Effective interview scheduling requires the right balance of urgency and flexibility
The right mix of urgency and flexibility will help you get interview scheduling under control. Supplementing your team with interview scheduling software, will increase efficiency and help you maintain consistency.
Interview scheduling is one of the most time consuming, tedious tasks faced by human resources and recruiting professionals. It’s also one of the most critical steps in the hiring process. Driven by urgency but muddled with complexity, interview scheduling is especially challenging when you’re managing dozens of hiring managers and hundreds of job applicants.
Of course your own schedule is jammed and you have to contend with a myriad of emerging and pressing situations (fire drills). That’s just the nature of recruiting. No matter how hard you try to be strategic with your time, recruiting remains, at least for most of us, quintessentially reactive. And, as hard as coordinating schedules, agendas and many times the sensitivities of senior people in the organization, interview scheduling is no less important than sourcing new applicants or closing candidates on job offers.
My first manager’s words still echo in my head, “time kills deals”. He had many one-liners but none proved to be truer. Effective recruiters embrace urgency. Get the candidate in to meet the manager as soon as you can. Occupy their time with your company to avoid losing them to a competitor. Move quickly to demonstrate that your organization is serious and not mired in the molasses of politics and not so overworked that no one has time to interview. Be consistently persistent with managers about prioritizing interviewing.
It’s undeniable. Empathy is a key trait of effective recruiters. We deal with people. People have issues that come up. Who hasn’t had to work around a manager that goes out on emergency sick leave or has to attend an unexpected meeting? Who hasn’t had an applicant who has had to reschedule an interview due to a family matter or other conflict? It happens. Effective recruiters adjust. They are flexible while maintaining the right amount of urgency for each situation. It’s a balance.
Maintaining a balance
When it comes to interview scheduling, the most success employers have resources that understand the balance of urgency and flexibility and maintain it. We all know that It’s not good form to string along a candidate for several weeks with a trickle of vague emails after what may have been an introductory phone conversation, only to delay calling until near the end of business Thursday to finally request an interview appointment for Friday afternoon. And, you should never schedule an interview on weekend to accommodate an applicant, as this would set the wrong precedent in the work environment. And, let’s not forget about the output of interview scheduling, interview feedback. The same balance of urgency and flexibility (and also empathy for that matter) applies here as well. You never want to run the risk of presenting your company as disorganized or rude. If you don’t get back to candidates in a timely fashion or give them a concrete date and time for your interviews, you’re likely creating an enemy not a hire.
Increasing efficiency and consistency with interview scheduling tools
Interview scheduling is hard work. Maintaining the balance between urgency and flexibility is only a job a human can do. This is why many recruiting departments rely on interview scheduling software as an additional resource to tackle the iterative tasks of determining interviewers’ availability and creating the consistent communications that provide clear details to both interviewers and job candidates. Anything that helps manage the tedious tasks of interview scheduling will free up your most important recruiting resources to focus on collaborating with internal customers and job applicants alike.