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Self-Scheduling with calendar integration

  • SmartRecruit


SmartRecruiters' Interview Scheduler' side-by-side calendar comparison makes it easy to schedule interviews with multiple participants. 


With an active calendar integration, you will be able to view your interviewers' calendars and send suggest interview time blocks to candidates based on your interviewer's availability. 

This requires both the interview scheduler and the interviewers to be using the same active calendar integrated account, to allow us to check if the interview scheduler has permissions to see the selected interviewer's calendar.  If you are using Office365 delegated permissions, the interview scheduler's access will be based off the delegated account setup and not the individual user.

Setting up Self-Scheduling

Preparing an Invitation

Once the scheduler selects the self-scheduling option, they will land on a self-scheduling workflow.

  1. In the first step, schedulers can specify interview details, such as step, location, event title, interview type (which will apply to the interview when it is scheduled automatically), as well as duration. Duration defines how time slots will be presented to the candidate. Duration options are 15, 30, 45 minutes, 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 hours.

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  2. In the second step, schedulers can select blocks of time on the calendar where they are open to scheduling an interview. Schedulers are presented with a week view and can select blocks of time by clicking and dragging the cursor. You select blocks of time over multiple days, and navigate between days and weeks. By default, you will see the calendar in the timezone of your browser, but you can view it in a different timezone by clicking on the timezone letters (in this case, CST). 

    Schedulers can choose to view their own calendar or calendars of hiring team members. For example, if a recruiter is scheduling a 1-1 with their candidate, they need to select only their own calendar (selected by default). If a recruiter is scheduling a 1-1 screen with a hiring manager, they will need to select the hiring manager on the “Hiring Team” sidebar, and un-select themselves. Finally, if a recruiter wants to schedule a screen between a candidate and multiple interviewers (e.g. hiring manager and the person who is shadowing them), they will need to select calendars of both of those people. 

    Note that schedulers can only select self-scheduling time blocks for hiring team members. Resources, such as conference rooms, are not supported. Room availability can change frequently, so we recommend adding a room to the interview after it is scheduled. Users will be able to do this easily by editing and updating the interview.

    Selected interviewer time blocks will be shown below in the interview summary section. 

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    Schedulers can further configure the settings of the future interview by specifying whether it should a private one (showing as “busy” on the interviewers calendars without disclosing details). This functionality will work exactly like with the traditional scheduling

  3. Lastly, schedulers can craft their message to the candidate that will accompany an invitation to self-schedule. There are two ways to do this. First, SmartRecruiters Admins can configure new email templates under a newly created template type “Invitation to self-schedule” on the Email Templates configuration page. Second, schedulers can send a custom message. 

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    A link to a candidate-facing scheduling page always needs to be included into the email message to the candidate in this case. There is new merge field, “Self-schedule URL”, that will generate the link when the email is sent. This merge field can be added as a part of the email template, or as a part of custom email message.

    Another option to generate the link is a call-to-action ("CTA") button available in templates with a type "Invitation to self-schedule" and the custom email message form. Scheduler can customize the color of the button and its CTA (default is "Click to schedule"). Both merge field and button will generate a link to the page where candidates will confirm their availability. If the scheduler forgets to include the URL merge field or self-scheduling CTA button, the system will show them an error banner asking to add it.

Once the invitation to self-schedule is sent to the candidate, a record about it will appear on the Interviews tab, and the email message will be recorded in the Emails tab.

Self-Schedule Interview Drafts:

In the same way that drafts are saved for normal interview scheduling, self-scheduled interviews will also be saved as drafts if you don't complete the interview scheduling workflow. It also extends the scope of information that can be saved and reused. Interview details, such as interview properties, time blocks, candidate email content and  and private yes/no selection will be pre-loaded. 

Additionally, in a self-scheduling interview, time blocks that you have selected across multiple invitations to self-schedule will also be saved so that it’s easier to schedule multiple candidates with the same interviewers.

For example, if a recruiter needs to invite three different candidates to self-scheduled interview with a hiring manager. The recruiter selects time blocks for that hiring manager while scheduling the first candidate. These same time blocks will load automatically when the recruiter creates invites for the second candidate and third candidate, if the same hiring manager’s calendar is selected.  If you are selecting multiple hiring team members, only time blocks that overlap across all selected hiring team members will appear.

What Candidates See

When the candidate receives an email with an invitation to self-schedule, they can click on the self-scheduling link to land on a page that will show all of the options available to them. Those options are updated in real time based on the calendar availability of interviewer(s) - time blocks that are pending an interviewer's response are not presented. If the interview was scheduled for multiple interviewers, all of them need to be still available in order for the time slot to show up. If an interviewer has an all-day event scheduled in their calendar, the time slots for that day will or will not be presented to the candidate depending on the status of the all-day event in the calendar. If the status of an all-day event is "busy", the time slots for that day will not be shown to the candidate, and vice versa.

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The candidate-facing scheduling page includes the Brand name selected for the job when it's created, as well as the job title. The candidate scheduling page is fully mobile responsive and will show the options in the time zone based on the candidate's browser time zone. For example, if the scheduler selected time blocks in Eastern Time (EST), but the candidate is located in Pacific Time (PST) as set in their browser, they will see the time slot options in PST. The candidate can also change to view slots in a different time zone - this may be handy if the candidate is traveling. 

When the candidate selects a time slot that works for them, they will see a screen inviting them to confirm their choice. They can always go back if they select the wrong time slot.

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Candidates can simply respond to the invitation email if none of the time slots suggested work for them. This is indicated on the scheduling page. Their response will be recorded under the Messages tab on their candidate application page in SmartRecruiters. The interview scheduler will also receive the email response in their inbox. The scheduler can continue the email conversation to schedule from there.

When the candidate clicks to “schedule meeting”, they see a confirmation page, and an interview is scheduled for all interviewers. The candidate also receives a calendar invite with all interview details previously specified by the scheduler. 

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The subject of the calendar invite sent to the candidates will be based on the selection of the Where field from the self-scheduling page (see screenshot in Preparing an Invitation step 1).  Please ensure that the Interview Type and Where fields are consistent to avoid confusion.

i.e. if Job Location is selected in the Where field, the calendar invite to the candidate will show On-Site Interview.  If Phone Interview is selected, the calendar invite to the candidate will show Phone Interview.

The calendar invite will be accompanied by a simple email stating that the interview is confirmed - for the benefit of tracking the timing of such emails, the email will also be recorded in the Email messages tab against the candidate record in SmartRecruiters.

Once the candidate confirms the interview, and information about the interview will be shown in all places where information about traditional interviews appears - homepage, job activity tab etc.

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Rescheduling an Interview

If the candidate needs to reschedule, they can keep using the same self-scheduling link. They simply select a different time slot (again, based on a real-time availability of interviewers) and confirm. 

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This will reschedule an interview for all interviewers, and send an updated calendar invite to the candidate as well. The invites to candidate are sent in the universal calendar format (.ics file), so they can be easily used with any calendaring software that the candidate may use. 

Declining an Interview

If the candidate wants to decline an interview invite, they can do that by declining their interview invite - a notification about that will be sent to the scheduler. This functionality works identically to the traditional interview scheduling.

No Interview Slots

If there are no more time slots available for the candidate, the below empty scheduling page will appear.  Candidates will need to notify the scheduler by responding to the invitation email so they can create more timeslots for candidates to choose from.

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What else you can do?

Learn to invite candidates to self-schedule in bulk.
Learn to invite more than one candidate to be interviewed by the same team at once.
Learn to empower schedulers who need to schedule over existing calendar events when initiating the scheduling.