The world of work is changing, and so are the workers that power it. In an always on, always busy world most recruiters, HR staff and hiring managers have more to do than ever before, but finding, and hiring the best possible talent is still one of their most important tasks, whatever else is on their plate.
Before you can hire talent however, you have to interview possible candidates. Setting up those interviews can be increasingly challenging. Because most people screen their calls, both at home, at work and on their cell phones, the attempt to schedule an interview often becomes a frustrating game of phone tag, or a chain of back-and-forth emails to try to determine a time that is mutually convenient for the interviewer, the potential hire and fits in with other interview times.
There is more of a problem here than just wasted time though. Candidates are unlikely to only be looking into a single job opportunity, and the best talent is probably being actively recruited by more companies than yours. If you can't manage to connect with them to schedule an interview before they do then you may miss out on a new hire that could have had a big positive impact on your company, and its bottom line.
There is a better way however, and it is one that more and more people are making use of: online interview scheduling tools.
Much of the best talent across every business niche belongs to the Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z generations. These are people who have grown up with the Internet and are more than at home on it. They also spend a lot of time on their phones, although admittedly it's rarely to make phone calls.
All of this means that while the idea of scheduling an interview themselves via an online scheduling tool may be a little odd to some, to most of today's available young talent it's the most natural progression in the world. And if yours is one of the few companies that offer them the convenience of doing so, you'll be making a positive impression right from the start.
You've probably used an online scheduling tool yourself before, as an increasing number of businesses use them to allow clients to set appointments online. There are a lot of good reasons to use them, and they offer advantages for both the business and the client.
Interview scheduling tools work in the same way. A recruiter can create a calendar, populate it with as many interview appointment slots as needed and, if they choose, brand it with the company logo, colours, etc.
Some recruiters also choose to add welcome messaging, informational videos and other materials candidates will find interesting or helpful - especially things like company and staff bios, directions to the appointment and more - that will speed up and streamline the interview process even further.
Once the calendar is set up, as candidates are sourced they can be sent, via email or text, a link to it that will allow them to select the time slot most convenient to them from those available. It's quick, easy and suits the way that most people prefer to interact.
Once interview appointments are scheduled, hiring managers can use the platform to send additional messages, interview reminders and other messages that will streamline the process even further and prevent any communications - and possible stellar future employers - from getting lost in a sea of voicemails and missed calls.
After initial interviews are conducted, an online interview scheduling system's useful life is not over. The direct communication between candidate and recruiter that has been set up vis the tool now means that requests for a second interview - which are often called for - can be handled as seamlessly as the first and that when a decision has been made offers can be extended quickly and efficiently, minimizing the chances that another employer will beat you to the punch in 'snapping up' a particularly good candidate.
One of the arguments some recruiters and hiring managers offer against making use of online interview scheduling tools - not everyone likes change - is that they make the interview process too impersonal. That however, is far from the case.
Taking a step back and looking at the traditional interview set up all an initial call between recruiter and candidate usually involves is a discussion about interview timing. And perhaps about how to get to the appointment. It's not a crucial conversation and by eliminating it very little is lost.
Others argue that as it is such a crucial function 'taking shortcuts' during the hiring process should be avoided. But why? The fact that anyone involved in the hiring process is usually exceptionally busy aside there are cost concerns to be factored in as well.
As any hiring manager is aware, the costs involved in making a new hire can really mount up. And yet a recent study that followed the fortunes of 20,000 new hires found that an eye-opening 46% were no longer in their positions 18 months after onboarding. Because this turnover rate costs companies even more time and money, any improvements that can be made to the process - and any money that can be saved - should be welcomed.
Just want the basics? The quick version of the argument for making use of online interview scheduling tools. Here it is.
Interview scheduling tools are an easy to implement solution that will lighten your HR team’s workload, while preserving the value of all they do. They will save you time and money, add efficiency to the process for candidates, reduce scheduling errors and 'missed connections' and, most importantly of all allow you to add the best new talent to your team fast, minimizing the impact that open positions have on the day to day running of your company, and its bottom line.