Time is one of the most valuable resources in sourcing. It’s also something that sourcers often lack. Instead of cutting corners when it comes to identifying or (please avoid that at all cost!) messaging candidates, try to think of those parts of the sourcing process you can afford to automate without compromising the candidate experience.
I would say scheduling phone screens is one of them. Some companies will have a dedicated recruitment scheduling team but even then, schedulers are rarely involved with initial phone screens.
What if I told you there is a free tool you can use instead?
My favourite scheduling tool is Calendly but there’s a number of them available (such as youcanbook.me or even Google Calendar if you happen to use Gsuite at work). The free version only allows you to schedule one type of meetings but if you find it useful, you may want to consider the premium version as well once you’ve had a chance to get used to it.
So let’s say you want to use Calendly to schedule initial phone screens with your candidates.
Step 1. Sign up for Calendly.
You can sign up with your Google account, in which case the tool will automatically synchronise with your calendar. You can also use separate log in details and link to a calendar later on, which is probably best if you’re not using Google calendar.
Step 2. Confirm details.
This includes time zone language and your Calendly link. You may decide to use your full name (which is a good idea considering the purpose of the tool) or, for example, your Twitter handle.
The good news for those who don’t use Google calendar at work is that the tool can also sync up with Outlook, Office 365 and iCloud Calendar.
This way, the time slots available to your candidates through Calendly are automatically updated whenever you add a new item to your work calendar. There’s no risk that you double book or that the candidate books a time when you’re not available.
Step 3. Edit the meeting.
As I mentioned before, with the free version you’ll only be able to use Calendly for one type of meetings – you can either choose one of the meetings available from your dashboard (15, 30 and 60-minute meetings) or create a new one.
You can edit most details once you’ve created (or chosen) the meeting, such as:
the name of the meeting
the time that will show up as available (the default time is from 9am to 5pm but you may want to limit that or adjust to different work hours)
the details that a candidate will have to provide you with in order to schedule the meeting
the messages that the candidate will receive after booking the time in your calendar
While the tool isn’t available in all European languages yet, it’s still possible to come up with a template in your own language. I know – I did that for my Polish audience 🙂
Most of you will, I imagine, use it in English. I would just add that you can use the email confirmation of the meeting to include any information the candidate should prepare before you speak to them. Maybe you want them to have a look at the company page? Or the job description? Just add the link to the message. This way not only are you saving time, you’re also making sure that the candidate experience you provide is consistent. The design of the tool makes it simple to use both on desktop and mobile and you won’t have to copy and paste the confirmation email.
Step 4. Use the link to allow candidates to schedule the phone screens.
You can send the link to candidates who applied for a position (if you don’t reject candidates after CV screen you can even include it in an automatic application confirmation email) or even use it in your approach messages if that’s something you’re comfortable with. Some of you will perhaps find it too pushy, but it also depends on the phrasing. You can try something like “if you’d like to chat to learn more, you can use this link to schedule a call at your convenience”. After all, there’s no right or wrong here, it all depends on what works for you 🙂