It's not something we often pay mind to, but the actual process of scheduling candidate interviews is important for two reasons:
- Opportunity cost for your company. Failing to streamline the interview scheduling process can result in high opportunity cost, not just for the HR department, but for all managers and employees involved with the hire.
- The candidate's first impression of you matters. The interview scheduling process is literally the first touch-point the candidate has with the company. Just as you want to get a good first impression of the candidate, it's equally important that they get a strong impression of you and your employer brand from the jump.
For example, an application process that includes long delays in responding to candidates will signify a company that's either incompetent, or doesn't value its applicant pool—or worse, both. And when applicants feel that way, you can bet they'll let you and everyone else know about it (see: Glassdoor).
The key, then, is to make sure every last employee at your company adopts a mindset that values its applicant pool.
Tips to improve your interview scheduling invitation
- Select the "optimum" time of day. Usually that's in the morning (10am to 11am) before the caffeine has kicked in and things start getting crazy in the office. You want to make sure hiring managers can devote 100 percent of their attention to the candidate without distraction.
- Allot more time for interviews, not less. There's nothing worse for a candidate than feeling like they didn't get a fair shake in the interview. Usually time, or lack thereof, is the culprit. Give the candidate, as well as the hiring managers, equal opportunity to leave everything on the table without feeling pressed for time.
- Consider the interviewer's other commitments/deadlines. Again, give the interviewer the opportunity to focus 100 percent on the candidate without worry about another meeting they need to scramble to, or a deadline they might not meet because of the interview. Ask them for interview preference times in advance, and schedule accordingly.
- Eliminate lag time when conducting Round Robin interviews. If a candidate is interviewing with multiple people one after the other, minimize—or better yet—eliminate lag time so they're not left twiddling their thumbs for 20-some minutes in between rounds.
- Don't book the broom closet. In other words, make sure ahead of time the proper venue is available for the interview to take place in. You don't want to get kicked out of a conference room due to an overlooked double-booking, then have to conduct the rest of the interview in the broom closet!
And the final tip:
Interview scheduling software helps recruiters!
Interview scheduling software helps streamline, automates, and sync the entire interview scheduling process for all parties involved. Such calendar availability tools combat the need for back-and-forth of emails for logistics and scheduling between recruiters and candidates. This opens the recruiter up to tackle loftier challenges that require real brain power, and makes for improved candidate satisfaction since they are free of the uncertainty and frustration typically borne from the manual scheduling process.
4 things to look for in an online interview scheduler
A host of interview scheduling tools exist to supply various recruiter needs and functions. It's always a good idea to know what to look for in interview scheduling software before moving ahead with your purchase. Below are 4 major considerations if you’re in the market for an online interview scheduler:
1) Interview software features
- Automated interview scheduling: This feature makes use of triggering to automate calendars and other messages to candidates, depending where they are in the interview process.
- Calendar management: Users can create and/or update interview times on their own calendars, which then automatically sync across all calendars and notify pertinent parties. This feature may also allow syncing with calendar apps like iCal, Google Calendar, or Microsoft Outlook.
- Meeting room booking: Organizers can specify not just interview times and dates but meeting room locations as well.
- Dynamic interview scheduling: Some softwares allow for more than just one-on-one interview use cases. For instance, ConveyIQ for Scheduling includes three additional interview types: Round Robin, Group, and Sequential.
- Device syncing: Any new interview, update, or note is automatically synced across all devices.
- Availability preferences: Organizers and interviewers can set availability and block off unavailable times.
- Automatic reminders: Reminders are triggered and automatically sent out to all pertinent parties before an interview.
2) Option to demo
Some recruitment platforms allow you to demo their interview scheduling software before purchase. This is a great way to compare competing tools and see which fares better in terms of performance, features, and even UX/UI.
3) Live support and resources
There are recruiting platforms that offer 24/7 live support ready to assist you with any questions or issues you may have with their scheduling software. Additionally, they may provide access to comprehensive resource guides for HR professionals on their website or blog that add more insight to their platform.
4) Scheduling software pricing
When evaluating price, it's important to ask these questions:
- How many employees will be using the interview scheduling tool? Most scheduling softwares are subscription-based (usually monthly). Some services may set a fixed price permitting access up to a certain number of employees before requiring you to upgrade, while others may simply charge per head.
- How much does it cost to use the interview scheduling tool in multiple locations? Some companies charge additional fees if you use their software in more than one location or office.
- Which software features are necessary and which are superfluous? For example, some scheduling softwares may include time tracking in their premium packages, while others will offer it in their basic-tier plans at no additional charge. Figure out exactly what you need so you don't risk overspending.
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
With automated scheduling tools, 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.
ConveyIQ for Scheduling allows you to automate the otherwise time-consuming and frustrating process of scheduling interviews, ultimately making for a better experience for recruiters, hiring managers, and job candidates.