Improving the Employee Journey with Real-Time Calendar Sync

Author: Jérémy Bourhis

24th October 2017

Hiring great employees is tough. You can spend months looking for the right fit for your business. You can’t afford to mess up and set your hiring plans back.

Once you’ve hired your staff and built your teams, it’s important to show employees that you care about them. Creating a positive working environment ensures your team come to the office with a smile and staff turnover stays low.

It therefore makes sense to invest in the tools and technology that will help you create a great work environment. From the interview process all the way to when your employees move on to pastures new, there’s plenty that you can do.

This is where real-time calendar sync comes into play. At Cronofy we have a vision. We believe that by connecting people’s schedules we can change the way that time is managed and improve everyone’s lives.

This vision starts with helping businesses connect their software and applications to the calendars of their employees. Doing so helps to streamline repetitive tasks and avoid time-wasting, which can lead to frustration.

There are plenty of occurrences where calendar sync can help you to deliver a smooth experience while also building up your employer brand. Let’s look at some of the key milestones in the employee’s journey.

Better candidate experience with calendar sync

The first contact a future employee has with a company comes when they apply for a position and interact with your recruiting team.

Whether you use an agency or do your recruitment in-house, job applications are usually managed through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Many Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions also include an ATS module.

Arranging interviews can be hard, especially when there are many qualified candidates. Hiring managers need to find a time that works for the members of the interview panel and for the candidates. Doing this without calendar sync means having to first gather the availability of the interviewers, then call or email each candidate individually to see which day and time they can do.

Often the solution is to filter candidates based on their CVs or based on initial phone conversations, potentially missing out on talent.

When you enable real-time calendar sync, that experience is completely transformed. The hiring managers can access the schedules of the interview panel simply by accessing their calendars then generate a scheduling link that they can email to the candidates.

There’s no need to call the candidates while they’re at work either – everything can be done when it’s convenient for them. The availability of the interviewers updates in real-time, preventing double-bookings and allowing the same scheduling link to be shared with as many candidates as needed.

Calendar sync helps transform the interview scheduling process into a straightforward experience for candidates and interviewers. Your team saves time and, by creating a better candidate experience, you can improve the quality of your hires by as much as 70%!

Learn more about real-time calendar sync for ATS: Your Applicant tracking systems needs calendar sync. Here’s why.

Calendar Connected from the first day on the job

Applying for a new job can be stressful, but the first day in a new company is even more stressful for new starters. It’s no wonder that 20% of employee churn happens within the first 45 days. They meet new people, try to remember their names, and do their hardest to get their bearings in a new work environment.

You don’t want to add any unnecessary stress on top of that. That’s another thing calendar sync can help with. There are inductions and introductory meetings to schedule. It’s unlikely that authorizing calendar sync for their calendars will be at the top of a new starter’s list of priorities. Thankfully that’s not something you have to worry about with Cronofy.

With our Enterprise Connect feature, you don’t need to request individual authorization to connect to the calendars of each team member – you can onboard an entire company or team in one go. No fuss. And no extra tasks for the new member of your team.

Employees who receive a great onboarding process are 69% more likely to stick around after 3 years. It’s a no-brainer, really.

Save time and reduce stress with calendar sync

Now that your employee is settled into their new job, there will be many regular occurrences when colleagues will need to access their calendars to schedule events painlessly.

Here is how calendar sync can help with some of these recurring events.

Training and Learning
When an employee joins a new company it’s important for them to learn how to use the tools and techniques they will need to be successful in their new role. After that initial training, a business should always be looking to offer more opportunities for their staff to work on building up their skills through internal or external training programs.

Providing your teams with training can make a huge difference to employee happiness and can help to increase loyalty. It makes employees feel valued as they understand that the company is helping them acquire new skills. These skills will be useful at different stages of their careers and not exclusively in their current position.

Companies will often ask their HR teams to find a time and a place to organize training. This can be a painful process when more than a handful of people are involved. The bigger the company, the truer this is.

