4 projects for recruiting teams during a hiring freeze

For teams that are weathering hiring freezes or slowdowns, this can be a valuable time to optimize current recruiting processes to prepare for high volume later on.

4 projects for recruiting teams during a hiring freeze

You may have heard suggestions to source heavily and build out a candidate pipeline for the future. We agree, but don't forget to show some love to the other parts of your recruiting funnel as well. Here are four recruiting operations projects that your team can explore during this time to improve the interviewing and scheduling parts of your pipeline.

1. Document your interviewer training process.

Unprepared interviewers can lead to many problems. Whether they're uncalibrated to gauge the necessary skills or they aren't aware of their own unconscious biases, they can harm the candidate experience. With help from hiring managers and interviewers, this can be a good time to revise (or document for the first time!) interviewer training guides and rubrics.

Greenhouse has written an overview of how they handle interviewer training internally, and it's a good outline to follow when thinking about your own company's training. While an interactive presentation is great, you can have a lot of impact just by writing down some of the institutional knowledge that is already spread by word-of-mouth. Some concrete examples of this include:

  • A bank of answers to common questions that candidates might ask so interviewers can be prepared and empowered to respond appropriately as much as possible
  • A detailed rubric for technical interviews so interviewers can objectively evaluate candidates on the same metrics
  • Guides on how to sell the candidate on the job and the company so that interviewers are doing their part to convince candidates that they should accept at every phase of the interview

2. Create personalized interview guides for candidates.

At a certain scale, it's impossible to truly give every single candidate the white-glove treatment. But you can make each candidate feel special by creating a personalized interview guide for them. It also helps them feel more prepared because they know what to expect when they go into the interview, usually resulting in better performance.

The simplest form of this is to create a Google doc for each job opening. You can include sections such as overviews of the different interviews they'll be going through, topics that will be covered so that they can brush up on them beforehand, and information about the interviewers that they'll be meeting with.

You can also experiment with something new to stand out from the crowd and create a positive, memorable experience for every candidate who interacts with your company. Guide creates a modern, beautiful interview package for each candidate, and they're free (Update June 2023: Not free anymore, but definitely worth it! Check their website for pricing).

3. Prepare for high-volume remote interviewing.

If you are actively hiring right now, you have already faced the logistical paradigm shift that comes along with remote interviews. If you aren't interviewing candidates at the moment, then you'll encounter it when your pipeline starts moving again. As more companies join the ranks of Twitter, Square, and Facebook by making work-from-home a permanent policy, we all need to become more accustomed to performing fully remote interviews. And the best way to do that is by acquiring the right toolset to make it as seamless as possible.

Whiteboarding tools

One of the most challenging shifts that companies have to work around is figuring out to collaborate with the candidate. Interviews such as product design and technical design have relied heavily on whiteboards in the past, so a suitable alternative needs to be found. Miro and Explain Everything are solid tools that can be used to help interviewers extract a clear signal on how well they work with the candidate.

Programming software

For almost every engineering job, you'll need to have some way to gauge a candidate's coding ability. There are many ways that companies do this, such as with a pair programming session, an unbounded take-home coding exercise, or a timed take-home challenge, just to name a few. Luckily, there are many services out there that support these different interview forms that make the experience much better for both the candidate and the interviewer. CodeInterview and CoderPad are great for simple pair programming interviews, while HackerRank and Codility are more fully-featured platforms that support take-home challenges as well.

Video integration

It's probably not a surprise for many of you, but selecting a video conferencing tool has become absolutely necessary recently. While Zoom has gained a lot of popularity, there are other alternatives such as BlueJeans or Google Meet that might work as well. Google Meet is free and very easy to set up if your company already utilizes G Suite heavily. Whichever service you end up picking, it's important to make sure everyone conducting interviews becomes familiar with it, so that they can handle common technical difficulties that might occur, resulting in a better candidate experience.

4. Optimize your scheduling process.

As an interview scheduling platform ourselves, we couldn't end the list without including this. Scheduling can be an incredibly manual process, but the right tooling can help. We've seen some companies take up to 30-40 minutes to finalize a single onsite interview. It can take a considerable amount of time to pull up the calendars of all of the eligible interviewers, find a time that works for them and the candidate, make sure you're balancing between all potential interviewers so nobody gets burned-out, add shadows if people need to be trained, and more.

Tooling is the best way to alleviate this kind of burden. Direct scheduling services like Calendly and Meetingbird can speed up one-on-one interviews like recruiter screens because they eliminate a lot of the back-and-forth needed to collect availability and confirm times. However, they're fairly limited when it comes to back-to-back interviews.

For these, InterviewPlanner makes scheduling a lot easier by automating a lot of the things you would normally have to do manually. It connects to your interviewers' calendars to find availability, manages interviewer eligibility, and integrates with other software like your ATS and Zoom so everything is automatically populated. By doing this, it can bring down the time to schedule an onsite down to 3 minutes.


If you're on a team that has had to downscale recently, we understand that times have been tough for everyone involved. These projects can help you document your processes, prepare for gradual growth, and onboard new members to your hiring team as headcount hopefully increases in the coming months. Just because hiring has slowed down doesn't mean you have to slow down. There's still so much that you can do now so that when your pipeline starts moving again, you can hit the ground running and be more efficient than you've ever been.  It's a lot easier to upgrade the engine of a car while it's parked than while it's running at 70mph. Good luck and stay safe!

If you'd like to chat about your team's scheduling process and see how InterviewPlanner's automated interview scheduling platform might be able to help out your company, reach out to us here!