When it comes to your company’s hiring process, interview scheduling may feel like it’s a relatively minor part of getting top talent. In reality, this is a key part of the candidate experience. The request to schedule an interview is often the first time a candidate will hear from your company. As such, a streamlined interview scheduling process will go a long way in making a positive first impression.

By understanding what goes into interview scheduling and how to make this time-consuming process more successful, hiring managers and coordinators can ensure a successful hiring process.

Who Is Responsible for Interview Scheduling?

Interview scheduling is usually the responsibility of recruiting coordinators. Coordinators can actually be involved in the entire talent acquisition process. Their roles may include sourcing candidates from resume databases, posting job listings on LinkedIn, or attending recruiting events.

They may also help with various parts of the onboarding process for new hires, such as sending offer letters or gathering needed information for onboarding.

While these other activities play an important role in the recruitment process, recruiting coordinators often spend the bulk of their time scheduling interviews. In some cases, they may even be asked to conduct phone screens or other “early” interviews as a first step in the hiring process.

What Does Interview Scheduling Typically Look Like?

While interview scheduling may seem like something that would be relatively simple, it rarely is. To schedule candidates for an interview, recruiting coordinators must find open time slots for the individuals who would be tasked with conducting the interview. They must also confirm whether these times would work for the candidate. This can be especially complicated when candidates live in a different time zone.

Recruiting coordinators are often the main point of contact for the candidate throughout the hiring process. They handle all messaging back and forth with the candidate and the interviewers to find a suitable interview time. Coordinators must also provide all relevant information for the interview to the candidate. This could include details such as whether they will have an onsite or video interview, or if they will need to bring in a work portfolio.

While scheduling templates can make this easier, coordinators must always be vigilant to ensure messages have been appropriately personalized for the individual candidate.

Sending an unfinished template email or including incorrect information wouldn’t make a very good impression.

Coordinators will usually also need to send followup reminders to both candidates and interviewers to ensure everyone shows up at the right place and time.

One issue that complicates all this is that no-shows and cancellations are surprisingly common. In fact, research indicates that 28% of job candidates admitted to “ghosting” an employer in 2020—simply not showing up for an interview, and not giving any notice about it. The report revealed that employers perceived an even higher rate of ghosting, with 76% of employers believing themselves to have been ghosted by candidates.

These statistics don’t even account for candidates who need to reschedule for a perfectly good reason, or when an interviewer might be the one who needs to reschedule. When an interview doesn’t happen as originally scheduled, it’s up to the coordinator to reach out to everyone affected and try to find a reasonable alternative. In some cases, the recruiting coordinator might need to find an available alternate to conduct the interview.

Needless to say, all of this can create quite a hassle and consume a lot of a recruiting coordinator’s time! There is a lot to manage, particularly if an open position requires multiple rounds of interviews. Fortunately, a variety of tech tools are now available to make this job a little easier.

How Technology Can Streamline the Process

Interview scheduling software can automate many of the recruiting coordinator’s tasks, which allows them to focus on providing a better candidate experience. Higher-value tasks can be critical candidate experience differentiators — which wouldn’t be possible if not for the time savings automation allows. 

For example, giving candidates the opportunity to self-select their interview time creates a much more streamlined approach than sending emails back and forth or making phone calls. Instead, candidates are given access to a scheduling platform where they can select the available time that works best for them.

Software that syncs with interviewers’ schedules enables you to automatically see which times they would be available. A system that includes both flexible and non-movable meetings can provide the perfect blend of automation and flexibility so you can adjust scheduling to better fill interview slots.

Interview scheduling software should also take into account the attributes, time zone, experience level, and workload of available interviewers. This can help ensure that relevant interviewers are present for different positions, and that no one gets burned out by conducting too many interviews.

After a candidate self-selects the best time slot for their needs, interview scheduling  can send notifications to the candidate and team members who will be conducting the interview. These automated messages should tell everyone the who, what, where, when, and why—all the important details. Reminder notifications can (and should) be scheduled to be sent in the days leading up to the interview to reduce the risk of no-shows and last minute cancellations.

Quality interview scheduling platforms should also include the functionality to integrate with the various software tools your company already uses. Some of the software that can play a valuable role in scheduling includes:

  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): ATS platforms such as Lever, Workday Recruiting, Jobvite, and Greenhouse help organizations find and engage with high-quality internal and external job candidates. These tools organize candidate information in an easy-to-use database. Many even allow candidates to upload their portfolio and other relevant information so it can be accessed at any time by the hiring team. Searching based on keywords or background can make it easy to find qualified fits for an open position.
  • Calendar tools: Tools like Office 365 or Microsoft Outlook Exchange can help you see availability for all interviewers. These tools can also be used to book conference rooms and facilitate communications between team members with timely emails and reminder notifications.
  • Video conferencing: The number of remote workers has increased significantly over the last few years. This includes over 59 million freelancers in the United States alone. Video conferencing makes interviewing geographically distant candidates much easier. Scheduling software can automatically include links for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or other video meetings in a scheduling email.
  • Technical assessment tools: Many of today’s jobs require knowledge and skills that can’t be communicated in a traditional interview setting. For example, tools like CoderPad assess a candidate’s ability to write functional programs. Assessment tools are available for a wide range of industries to ensure a candidate can “walk the walk,” and not just “talk the talk.”

Deciding which tools work best for your needs may take some time. But streamlining the interview scheduling process is well worth the investment—for you and for job candidates!

The Right Tools for the Job

To make a great impression on the best candidates, recruiting coordinators need to provide a straightforward, user-friendly scheduling process. The right technology can go a long way in accomplishing this — and Prelude Coordinate can be the essential key for managing this important responsibility.

This intuitive scheduling tool helps you stop playing “calendar Tetris” by giving candidates robust self-scheduling options. Integrations with other tools and apps you already use, including applicant tracking systems and your team’s Google Calendar, make it easy to coordinate what works best for everyone.

With the right interview scheduling tool on your side, your hiring team can save time and deliver a stellar experience from start to finish. Great candidates are out there. With quality interview scheduling, you’ll have a better chance of getting them to join your organization.