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Hiring Guide: How to Use Indeed’s Employer Tools

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In this guide, you’ll learn how to use Indeed’s employer tools to find and hire quality candidates. Learning how to use these tools puts you in a better position to bring on great new employees and create a more efficient hiring process.

Read on to learn about:

  • Using Applicant Qualifications and Assessments to filter candidates
  • Connecting with candidates and scheduling interviews
  • Hiring virtually (with phone pre-screen tips)
  • Making competitive job offers
  • Reaching out to Indeed if you need help

Quick navigation:

Motivating candidates to apply

When you post a job on Indeed, you can choose to create a free[1] listing or pay to sponsor your job to improve its visibility in job seeker searches. You can also customize your Indeed Company Page to help potential candidates learn more about life at your company.

Start building a strong employer brand by claiming your Indeed Company Page. Through featured employee reviews, work happiness ratings, priority roles and company updates, your company page can help you compete for the talent you want.

Job seekers that visit your company page are, on average, 2.5x more likely to apply.[2]

Another way to motivate candidates to apply is to invite them to apply. When you sponsor a job on Indeed, you’ll unlock matched candidates, which allows you to view quality candidates whose resumes on Indeed fit your description immediately after paying to post. When you see a potential fit, you can invite them to apply.[3] Candidates you invite to apply through Indeed’s matching technology (formerly Instant Match) are 3X more likely to apply to your job than those who only see it in search.[4]

Identifying quality candidates on Indeed

Indeed helps you find people with the skills and qualifications you’re looking for. That way you spend less time searching for suitable candidates and more time connecting with potential hires.

Screen for key skills and qualifications

Depending on the job, you might want to require a candidate to answer questions about special certifications, work experiences or software proficiencies. Their answers to these screener questions can indicate whether or not they meet your hiring criteria (e.g., education level, years of experience, language abilities, ability to relocate, geographic location).

Indeed provides a number of pre-written screener questions based on your job title to choose from on the Applicant Qualifications section of your job post, but you can also create your own questions.

Some of our customizable screener question formats include:

  • Yes/No
  • Multiple choice
  • Short answers
  • File upload (like certificates and portfolios)

Your questions can be marked as “deal breakers” or optional to make sure you only pay for qualified applicants that meet your “deal breaker” requirements. With “deal breakers” you give Indeed permission to deprioritize applicants and file them under Rejected within Indeed Connect. This can also be useful because even if a candidate lacks an optional or “nice-to-have” qualification, they might still be a great fit and could be worth reviewing.

Marking any must-haves as “deal-breakers” can also help us surface better matched candidates. Learn more about how Indeed’s matching technology (formerly Instant Match) works.

An image of the applicant qualifications page on Indeed

Add as many Applicant Qualifications as needed for the role.

Filter to find quality candidates

As people start applying for your job(s), you can use Indeed Connect to filter your applicants based on their answers to your questions. You can also filter by other criteria like education, location and work experience to quickly find top candidates.

For more info about filtering and keeping track of candidates, read our article on How to Screen and Manage Candidates with Indeed for Employers.

You can only filter applicants by the questions you marked as deal breakers. Questions marked optional will not appear in Indeed Connect.

Screen applicants with Indeed skills tests

Indeed Assessments, or skills tests, are another great tool to help you quickly identify quality candidates. For example, you can test your applicants’ knowledge of technical subjects or general abilities like critical thinking. When you add a skills test, applicants will receive a notification to complete it after applying to your job opportunity. You can then filter candidates in your dashboard based on whether or not they have taken the assessment, and based on their results.

Another benefit is that Indeed Assessments help gauge the interest level of job seekers. Employers have told us that job seekers who take the time to complete an assessment test are, in general, more likely to be serious about the job.

A screenshot of the automated testing portion of the Indeed Employer Dashboard

Click Edit Job on a job in Indeed Connect to choose and send a skills test.

You can add an assessment to your job post on the Customized Screening page. Indeed will suggest relevant skills tests based on the job title, and you can always browse the catalog to find more. You can also choose to let Indeed send the tests to individual applicants on your behalf. Just select the checkbox next to the Indeed Assessments Terms.

If you already posted a job and would like to add an assessment, click Edit Job in Indeed Connect. Then select Assessment Types and edit the assessments you’d like to include. If a candidate has already applied, you can prompt them to take the assessment. Just go to that Candidate’s page, click More Actions and then select Send Assessment from the list of options.

Unlike Applicant Qualifications, you can’t require applicants to complete an assessment. It’s important to remember that a person might be a great candidate even if they don’t complete your assessment test — but whoever you choose to move forward with is up to you!

Searching for candidates with Indeed Resume

Beyond posting your jobs for candidates to apply to, you can also proactively search our resume database, Indeed Resume, to find and message people who meet your hiring criteria. According to an Indeed survey, 73% of employers say candidates sourced from resume databases — like Indeed Resume — are “extremely qualified” for the role.[5]

Using Indeed Resume can be especially beneficial if you’re hiring for hard-to-fill positions or if you’d like to supplement your job posts by looking for passive talent. In fact, 20% of Indeed users update their resume but don’t actually search for a job[6], which means you can find a fresh set of candidates in our resume database.

