Interview scheduling is one of the oldest recruiting practices in the book. It’s also a necessary procedure that’s critical to the backbone of your entire hiring process.
The technological advances of the past few decades have caused drastic shifts in how we conduct and what we expect of business communication. The ever-increasing breadth of internet connectivity and the imaginative uses that connectivity serves have meant that processes that used to take weeks can now be completed in seconds. Except for interview scheduling, that is. Somehow, despite all of our technological and societal advancement, this most crucial of functions has remained stuck in the dark ages.
A slow or disorganized scheduling system can lead to major headaches for recruiters and recruiting coordinators. They’re often the ones who spend a bulk of their time going back and forth with candidates and hiring managers to schedule interviews at times that work for everyone.
That’s no easy task. Things can get hectic, schedules can be jam-packed -- and sometimes, unexpected things can just “happen.” This forces recruiters to have to reach back out to candidates to reschedule, which has its own set of consequences:
- Having to reschedule adds more time to the hiring process by sending recruiters back to scheduling square one. This can add days, if not weeks, to the hiring process.
- Rescheduling places a burden on candidates who may have taken time off work or shifted their schedules. If they can’t reschedule, recruiters risk having top talent drop of out their pipeline.
When Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head, the best defense a hiring team has is a strong scheduling process. Here are a few tips for structuring your interview scheduling process in a way that promotes efficiency, collaboration, and candidate experience:
Establish Interviewing Scheduling Goals
An effective interview scheduling system needs to adhere to your organization’s overall hiring process, while ensuring your team meets their goals. Before sending out your first scheduling invitation, it’s important to determine the overall goals of your interview process. Consider these factors:
- How many interview rounds is your team looking to schedule throughout the entire process?
- How many candidates should (ideally) be identified to move forward to next-round interviews?
- What types of interviews are needed to properly evaluate candidates for the position?
- Does upper management or the executive team need to be involved?
- Are internal hires being considered for the role?
- What types of feedback do members of your hiring team need to make informed decisions?
- How will members of your hiring team communicate feedback internally?
The answers to these questions will vary depending on the size of the organization, the nature of the position, and how many people are involved in making hiring decisions.
Identify Interview Scheduling Availabilities
One of the biggest issues with interview scheduling is the lack of coordination between members of the hiring team. Recruiters can spend hours playing “Calendar Tetris” to determine open availabilities for hiring managers, who are often inundated with other tasks and responsibilities outside of the hiring process.
To avoid the risk of scheduling conflicts, make sure you set standards for each member of your hiring team. There are several ways to do this:
- Ask your hiring manager to designate time slots or specific days devoted specifically to interviewing candidates.
- Give your hiring manager regular updates on the status of the interview process, and how many candidates have moved through to the next round.
- Use a “round robin” interviewing process, where different members of the team perform one-on-one interviews on a rotating basis.
- Complete weekly “check-ins” with your hiring manager to determine open availabilities for the upcoming week.
Scheduling software is a great tool to help recruiters and recruiting coordinators keep tabs on open availabilities. Here’s how it works:
- Recruiters or recruiting coordinators identify which hiring members need to be scheduled for an interview.
- The scheduling software will sync all calendars and scan them for all open availabilities that work for all designated members of your hiring team.
Use Interview Scheduling Tools
Once availabilities are identified and aggregated, recruiters can send customized emails to candidates that allow them to select openings that work best for them. Recruiters can cut straight to the chase, rather than engaging in frustrating back-and-forth email chains that can take days to finalize.
Scheduling software takes the most tedious parts of scheduling and streamlines them. With the logistics in place, hiring teams can focus on humanizing the candidate experience with greater engagement and more intuitive employer branding initiatives through customized scheduling invitations.
Here are some things to include along with your scheduling link to help showcase your employer brand:
- Thank candidates for their interest in your company
- Tell them more about what to expect throughout the interview process
- Let them know who they’ll be interviewing with
- Provide more information on company culture or latest company news
- Include links to your company’s career site and social media pages
- Ask candidates for feedback on your process through a poll or survey
When scheduling tools are synced with tools like Convey for Communication, recruiters can take engagement a step further by setting up auto-triggered interview scheduling invitations via email or SMS based on where a particular candidate is in the interview process. This ensures recruiters connect with candidates as soon as next steps are determined, and that candidates are receiving relevant updates promptly.
Interested in learning more about how to improve your interview scheduling process? Check out our latest webinar, where we break down the six most common issues with interview scheduling, and how to improve your process to for a better candidate experience.