In the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it felt like the entire world had stopped. For many organizations, that was far from the case. Companies across the globe—especially leaders in the digital landscape—faced major upticks in demand. With that increased demand came the need to find qualified candidates as efficiently as possible.
Obviously, on-site interviews were largely off the table. So how does the dynamic change when the entire process—from application, to interview, to onboarding—might have to be carried out entirely from home?
That was the question facing leaders at Indeed, who were now serving users under entirely new circumstances. For more than a decade, their aggregated job postings saved time and money for applicants and organizations alike, proving the industry-changing power of digital solutions and making them the top job site in the world. It seemed only natural they would continue to lead the way in transforming the hiring process for a new era.
“Indeed originally set out to find and collect all the jobs on the internet,” explained Naveed Hedayati, senior product manager. “Once we had that, we moved toward helping people apply. The next step was to help them interview as well—and COVID simply accelerated that.”
To help facilitate hiring in the era of COVID-19, Indeed’s developers leveraged the power of Twilio APIs like Programmable Video, Voice, Messaging, and Conversations, to build and deploy a browser-based virtual interviewing platform that integrates seamlessly with their hiring ecosystem.
This simple, powerful tool has made it easier than ever to connect with the right candidates at the right time, wherever they might be.
“Communication paradigms have changed over time,” said Scott Warriner, a senior product manager for Indeed’s communications platform. “From the introduction of social media platforms, instant messaging, and chat interfaces… it means we all have to modernize.”
Modernization became even more essential in 2020, as the pandemic forced companies to find new and better ways to connect digitally. A Gartner survey showed 86 percent of organizations conducted virtual interviews during the pandemic, and trends indicate digital communication tools will continue to expand and evolve rapidly in the post-pandemic era.
That means digital engagement solutions can’t just be a stopgap for today’s challenges; they have to accommodate long-term growth, deep customization, and multi-channel capabilities for the needs of tomorrow. That understanding guided how the team at Indeed went about finding the right solution to help their users.
“We explored a few options for video conferencing. Many of them either weren’t browser-optimized or didn’t offer the flexibility we needed,” Hedayati said. “We wanted something that had a lot of features, and one of the things we were really looking for was ease of use.”
Many of the possibilities they explored required code inputs, app downloads, or other extra steps for users that the team felt would overcomplicate the process. “Imagine if you’re looking for a job and you’re applying, you’re getting interviews, and every company uses a different platform or requires a different download,” Hedayati said. “It’s simply annoying.”
The goal became to streamline the experience with a single, unified tool built with hiring in mind—and that’s what brought Indeed to Twilio.
Unlike an out-of-the-box video product, Twilio APIs gave Indeed’s developers the freedom to customize every aspect of their solution to include recruiting-specific functions and visualizations—helping them differentiate from other offerings on the market.
A key part of this customization, Hedayati said, was the ability to integrate across multiple channels: “Twilio not only gives us a browser based solution, but also the ability to easily add features like phone calls, chat, and SMS.”
Indeed’s platform makes creative use of the Twilio Conversations API, offering an integrated chat functionality alongside the recruiter and job seeker video calls. With multichannel video calls, the ability to use voice calls when connectivity is poor, and integrated SMS notifications, the hiring process becomes one integrated and efficient experience.
When a candidate enters an interview hosted through Indeed, they’re put into a virtual lobby and queueing system that allows the interviewer to see who’s present and share information about wait times. If a candidate knows they’ll have to wait, they can request the system to text them once the interviewer is ready—an automated process powered by Twilio Programmable Messaging.
The system also includes anonymized and click-to-call phone numbers as an alternate channel in the event that a candidate doesn’t have access to a computer during the interview or technical issues arise. “We have people interviewing while they’re walking to the grocery store or on their lunch break,” Hedayati said. “That freedom is really valuable.”
Once the interview is over, the recruiter can fill out notes that feed directly into an applicant tracking system, then prepare for their next interview. “It’s one seamless experience for both the recruiter and the applicant,” he added.
“We’re building more robust tooling that includes a lot of Twilio software,” Hedayati said. Among those features will be an expansion of the interview platform’s current one-on-one limitations to allow for multiple interviewers and candidates in a call simultaneously, providing even more flexibility for their global users.
Indeed’s adoption of a virtual interviewing platform was accelerated by COVID-19, but it’s usefulness will far outlast the pandemic. Their customizable, Twilio-powered solution will pave the way for more digital innovations—and help even more workers around the world find the perfect role.