Note: You must have an Indeed Resume subscription to view full resumes and contact candidates. Here’s how to purchase a subscription.

Identify promising candidates

With Indeed Resume, you can search through 225 million prospective candidates using search criteria and filters like job title, location, skills, work history, education, availability and other criteria. Indeed Resume also supports Boolean searching and search operators with the advanced search feature.


indeed resume filters

Learn more about using Indeed Resume to search for quality candidates.

Reach out to your top picks

When you find a candidate you’d like to discuss your job opportunity with, send them a message to gauge their interest and/or schedule a phone screen or virtual interview to start the conversation.

You can create and save messages as templates that can be sent to multiple candidates without having to manually replace the job or candidate details. This makes it faster and easier to reach out to the candidates you’re interested in.

You can also easily transfer resumes, contact info and other data to your ATS using Indeed Recruiter Extension.

Read our Indeed Resume FAQs for more details on pricing, contacting candidates and more.

Collaborating with your team

Indeed also features a function that allows you to invite colleagues to weigh in on candidates, collaborate on job posts and review billing info. By aligning with your team earlier on in the hiring process, you can save time and move fast when the time comes to make an offer.

Share and discuss job applicants

First you’ll need to invite your colleagues so they can review your applicants. You can do this by visiting the Application Settings page under Communication Settings. Then add your colleagues’ email addresses and set their permissions level. They’ll receive an email which allows them to access Indeed Connect, review candidate qualifications and share notes about candidates.

Export candidates

If you’d rather send a candidate’s info to a colleague by email or instant message, you can do that too. From Indeed Connect, select the checkbox at the top left, then click Select Candidates. You can then select one or more candidates to export from any Open, Paused or Closed job.

Some of your coworkers may be more comfortable reviewing a resume in their email inbox. By exporting, you can quickly send a candidate’s resume by email to get candidates approved fast.

Using Indeed Connect

Indeed Connect is your one-stop shop for hiring on Indeed. It’s where you can do everything from editing your job posts to contacting candidates. Here’s how to make the most of Indeed Connect:

Managing candidates

As you use the filters within Indeed Connect to review applicants, you can mark each person with a Yes (√), Maybe (?) or No (X). You can then filter by Applicant Status to quickly sort through and focus solely on the candidates you’re interested in.

Job seekers tell us that even though it can be hard to hear, they prefer to know when they are no longer being considered for a role. When you come across applicants who aren’t a good fit, click the Reject Candidate button in the candidate’s profile to automatically send a polite message that lets them know they are no longer being considered for the job.

This is a view of the candidates tab

Click the column headers to quickly find candidates who fit your hiring criteria.

Indeed helps you stay organized by automatically tagging applicants in your dashboard with one of the following statuses as you move through the hiring process:

  • Awaiting review
  • Reviewed
  • Contacting
  • Rejected

If you do make a hire, you’ll want to manually change the candidate’s Applicant Status to Hired so Indeed can optimize your experience for your next job. Updating a candidate’s status can also help you stay organized, track your ROI and reference your hiring history at a later date.

Read more: How to Screen and Manage Candidates with Indeed for Employers

Communicating with candidates

When you’re ready to start the interview process, you can reach out to candidates right from Indeed Connect. Keeping all your messages with candidates in one place can help you track where each applicant is in the hiring process and ensure a great potential hire doesn’t slip through the cracks.

Your messaging inbox consolidates your conversations across all of your jobs on Indeed. By making sure you respond to each message, you can work your way towards the Responsive Employer Badge, which shows up on all your job posts to signify you’re likely to reply to their application.

You can send a message or schedule an interview by clicking a candidate’s profile on the Candidates Page.

Messaging best practices

Reaching out to candidates with a message is not only an opportunity to move the hiring process along, but also an important part of building trust with a potential teammate. We found that 77% of job seekers say they would have a negative perception of a company if they don’t hear back after applying.[7]

Not sure what to say when reaching out to a candidate? We’ve created candidate recruitment email templates you can use as a foundation to quickly craft a message to quality candidates.

Indeed Employer Assist

If you want to be courteous to applicants you’re no longer interested in and also save time, use Indeed Employer Assist. This feature will automatically notify candidates that they’re no longer being considered if you don’t take action or show interest in them within 7, 10 or 14 days. The clock starts as soon as a candidate submits an application.

A day before the unreviewed candidate is due to receive a rejection notification, you’ll receive an email notification. That way, if you need more time to take action on an application (e.g., respond to a message, change their status, download a resume), you can manually choose to keep them in the running.

If you go on vacation, become too busy to keep up with reviewing applications or you receive more applications than you expected, you can pause your job to stop receiving new applications.

Interviewing candidates on Indeed

Did you know that Indeed has everything you need to conduct a great interview? From sending calendar invites to connecting on a virtual interview, you can save time and interview prospective hires without leaving your desk.

