What an automated interview scheduling platform does...and what it doesn't.

Interview scheduling is an essential part of any company's hiring process. It can also be a very time-consuming one.

What an automated interview scheduling platform does...and what it doesn't.

Recruiting coordinators, does this sound familiar?

You sit down to schedule an onsite interview. You open up tabs for your email, ATS, and calendar. You have Slack ready, prepared to message your interviewers about moving any 1:1s and team syncs you'll inevitably encounter along your journey. You pull up the company-wide spreadsheet of interviewers, uncertain of when it was last updated.

Then, you start looking at calendars. You check your team's schedules, trying to choose interviewers who aren't already inundated with interviews this week. You look for a room that's available for the day. Of course, none of them are. You look for a room that's available for most of the day. You start shuffling events around, seeing what order of interviews fits into everyone's busy work lives. If that doesn't do the trick, you start swapping out interviewers, guessing which conflicts you can book over that will anger the least number of people, and finally arrive at a working schedule.

But wait, there's more. Now that you're done juggling calendars, you have to actually send out calendar invites to your interviewers, confirm the interview with the candidate, and find new times or locations for the events you scheduled over.

The whole process can take just a few minutes if you're lucky, and over half an hour if you're dealing with senior-level interviewers with particularly crazy schedules. And this is assuming you've already collected the candidate's availability and figured out all the details about the interview plan and interviewer pools with the hiring manager!

Here's where automation helps.

An automated interview scheduling platform compares your interviewers' calendars and your candidate's availability to create a schedule that works for everyone. It finds a room, selects interviewers from your interviewer pools, and orders your interviews. It optimizes your schedule to minimize the number of events you have to move around to make it work. And it does all of this in just seconds, saving you hours of repetitive work per week.

Automation can also streamline some of the other manual parts of your process. It can send out calendar invites to your interviewers and confirmations to your candidate. It can help you coordinate across multiple offices by automatically handling timezone conversions. If you're scheduling remote interviews, an automated scheduling platform can even integrate with your video conferencing tool to attach meeting links to your calendar invites.

But, automation isn't the solution for every step of your scheduling workflow.

As we've learned from talking to recruiting coordinators at companies ranging from tiny startups to established enterprises, scheduling interviews is an extremely nuanced process. Some candidates require a personalized, high-touch approach. Some interviewers are more particular about their calendar than others. And, of course, no matter how optimal a schedule is when you create it, it is always subject to change.

So, with automation comes the need for flexibility and customization.

As we build our scheduling platform, we keep this at the forefront of our minds. That's why, when you schedule a candidate on InterviewPlanner, we show you all the possible schedules you could choose from—but we rank them to show you the ones with the least conflicts first. In the rare case when we can't generate a schedule with the given constraints, we tell you exactly what the bottleneck is. We also enable you to customize schedules on the fly by providing you with all the information you need within the platform, so you don't have to keep switching between multiple tabs. We rank rooms and interviewers by availability, and we show you their conflicts right there in our interface.

Custom tagging is another versatile feature that many scheduling platforms, including ours, offer for the purpose of flexibility. You can keep track of your interviewers' skills within your scheduling platform, create rule-based interviewer pools, and diversify your interview panels.

What matters most to you?

As you look for an automated scheduling platform, it's important to find the best fit for your company. Here are a few questions you can discuss with your recruiting team.

  • On average, how much time does it take us to schedule a phone interview? What about an onsite?  If the answer is over 10 minutes, an automated interview scheduling platform could give you a huge boost in efficiency.
  • What makes it difficult for us to find the best schedule? What are your biggest bottlenecks? Room availability? Not enough people who are trained to be interviewers? If you're not sure, this could be a good place to start debugging your process before diving head-first into purchasing a scheduling tool. Once you identify your pain points, you can evaluate which ones a scheduling platform can help with.
  • Do our recruiting coordinators have all the information they need to do their jobs effectively? If your recruiting coordinators are missing crucial details about interviews—like how long they should be or which interviewers are qualified to conduct them—then an automated scheduling tool may not fix your scheduling woes. Developing processes where hiring managers, recruiters, and coordinators finalize these details in an intake meeting ahead of time will save your team plenty of frustration when your first candidates enter the pipeline.
  • How long does it take us to move a candidate through the scheduling pipeline? Have candidates slipped through the cracks in periods of high volume recruiting? Have any dropped out because you couldn't arrange an interview in time to compete with their other offers? By reducing the time it takes to schedule a candidate, you can move more talent through your pipeline faster and reduce your time-to-hire. Our platform even takes one step further in helping you stay on track by showing you a curated list of all your scheduling tasks in one place.
  • How do we structure our interview loops? Do you do all-day back-to-back interviews or do you spread your interviews over multiple days? Do you have panel interviews? Do you include shadow interviewers? Whatever your process is, make sure the scheduling platform you choose can seamlessly handle your specific use case.
  • What is our ideal candidate experience? Consider factors like lunch breaks, video conferencing, and how you'd like to customize your communication with the candidate. The scheduling platform you choose should provide automation where you need it, but the flexibility to maintain a unique personal touch.

We hope that talking about these points with your team will help you evaluate whether an automated interview scheduling platform is right for you.

If you'd like to chat about your team's scheduling process and see a demo of InterviewPlanner's automated interview scheduling platform, reach out to us here!