In today’s competitive recruiting environment, candidates are savvy, resourceful and in high demand. A critical step to ensuring you secure the best candidates in the market is to properly schedule interviews with them and do so in a timely manner.
These days it’s all about the candidate experience. Candidates are more likely to respect and consider joining your company if their interview experience is smooth, offering good communication and accurately set expectations throughout the process. Many a candidate has been lost due to gaps in scheduling or miscommunications. The faster and more structured your interview process, the better your odds of landing that perfect new hire.
Here are some best practices to follow for scheduling interviews with candidates:
Tips for Scheduling Interviews With Candidates
Schedule the interviews immediately
After you’ve assessed their resume and cover letter, or after the initial phone screening, it’s imperative that you schedule the candidate’s next interview immediately. Candidates are likely interviewing with multiple companies at the same time. Ask during your initial conversation whether this is the case and how far along in the interview process they are with other organizations. This will allow you to determine your competition and the candidate’s potential timeline for receiving offers from other employers.
If the initial conversation is a good one, immediately (or as soon as possible) schedule the next conversation (interview or follow-up chat) to keep the momentum going and secure a place in the candidate’s schedule. Remember, with top candidates, time is of the essence.
Have Standardized Interview Questions
It’s important to create a structured interview process using standardized questions for your candidates so you can analyze feedback based on the same or similar data points. This helps reduce bias and create an apples-to-apples comparison of each candidate. It’s worth the invested time spent, to create standardized interview questions prior to scheduling your phone screening and in-person interviews.
Immediately Schedule the Follow-up Interview
Again, after you interview the candidate, schedule them for the follow-up interview as soon as possible. This is a common tactic of successful salespeople. There is a saying in sales, “time kills all deals.” Don’t let time be the reason you lose your next “A” player.
Did you know? HR automation technology these days can even automatically schedule interviews, saving valuable recruiter or hiring manager time.
During the interview process, it’s important to always respond quickly. When scheduling interviews, it’s common for candidates to have questions or even reschedule several times. Being flexible and responding immediately is essential in securing their time and creating a great experience for them.
Collect Interviewer Feedback
After each interview, make sure to compile the interviewers’ feedback on each candidate quickly so as not to lose any extra time in the hiring process. It can be challenging to chase down interviewers and find time to somehow consolidate their various comments and notes. How do you keep it consistent and organized?
Technology for Scheduling Interviews and Calendar Events
In an effort to better schedule and track your interviews, we recommend utilizing the latest cloud calendar technology. Using different calendar software tools will make it easier to provide your candidates with self-service options for selecting their interview times, as well as a means for you to manage your entire interview schedule efficiently. Although the choice of calendar tools may likely change over time, for now, here are some of the tools we recommend:
Google Calendar is one of the simplest options to use for creating calendar events with candidates. Many organizations use Google Calendar (or Outlook) to create and share interview times with candidates.
MixMax offers an in-email time selection experience, which makes it simple for candidates to choose times that work best for them. Today it’s by far one of the most visually impressive and best user experiences for selecting calendar time slots.
Calendly is a go-to calendar scheduling tool used by sales, recruiting, and marketing teams. Calendly provides a portal to manage all of your interviews, and review your various calls for the day. You can provide candidates with a customized calendar link, making it easy for them to select or update interview meetings themselves, saving you time on the back end.
Part of Harver’s suite of automated talent decision solutions, Harver Interview enables live or on-demand video interviewing. In addition to adding structure for fairness and convenience for interviewers and candidates, Harver Interview can also automate scheduling interviews for candidates who meet your criteria to move to the interview stage.
Final Thoughts: Scheduling Interviews with Candidates
Scheduling interviews with your candidates is an important part of the recruiting process. Keeping it fast and efficient will be key in making sure you don’t lose top candidates. During this process, it’s critical that you compile and collect all interview feedback for each candidate using tools that work quickly, reduce bias, provide quality input and deliver insightful reports.