Pre-screening candidates

Pre-screening is typically a quick phone call between a prospective candidate and a recruiter or HR generalist. If the candidate seems like a good fit, they’re passed along to the hiring manager. The pre-screening phone call is most commonly used to verify the candidate’s credentials so the hiring manager can spend their time interviewing the most promising candidates.

Good pre-screening questions provide a window into a candidate’s work history, skill level and personality. They’re also an opportunity to both evaluate how a candidate might align with your company culture and start off your relationship with a potential hire on a good foot. In fact, 46% of job seekers say authentic and genuine interviewers are the most important factor in developing a feeling of positive connection or camaraderie with a company during the interview stage.[8]

Here are some phone interview questions to consider asking during your next phone screen. Plus, some tips for conducting an effective phone screen.

After each pre-screen phone call, you can log notes in the candidate’s profile within Indeed Connect and edit their applicant status. Any notes you add to the candidate carry over and can help you evaluate the same candidate for other roles that may be a better fit.

An image from the interview tool

Schedule and conduct your interview right from your Indeed dashboard.

Scheduling an interview

Ready to start interviewing? First, click Set up Interview on the candidate’s profile to get started. Next, send out an interview invitation with some suggested times and the type of interview you want to schedule. Video conferencing is the default, but you can also choose to schedule phone or in-person interviews.

You’ll also want to make sure to send your candidate some information so they can prepare. Our data tells us that 72% of job seekers said that receiving detailed information prior to their interview led to a positive experience.[9]

When you send out your invitation to interview, the candidate will receive your invitation via email. In order to save time and prevent no-shows, interviewees must manually confirm the interview time. Afterwards, both you and the candidate will receive a confirmation with a calendar file so both parties can be sure they’ll receive a notification to attend. A link to your interview will be sent to you and the candidate when they accept your invite.

Conducting a virtual interview on Indeed

Opting to conduct a live virtual interview on Indeed can be a faster and easier choice over an in-person interview. To schedule a video interview, go to the Interviews tab on Indeed Connect and invite the candidate you want to interview. Inside Indeed Connect, you will find the option to conduct an interview from your browser on the Indeed platform. Indeed Interview makes it seamless to track candidates through the interview process, and you can invite candidates and send reminders leading up to the interview.

Try to maintain professionalism by ensuring your space is free from loud noises and distracting backgrounds. With Indeed Interview, you can blur your background and use our noise-reduction features to remove distractions. Making a good impression is important when you consider that 55% of applicants who have a positive interview experience with a company tell their personal network about the experience (e.g., friends, family, and colleagues).[10] Here are some best practices to follow when conducting virtual interviews.

Make sure you test your camera and microphone before the interview begins so you know you’ll be seen and heard by the candidate. We also recommend starting off your interview by directly asking the candidate if they can hear and see you properly so both parties can have the best interview possible. In the event you do experience connection issues, you can quickly call the candidate on the phone through Indeed’s virtual interview tool so you don’t miss a beat.

Image of a virtual interview in progress

Reference your candidate’s resume as you conduct your virtual interview.

During the interview, you can take notes while reviewing their resumes all on the same screen. Additionally, you can invite up to 50 colleagues for a panel interview. You will all share screen sharing and whiteboard abilities to interact with the candidate during the interview. 

While a video call may seem more casual than an in-person interview, try to conduct the interview as if it were in person. Come prepared with interview questions and give the candidate ample time to answer. We’ve compiled interview questions across 450+ job titles to help you prepare the most effective interview questions based on the role you’re hiring for.

Interviews are also your chance to communicate everything important about the job, including why the candidate should work at your company versus anywhere else. Here are some key areas to touch on:

  • Job duties, skills and requirements
  • Salary range and compensation structure
  • A “day-in-the-life” job overview
  • Benefit details
  • Career path examples

Making a job offer

From candidate to employee

You’ve gone from many candidates down to your top pick and now the ball is in their court. It’s possible that your top candidate will accept your offer, but they may have other offers on the table. Your best bet is to extend an offer with a competitive salary and attractive perks and benefits. Present your proposed compensation and benefits package with some wiggle room for negotiations. (See these tips for negotiating salary with candidates.)

Here are a few things job seekers look at when considering an offer:

Also, make sure to be specific when you mention PTO, sick leave and holidays. It can make a big difference to candidates who are deciding between multiple offers.

When you’re ready to make an offer, email your finalist first to set up a time to talk. If the answer is “yes,” it’s time to agree on a start date and send an offer letter. Remember, until a candidate signs the offer, they have not officially accepted.

Not sure how to write an offer letter? Check out these job offer letter samples and this offer letter email template.

Once the document has been signed and returned, you’ve successfully made a hire – congratulations!

Contacting Indeed customer success

Need help navigating Indeed? Check out our Help Center. Log in to your account, and click on Help Center in the menu at the top of the page.

A pop-up menu will appear at the bottom of the page. You can search commonly asked questions or enter your own in the search bar.

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Choose Send message to submit your question into the form.


Click Contact us and then Chat with us to begin a chat session.


To speak to a client success specialist, call 1-800-475-4361. We’re available Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

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