Trying to align everyone’s schedules takes time. Once a time is agreed there’s always the chance that one of the attendees will have to cancel because an important client meeting has come up. This process is frustrating for the trainer and for the employees who may have to adapt to last-minute changes. It is also frustrating for the organizers who could be spending their time on higher-value tasks.

Once calendar sync is enabled for your booking tool – be that a classic scheduling tool or your HR software – the process becomes a lot more straightforward. With access to everyone’s calendars it’s easy to find the sweet spot when everyone and everything (meeting rooms, parking spaces, etc) are available. If you need to bring an external trainer in you can let them choose when works best for them and even share geolocation details via calendar invites.

Read this blog post for more details: Why your external training program needs calendar sync

Performance reviews and appraisals
For many companies the end of the financial year is an extremely busy – dare we say sometimes chaotic? – time.

It’s a time when new budgets need to be agreed, deals are signed, and plans for the following year are finalized. It is also the time of the year when managers sit with their staff to look at their past performance and to discuss future objectives. It’s not something to treat lightly or ignore as it can set the mood of a team for the next 12 months. Unrealistic targets or low expectations aren’t good for anyone’s morale.

Managers scramble to fit appraisals into their calendars while juggling all their other commitments. Appraisal season is also when the competition for meeting rooms become the fiercest. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

With calendar sync, dozens – even hundreds – of appraisals can be organized in minutes. The events can be added to everyone’s calendars based on their availability. If you have created calendars for your meeting rooms they can be booked automatically too. What was once a painful process becomes nothing more than simple admin tasks.

Managers are more relaxed, employees can focus on preparing for their appraisals, and everyone is happier.

Paid time off
Most people love vacations and your employees are no different. No one can be effective without taking a breather from time to time. So why make booking paid time off a hassle?

In the current situation, employees have to login to an external tool to book their absences. Managers will then receive an email asking them to login to that same tool. If they are lucky that tool will tell them if the holiday request conflicts with time off booked by other team members. If they want to check that the time off won’t conflict with upcoming deadlines they’ll need to check their calendars.

Don’t go in circles when a straight path is available! With calendar sync you can allow employees to book paid time off directly from their calendars. This is where they manage their time, after all. Calendar notifications keep managers updated and any conflicts are highlighted and visible where it makes sense.

Find out more in our blog post, How to create a better work experience with calendar integration.

Don’t forget about exit interviews

Even the best things come to an end. When an employee leaves, most companies set up an exit interview to understand the reasons behind their decision. That’s important as it can help the business to improve as an employer.

When leaving a job, though, someone’s top concern will be handing over their responsibilities and finishing projects, not checking if they have been invited to a meeting to discuss their departure.

Connecting your HR software to your employee’s calendars means this is something that can be built into HR workflows. When an employee hands in their notice their exit interview can be automatically booked, meaning there’s no risk of it being missed.

Build up your employer brand

In the grand scheme of things, building calendar sync into your HR software applications might not sound like a fast track to employer branding greatness. But it really can be.

Well-utilized calendar sync is a discreet feature that simplifies all your scheduling processes. It saves time for everyone and saves additional stress throughout an employee’s time with your company.

This is the kind of benefit that helps to create a positive experience that present and past employees will share with their social circles. If they use Glassdoor to leave reviews on your interview process and working environment it will reach an even wider audience.

Positive feedback helps to boost people’s perceptions of your company. It also ensures you attract and keep the best talent so that your business can soar.

No time like the present to get started

There is a clear use case for calendar sync throughout the employee journey. These are just the ones we considered when building our products. It’s likely that over the next few months we will see more being developed by our clients and users.

Cronofy’s Calendar API is the perfect tool to build real-time calendar sync into any HR software. You can request a demo of our interview scheduling API or have a look at our documentation and take the API for a whirl!

How long do recruiters waste scheduling interviews?

Find out in our interview scheduling survey
Avatar of Jérémy Bourhis

Jérémy Bourhis

Date: 24th October 2017 | Category: HR Tech