I don’t think it’s exactly a bold statement to say that having to schedule candidate interviews is the suckiest thing we have to do in recruiting. Is “suckiest” even a real word? Don’t care, because it’s accurate.
According to my own personal math, the time a recruiter spends in their life being the go-between and scheduling interviews is roughly 17.3 years. At least, it certainly feels that way. I do know that it’s by far the most annoying thing we deal with as recruiters.
Here’s my full, comprehensive list of the most annoying things in recruiting:
- Scheduling interviews.
- Candidate ghosting the interview that just took me three days to set up.
- Getting the hiring manager to give feedback on candidates.
- Getting the hiring manager to give feedback on the interview.
- Candidates changing their compensation range after they interview.
The ironic part of interview scheduling is it should be one of the most rewarding things we get to do in our careers. Finally, after all the work of posting, sourcing, and screening, we get to deliver this amazing news to a candidate that they’ve been selected for an interview. It’s supposed to be this positive exchange — and instead we all kind of cringe at the thought of now trying to find overlap between at least two complicated schedules, and most likely more than two.
Since the beginning of time, we’ve tried everything under the sun to help us with interview scheduling. Getting hiring managers to give us access to their calendars that are never up to date. Having hiring managers contact the candidates directly to schedule the interview, which never happens. Setting up standing interview times that the hiring managers always forget to show up to. Getting three times from a candidate and trying to work one of those times into a hiring manager’s calendar.
Every single one of these tactics eventually fails and leads to more frustration.
Except one: The use of conversational artificial intelligence to automate interview scheduling actually works. It doesn’t suck!
It makes complete sense. In fact, it’s almost stupid how easy this is and that it hasn’t become universal in the TA world. Here’s how it works: The hiring manager tells the recruiter “yes” they want to schedule an interview. The recruiter changes the candidate’s status to “schedule”, and then a text message is automatically sent out by a conversational AI with available times pulled directly from the manager’s schedule. The candidate picks their interview slot time, and then that interview automatically populates in both of their calendars. And if one of them has to reschedule, all it takes is a simple text message and the AI will start the process all over and find a new time. Never does the recruiter or recruiting coordinator ever have to pick up a phone, write an email, or smash their palm against their forehead.
Also, the conversational AI will remind both the candidate and the hiring manager of upcoming interviews so no one has any reason to miss the interview (increasing show rates tremendously). If they can’t make it or change their mind, they can cancel or change right from the reminder message. It’s intuitive and works the way scheduling an interview should work.
Recruiting is hard. It’s a long process that we continue to over-complicate by adding in steps and humans where they don’t need, or want, to be. I don’t need my recruiting staff doing the work that can be automated more efficiently and is preferred by both the candidate and the hiring manager. I need them doing the work they would prefer doing, finding more great talent for our organization!
Pro tip: Get out of the interview scheduling business. It sucks, and your recruiting team hates it.
Just let AI do it instead.