We recently polled HR professionals to find out more about their interview scheduling experiences, and to understand how calendar sync can help them save time and acquire talent faster. They range from HR managers to internal and external recruiters; some work for SMEs, while others work for large organizations.
We were surprised to discover that many of the main issues our respondents faced were the same whether they worked for a small or large company. From conflicting appointments to waiting to hear back from someone, there are just some issues that are universal.
- 60% of companies take over 1 month to hire a candidate to fill a vacancy
- 56% of recruiters spend more than a full working day scheduling interviews for a vacancy
- 61% of respondents said interviews regularly clash with other commitments
Time to hire
The average time to hire varied greatly. One person said that their time to hire is less than a week (nicely done – what’s your secret?), 36% said it takes them 2-4 weeks, and a further 36% said that it takes them 1-2 months. 24% said that it takes them more than two months to hire.
It took larger organizations a little longer to hire than SMEs, which is to be expected. Bigger companies usually have more people involved in the recruitment process and this can translate into more interviews.
However, there were some SMEs that took over two months to hire for a new role, too. This is a reflection of how important it is for smaller companies to find the right fit. When you have a small team, one person can make a huge difference.
The longer a company takes to hire, the more likely the best candidates are to go to a competitor or to pull out because the process is taking too long. When a business doesn’t hire the best talent, it can slow its growth, too.
A drawn out hiring process can make a company look disorganized and impact the employer’s brand. The faster and more straightforward your hiring process is, the more attractive you are to new hires and the stronger your employer brand will be. If you have a positive candidate experience, even unsuccessful candidates may share their experiences on sites like Glassdoor.
When it came to the average time to schedule interviews, the difference between answers was even more pronounced.
The fastest time to schedule interviews was 1-2 hours, with 22% of people saying that’s how long it took them. 19% said it took them 2-6 hours, and 25% said it took between 6-10 hours, which is a full working day!
A further 25% said it took them a whole two days to schedule interviews.
It doesn’t stop there, either.
6% of people said it took them a week to schedule interviews, and one person said it took them over two weeks to get everyone’s schedules synced! Two weeks to schedule interviews! Just think what you could achieve with all that time if you weren’t constantly chasing people.
Calendar sync helps to speed up this process by letting candidates book their interview in their own time. An interview panel can block out times when they are available to meet candidates, and candidates can then choose from the list in their own time. Once a candidate has chosen a time, it’s removed from the list of options offered to other candidates to prevent any double-bookings. The interview panel’s calendars are then updated with the new interview, and candidates can add the booking to their own calendar, too.
One thing we didn’t expect was the number of people that said that interviews often clash with other events or commitments. 60% said that this happens on a regular basis.
This is why so many businesses are now embracing calendar sync. Calendar sync ensures that when you schedule an interview, it won’t clash with another calendar appointment, either in your calendar or in your colleagues’ schedules. Everyone’s real-time availability is visible from the start so that you know when everyone is available for interview.
72% said that it was uncommon for candidates to not show up for an interview. 21% said that candidates sometimes don’t show up, and 6% said that it’s a regular occurrence.
This shows that – most of the time – recruiters are great at filtering CVs and finding candidates who are not only qualified, but also genuinely interested in, the role they applied for.
However, if 25% of recruiters have experienced a no-show, that’s something that also need to be addressed. Real-time calendar sync allows businesses to be notified when calendar invites are accepted, deleted, or moved. This can be integrated into workflows to prevent miscommunications. For example, if a candidate doesn’t accept a calendar invite, an email or text can be sent automatically to confirm their availability.
Other scheduling issues
We also asked if there were any other interview scheduling issues you faced. There were many. Listed below are the three most common. Other issues highlighted include trying to fit interviews in around office hours when candidates request an early/late interview, and finding alternative start dates when a candidate is on holiday.
Time zone conflicts
The issue that came up the most was factoring in multiple time zones when scheduling interviews. This can be difficult when hiring a new team overseas, especially if not all of the members of the interview panel are based in the same time zone. More and more interviews can be conducted remotely, but if the booking system doesn’t account for time zones it can turn a simple process into a complicated one fast.
Calendar sync through a Calendar API ensures that the booking system will be able to detect or specify the time zones the invites are sent from, meaning that nobody gets an interview scheduled for three o’clock in the morning.
Another issue was frequent or last-minute changes, either on the part of the candidate or the interview panel. This can cause huge inconveniences for everyone involved. It can result in delays, causing a longer time to hire. It’s frustrating for candidates who’ve booked paid time off to go to their interview, and it’s frustrating for interview panel members because it increases the cost of hiring and means the company has a vacancy for longer.
We can’t predict emergencies that get in the way, but some scheduling conflicts we’re aware of in advance. Using calendar sync to connect your booking software or Applicant Tracking Systems to internal and external calendars becomes really useful in this situation. Candidates can be notified of changes in real-time and reschedule their interviews without having to call or start another email chain. Their previous interview slot can then be re-opened for other interviews or appointments.
Meeting rooms and resources
Getting the right meeting room in a busy building can require as much coordinating as the interview itself.
When you interview a candidate, the right meeting room is crucial. After all, a candidate interviews the company as much as you interview them. A poor experience puts them off and means you could lose out on your favorite candidate. A clean, modern, spacious meeting room, meanwhile, suggests a modern, welcoming working environment that any candidate would be lucky to be a part of.
Things are even more complicated if candidates are required to do a presentation as part of their interview. How can you guarantee a room with a screen will be available, or that there’ll be an external screen available as an alternative?
In a busy office building, if you don’t reserve a room in advance, you could end up with a candidate and nowhere to interview them. Creating calendars for your bookable rooms and resources makes it easier than ever for hiring managers to coordinate everyone and everything required for an interview.
Some of these are small – and seemingly simple – tasks, but when you put them together they create big problems. Each task needs to be completed for each interview, meaning that hiring managers can waste hours coordinating everyone and everything. It’s a huge time sink, and it’s impractical.
Calendar sync can solve all these problems and more. In the twenty first century, there’s really no good reason why interviews should clash with other events, or why you should struggle to find the right meeting room and equipment when you need it.