Simple and efficient real-time interview scheduling for HR with Personio

Simple and efficient real-time interview scheduling for HR with Personio

Industry: Employee Tech

Language & Framework: PHP, Laravel & React

Product: Calendar API, Enterprise Connect

In a nutshell

Introducing Personio

Personio is the holistic HR software for small and medium-sized companies with up to 2,000 employees. The software provider, based in Munich, Madrid and London, has set itself the goal of making HR processes faster, clearer and more efficient. In turn, this allows HR managers to take the time to focus on the most valuable assets in any successful company: the employees. With this goal in mind, Personio is developing an all-in-one software solution for recruitment processes, employee management and payroll. Almost 2,000 customers in over 40 countries are already successfully using Personio.

Personio is building an innovative HR management and recruiting solution for HR departments, managers and employees. Real-time calendar sync is crucial to ensuring it fits seamlessly into both their working and personal lives.

Hanno Renner, Co-founder & CEO | Personio

The Challenge

One of the main use cases of Personio for hiring is interview scheduling. Personio clients can easily and efficiently manage their end-to-end recruitment process directly. From setting up interviews to communicating with candidates and the interview panels, the process is simplified and streamlined. After conducting user research to find out the most pressing pain points of their users of the recruitment features, Personio found that one of the really big problems was that the .ics files generated by their software for interviews did not allow you to book rooms. They saw that a lot of double work was happening – booking the interview in Personio, but then having to go to the standard calendar and set up a parallel meeting for the room additionally.

The other thing that they found with .ics files is that they can’t have changing participants and still connect in one event. For example, if an original invitee declines or a new person needs to be invited.
Personio is always looking for innovative solutions to improve the users’ experience with their product. They needed a solution that worked with all major calendar providers – and having undertaken research realised this was going to be a complex task that could take their developers half a year or even more to complete internally. They wanted to address the calendar integration challenge but didn’t want to have to become experts in calendars, keeping focus on what they excel at already.

Early on they identified that interview scheduling was an area where they needed to offer improvements. Personio knew from speaking to their customers that interview scheduling can be a full time job for some HR professionals and were looking to reduce this admin burden and save their users time. Knowing who is required for the interview panel, what their availability is, and which meeting rooms can host the interview involves a great deal of back and forth and this energy could be better spent on higher value tasks.

To offer a solution, Personio identified the need to build calendar integration into their software. The Cronofy Calendar API was the perfect fit as it allows them to easily add scheduling features to their software. By working with Cronofy they could continue to focus where their expertise lies – around enhancing and automating HR processes for their customers – and implement the required functionality in weeks.

The Solution

Cronofy enables Personio’s clients to connect to the calendars of users on their domain. This is handy when HR teams or hiring managers are trying to organize an interview. They can easily see when the interview panel members and meeting rooms are all free. Users can see a calendar view (similar to google calendar) within Personio when they set up an interview. They can add rooms, choose a free spot and send out a notification to chosen participants.

We set up a deep calendar integration which enables our customers to easily manage interviews and schedules. Cronofy allows us to display room and employee availability inside Personio. Booking time slots with rooms has become so simple. Our users also love that they can track who accepted or declined interview invites. This way they have all necessary information in one central place and save valuable time.

Stefanie Häuser, Group Product Manager Recruiting | Personio

Using Smart Invites alongside the Calendar API means that if someone accepts or declines attendance at the interview, their response is reflected in Personio.

This means the end of back and forth email conversations and phone calls trying to organize the perfect time for everyone. HR and hiring managers can focus on high value tasks, like preparing for the interview itself!

Previously, finding interview slots was like a game of sudoku with the calendars of interviewers, applicants and rooms. I often had to write down on paper when people and rooms were available and when this resulted in a common slot. Today, I can see all of it at a glance in Personio.

Martina Ruiß, Head of HR | Personio

Another application for Cronofy has been implemented by Personio’s Time Management team. They are using the API to track employee absences. The absence is logged in their software and automatically pushed to an employee’s calendar so that it is visible for all.

Absences such as holidays, sick days or even working from home need to be tracked in HR software like Personio but it’s also helpful for employees and their colleagues to be able to see this in their calendars. Employees have busy schedules and we didn’t want to add more scheduling tasks to their day. The Cronofy integration allows our users to easily see time-off scheduled in Personio in their company calendar (e.g. Google calendar) as it is pushed automatically, avoiding duplication of tasks and saving time.

Aleksandr Matijasevich, Product Manager | Personio

Enterprise Connect

Accessing the calendars of users is great but it just wouldn’t have made sense for Personio to build this into their solutions if for all customers each calendar had to be authorized individually. Imagine a new client having to onboard hundreds or thousands of team members separately. And if even one calendar isn’t added, the entire system is vulnerable to communication breakdowns.

Launching Enterprise Connect for their customers proved to be a turning point. When a business starts using Personio to manage their HR needs they can get all their organization Calendar Connected in one go. The onboarding process is quick and straightforward.

The one-off setup with Enterprise Connect ensures that all employee calendars are integrated automatically, ensuring HR processes are consistent in our client organisations. This means our clients don’t have to rely on their employees connecting their calendars individually, their IT department can enable or revoke access to calendars at anytime.

Aleksandr Matijasevich, Product Manager | Personio

What we learned

When it comes to calendars, data security is our first concern. We understand that personal information is often stored in calendars and our goal is to prevent any breach.

Personio is using our EU data center to host all their calendar data in Germany, a country with some of the strictest data protection laws in Europe. Something that was important to them and their clients.

Add real-time calendar sync to your HR solutions

If you are a developer, create your free account and start connecting to the calendars of your users to build great scheduling features.

If you’re a product owner or just generally interested in learning more about the Cronofy API and its features, please get in touch via the form below.

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