Seth Waterman from Databricks

In the modern-day distance economy, where the talent competition grows more and more cut-throat as remote job openings garner hundreds upon thousands of eager applicants, fine-tuning your hiring strategy to foster strong candidate relationships can make the difference between a candidate accepting or rejecting an offer. 

For candidates like Seth Waterman, feeling prioritized and valued during the interview process made accepting the position of Partner Sales Director at Databricks, a leading cloud-based data engineering company, seem like a no-brainer.

With GoodTime in their tech stack, Databricks manages to streamline their hiring to win over Seth and other stellar candidates. And that’s not all: thanks to GoodTime’s interviewer training paths, Databricks increased the size of their interviewer pool, allowing them to move candidates forward faster and deliver quick and easy candidate experiences.

Read on to learn how GoodTime helped Seth accept Databricks’ job offer by boosting one of the most defining factors in every interview: the candidate relationship.

Igniting the Candidate Relationship

Fast-Tracked Hiring Process

73% of job seekers say that job hunting is one of the most stressful events of life, and painstakingly long hiring procedures can only make matters worse. Throughout his job search, Seth experienced this all-too-common reality: companies with drawn-out interview processes that end up souring the candidate experience.

That’s where Databricks stood out from the crowd. After using GoodTime to supercharge their hiring, what could’ve been over a month-long interview process took less than three weeks.

“It was the first time in six years that I had really considered making a move in my career, and with the speed and pace that they worked at through GoodTime, it really made me feel the urgency that they had in me as a candidate.”

— Seth Waterman, Partner Sales Director at Databricks

When companies double down on their tech stack to implement a smooth interview process – as opposed to stringing interviewees along for weeks – candidates feel that their time is honored, and the candidate relationship only grows stronger.

Candidate-Driven Interviews

With 87% of candidates preferring to lead interviews, it’s no surprise that candidate-driven interview processes often wield more success than the company-driven approach. With the help of GoodTime’s automated interview scheduling, Databricks put Seth in the driver’s seat with a hiring process centered around his schedule. 

As over half of job seekers prefer more flexibility over a higher salary, flexibility is a growing priority for candidates. Making self-scheduling a central part of the hiring process can be key to creating a great first impression — and first impressions are everything when it comes to recruitment.

How a candidate is treated in the interview process heavily dictates whether they accept a job offer. In fact, 68% of applicants believe that how they’re treated as a candidate reflects how the organization treats their employees. Implementing a candidate-driven interview process ensures candidates that they’d be stepping into a flexible and trusting work environment.

Learn More About Seth’s Candidate Experience

In the end, both Seth and Databricks’ recruiting team came out on top. Seth felt valued at every step of his interview journey, and the recruiting team snagged a star candidate and stood out among the talent competition. Prioritizing the candidate relationship to win top talent: it works every time.

“If you’re not using GoodTime today, I’d definitely look into it. If you’re interested in having a premier candidate experience for your company, it will go a long way in creating that type of atmosphere.”

— Seth Waterman, Partner Sales Director at Databricks

Watch the video below to hear more about Seth’s experience with Databricks and GoodTime.

How the Distance Economy Changed the Way We Work

Employee working from home.

In 2019, only 6% of Americans worked from home — a number that soared to 45% early in the pandemic. People everywhere went from working side-by-side to collaborating solely online in a matter of weeks.

More than just where we work, there’s no question that this distance economy has impacted how we work. It’s even changed what people want from work.

Feelings of social isolation and burnout drove candidates to re-prioritize what’s important to them. And now they’re demanding the very thing they’ve been missing the most — genuine connections and conversations around the things that matter. The distance economy generated a need to communicate differently.

63% of candidates say most employers don’t effectively communicate

Candidates want regular feedback and communication during the interview process. In remote hiring, where human connection is lacking, this is more important than ever.  

84% of candidates want hiring process transparency before they apply 

Emerging from a period of uncertainty, candidates want to see full transparency from companies, including what to expect with salaries, benefits, job responsibilities, and work arrangements.

37% of people experience lower trust in leadership     

Remote work created feelings of isolation for many. Connection builds trust, and it’s important to start building that connection as early as the interview stage. The distance economy created a desire for a more personally fulfilling work experience.

33% of recruiters say more candidates ask about their DEI initiatives than before the pandemic

Candidates want to be a part of an equitable workplace that demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. And they’re prepared to pass up job offers from companies that don’t.

76% of millennials want to know about a company’s social and environmental stance before accepting a job       

Environmental and social commitment matters to many candidates, especially the largest segment of today’s workforce — millennials.

More than one in three candidates would take a pay cut for learning opportunities

The uncertainty of the recent economic crisis accelerated the need for upskilling, especially in technology. Candidates want employers who can maximize their potential and set them up for a better tomorrow. The distance economy amplified the need to feel appreciated and prioritized.

