Interview scheduling is an important---but often overlooked---part of the hiring process. If done right, it can reflect well on your company, improving candidates' experiences and the likelihood that they’ll reapply even if they’re not the right fit this time around.
Poor interview scheduling experiences increase the time and cost to hire, and can mean that candidates drop out and go to competitors. They may also leave a negative review on a site like Glassdoor. These reviews can make a huge difference to your employer brand and negatively affect the candidates that apply for a role.
Virgin Media learned this the hard way when they discovered that 18% of their rejected candidates were also Virgin Media customers. Until they experienced that poor hiring process. They---and their inner circles---took their business elsewhere, costing the company $5.4 million.
A poor interview scheduling experience also wastes the time of hiring managers and recruiters. They spend longer getting in touch with candidates and coordinating schedules instead of working on bigger, more important tasks. The time they waste on interview scheduling results in them missing targets elsewhere, leading to job dissatisfaction and a greater employee turnover.
When you add in the coordination involved, as well as finding available meeting rooms and equipment, the seemingly small task of interview scheduling quickly ends up taking more time than it should.
So how do you claw back that time and create a friction-free interview scheduling process for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers?
Connect everyone’s calendars to interview scheduling software
The constant back-and-forth that’s required to schedule an interview is time-consuming and frustrating for everyone involved. Candidates may not be able to speak on the phone when at work, meaning that it’s difficult for recruiters to organize a time that works and the time to hire goes up.
Hiring managers can only provide candidates with a handful of meeting times. If a candidate can’t make these times, or two candidates pick the same time, they have to reschedule.
Even just finding these times can be frustrating. Hiring managers and recruiters often have to switch between multiple applications to check their schedules. If they forget to check one of them, they may find themselves double-booked, which then leads to them needing to reschedule one of their appointments.
Our survey found that 61% of hiring managers often find interviews conflict with other appointments, meaning that rescheduling interviews or rearranging appointments is a regular occurrence.
When a hiring manager connects their calendar to their interview scheduling software, they don’t need to worry about the stream of emails or phone calls that interrupt their day. Recruitment coordinators also don’t get caught in the middle between candidates and hiring managers, trying to find a time that works for everyone.
Offer candidates self-booking links
When candidates can self-book their interview, it doesn’t matter if they work night shifts or can’t have their phone with them at work. They can book it a time that’s most convenient for them while still factoring in the availability of the interviewer(s).
This creates a candidate-first hiring process, which helps to improve your employer brand and the likelihood that even those who are unsuccessful may reapply for future rules.
Hiring managers also don’t need to worry about taking time out of their schedule to check their schedules. The software can use their most recent schedule to only suggest times when they’re free.
It takes 64% of recruiters two or more days to schedule an interview. Self-booking links are one of the easiest ways to streamline interview scheduling, but they make a huge difference to everyone involved.
Schedule everything at once
When holding an interview, there’s another key element that needs to be factored in: an available meeting room.
In a busy office, it can be difficult to find a meeting room that’s free,
especially if there are only a handful available. This can create scheduling conflicts that lead to interviews or internal meetings needing to be rescheduled. For candidates on the receiving end of this, it creates a negative impression of the company that may cause them to drop out of the hiring process.
Calendars can also be set up for meeting rooms. These can then sync with an ATS and suggest times to candidates when both interviewers and a meeting room are free. This ensures that there’s somewhere to meet, removing the risk of double-bookings or any other conflicts.
Conduct remote interviews
When you have a more diverse talent pool, they may live too far away for it to make sense for them to visit the office for an interview. Or, if they have other commitments around their interview, they may be unable to attend in person.
Conducting remote interviews shows that you trust your employees to do their jobs whether they’re at a desk or not. It also shows that you welcome people from diverse backgrounds and are happy to cater to their needs.
Make it easier to organize multi-part interviews
Multi-part interviews are a useful way to test candidates’ skills and company fit, but they’re a nightmare to organize. Finding a day where candidates, hiring managers, HR staff, equipment, and rooms are available can take longer to organize than the interview itself.
When everything is connected to scheduling software, it can be organized up to 95% faster. The software can work out the best times based on the people, rooms, and resources that are required. It can then present the options to candidates in the same way that it would for a normal one-on-one or panel interview.
While this is the most complicated type of interview to organize, it doesn’t have to take up the recruitment coordinator’s time. All they need to do is put each step of the interview into the software.
For instance, if they have a welcome from HR that lasts for half an hour, an hour for an assessment, then an hour face-to-face interview, this can be added to the software and the rest worked out automatically.
Recruiters don’t need to constantly communicate with hiring managers or candidates about what times they’re available.
It also means that companies aren’t limiting themselves by only conducting interviews on certain days. This method risks losing out on the best talent as not every candidate will be able to make the set day. Companies may end up losing the right person for the role to the competition because of their inflexible hiring process.
Whatever type of interview you use, the more streamlined your interview scheduling experience, the easier it is for everyone involved. It improves your candidate experience, making candidates more likely to speak highly of your company even if they don’t get the role. This improves your employer brand, and means that unsuccessful candidates may reapply in the future, when they’re perfect for the role.
A better interview scheduling experience also helps to reduce the stress hiring mangers face during this period. Recruitment coordinators, meanwhile, have more time to answer candidate questions and help hiring managers to organize the best interview possible.