75% of people say their mental health is now a top priority

Remote work took a major toll on personal well-being. Now, candidates are looking for employers that place as much value on mental health as they do.

Flexibility is the fastest-growing priority for job seekers right now. Candidates want continued flexibility to gain better work-life balance and to prioritize their mental and physical health.

Only 17% of remote employees want to return to the office full-time

Two years into the pandemic, people have figured out how to work from home. Now, they’re looking for companies that give them the flexibility to work in a way that suits their life.

Trust, transparency, flexibility. If you’re noticing a pattern in the data being reported, you’re not alone. Now more than ever before people want genuine connection. For hiring leaders, that means developing positive candidate relationships. 

Download our eBook to learn how candidate relationships help teams hire top talent faster.

CR - LinkedIn Header (1400 x 425 px)

How to Run High-quality Interviews in the Distance Economy

Interviews are a critical part of any hiring phase. But what happens when you have to undertake these interviews against the backdrop of an emerging distance economy? It’s more challenging when you have to undertake the interviewing process remotely. Unless you employ impeccable skills and tactics, you’ll likely miss the mark in your recruitment process. 

So, how do you ensure that your remote interview process is above board? Scott Parker, Director of Product Marketing at Goodtime, spoke with Siadhal Magos, Founder and CEO of Metaview. Here’re some useful takeaways from the LinkedIn Live conversation that can be handy for hiring leaders managing the remote hiring processes. 

Prepare Your Interviewers Like Your Company Depends on It

When it comes to building candidate relationships, there’s little room for error during remote interviews. The days of the fashionably decorated offices loaded with perks are done for the foreseeable future, so preparation and proper training are key.

In most cases, candidates anticipate a polished interview process with minimal hitches. Having specialized training paths to ensure you have the right people asking the right questions to the best candidates is everything.

The interview preparation phase involves more than just selecting a panel of interviewers. Preparation involves optimizing your tech stack, the questions being asked, the interview sequence (who’s asking what and at what stage), and the scheduled times for the interviews.

Unlike face-to-face interviews, where you have more leeways to make adjustments, there’s very little wiggle room for remote interviews, especially if they’re across multiple time zones. If you want to run a high-quality interview in the distance economy, create training paths and interview templates to scale your process efficiently while keeping it bespoke to each candidate and role.   

Train a Broad Pool of Interviewers 

The new distance economy means the candidate pool is far deeper, which could easily overwhelm your team. A mistake some hiring managers make is settling for a smaller interviewer pool, which exposes the team to two negative outcomes: burnout and a slow time-to-hire.

It’s critical to empower your interviewers both in skill set and in load balancing. If you anticipate interviewing 70% of the shortlisted talent, you need to have at least 30% of an equivalent number of interviewers to oversee the interviews. 

It’s essential to expand the interviewer pool when dealing with remote interviews. This way, you have room for diversity, increased productivity and better succession planning. Before commencing the interview process, empower the interview team in a way that they can manage the process seamlessly. It’s also important to note that your interviewers are the face of your brand. What they portray during the interview is what the interviewees will take as the actual representation of your brand.

Plainly: an exhausted and dismissive interview panel will absolutely send the wrong signal. Don’t let it happen. 

Invest in the Right Resources

It’s surprising how hiring managers can set a very high standard for the candidates, yet rarely invest as much in the interviewing team. The interviewer training process is helpful as it sets the standards when dealing with interviewers.

Properly trained interviewers can cut the actual time of recruitment by up to 50%. The quality of the actual interview process depends more on the skill level of the interviewers than on the number of panelists. An interviewer should have conversational skills and analytical capabilities when managing the recruitment process. Other aspects such as experience in managing people also come in handy.

As an organization, it’s essential to invest the time in training your interviewers. When dealing with remote candidates, specific skills are critical. Unfortunately, most of these necessary skills cannot be attained without a formal, standardized training. 

Vary Your Question Types 

The process of interviewing candidates encompasses both open and closed-ended questions. Sometimes, direct, closed questions during an interview save time. But in other cases, you also need to listen to what the interview has said in length about some topic areas. This is significantly more so when dealing with remote interviews. 

In most cases, open-ended questions are helpful in the modern distance economy context. Open-ended questions allow you to probe the candidates more and invite them into a conversation. It’s important to do this, since it will enable the candidate to feel at ease and blend into the conversation. It’s essential to set questions so that they invite a broad range of responses.

The future of hiring will witness a mix of remote, in-person and hybrid work settings. Open-ended interviews present a chance for interviewees to explain how they intend to ensure flexibility in response to the uncertain future. 

 It will also help put the interviewee on the different spot-on issues. On the other hand, closed-ended questions allow the interviewee to give short answers on direct matters. 

The Bottom Line

The distance economy continues to disrupt how businesses run and operate. Talent acquisition teams must adjust and adapt to this evolving world of remote hiring. Optimizing remote interviews is among the new norms that every TA leader must embrace to develop the best candidate relationship possible.