Maggie BleharJanuary 26, 2023
Topics: Recruiter Experience

AI Scheduling: A Must-Have for Your TA Teams

Quality candidates are on the market for an average of only 10 days, but the average time to hire across industries is more than 30 business days. So to capture talent quickly, many companies are turning to automated interview scheduling tools.

On this episode of Talent Experience Live, Phenom’s Director of Product Marketing John Harrington discusses how an AI scheduling tool can create a more efficient process for TA teams and an easy, enjoyable experience for candidates. Phenom’s Senior Manager and Executive Recruiter Greg Chandler also shares an inside perspective on the user experience — and why he’ll never go back to the pre-AI “dark ages.”

View the episode here or catch the highlights below.

Why is AI scheduling becoming a must-have for TA teams?

A day in the life of a recruiter is typically packed with time-consuming tasks that can prolong hiring timelines — particularly interview scheduling. But snagging top-quality candidates means connecting fast, or risk losing out.

“What we’re seeing in the data is, if you’re not refining your approach to it, you’re missing out on the best talent,” Harrington said. “There’s never been a more critical time to know you’re being as efficient with your time as possible.”

So how do AI scheduling tools benefit recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates?

Recruiters “quarterback the entire process,” Harrington said. Their time is best spent defining the interview, evaluating candidates, and setting expectations with the hiring team. AI scheduling frees recruiters from the manual tasks (and stress!) that detract from their ability to focus on the skills and competencies needed for the role, and to evaluate how well candidates align with hiring goals.

Hiring managers, on the other hand, often need to reschedule interviews — after all, they have conflicting priorities and day-to-day demands outside of the hiring process. AI and automation can play a significant role in rescheduling.

And when automated scheduling tools are integrated into an intelligent talent experience platform like Phenom’s, a layer of transparency is built into the process as well, helping hire managers share feedback on candidates. “They have a common user interface with recruiters,” Harrington explained. “So when they undertake these interviews, they’re able to see in the platform what was said about each person” and decide whether or not to move them forward in the process without needing to schedule a conversation with anyone else on the hiring team.

On the candidate side, AI scheduling gives them the transparency that’s so often lacking during the hiring experience. It’s a stress reducer for them, too. “You’re being very cognizant of their time, their preference to move fast, their understanding around communication: where are we, where do we go next, and what role do I play,” Harrington said. “You’re giving them a very good experience, without any friction.”

How do AI scheduling tools work?

AI scheduling only seems like magic. Here’s a high-level view of the technology behind Phenom’s solution:

Through an API connection, Phenom AI Scheduling integrates with the calendars of recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates. It analyzes individual calendar data and produces suggested meeting times based on availability. The tool can solve scheduling conflicts 24/7.

“You could literally be sleeping, and wake up the next day, and that problem’s already been solved,” Harrington said.

For Phenom customers interested in the technology, AI Scheduling works in conjunction with the Phenom CRM. That means not only more seamless scheduling, but also a central place to track feedback on candidates from all stakeholders.

“It’s truly accelerating time to hire … because you’re not bogging down your team and resources as extensively as you normally do,” Harrington pointed out. “When you have these [processes] working in cohesion with one another, it’s tremendously helpful.”

Related resource:
What is AI Scheduling and What are the Benefits?

What are the potential time savings of AI scheduling?

Based on a recent study of Phenom customers, “tens of thousands of hours are being saved … independently, through the use of AI scheduling on its own. And the majority of interviews are being scheduled within an hour.”

As examples, below is the business impact experienced by three Phenom customers within the first year of using AI Scheduling:

  • A major manufacturing company saved 11,000 hours, with 61% of interviews booked in an hour and another 33% within one day

  • A major transportation company saved 22,350 hours, with 40% of interviews booked in an hour and 41% within one day

  • A major bank saved 9,500 hours, with 50% of interviews booked in an hour and 36% scheduled within one day

To summarize, AI Scheduling automates the back-and-forth communication regarding availability of all involved parties, sends out meeting requests to all invitees, ensures all stakeholders have RSVP’d, and even reschedules interviews if necessary.

Customer success story:
How Thermo Fisher Scientific is Booking Interviews Faster with Automation

AI Scheduling: The User Experience Perspective

Greg Chandler, Senior Manager and Executive Recruiter at Phenom, has been using AI Scheduling for just over a year. Here’s what he had to say about the user experience.

1. How do candidates feel about it?

“The feedback I get from candidates is that they love it, [especially] the flexibility around it,” Chandler said. AI Scheduling eliminates the waiting game — candidates no longer have to wonder when they’ll get a call or email back. Instead, they just click a link, and the interview’s booked.

2. Is the tool user-friendly for everyone?

“Everyone loves to save time,” Chandler noted. “It’s definitely universal.” At Phenom, he uses AI scheduling across stakeholders for roles from entry level to executive level and everything in between. It has a similar impact in terms of flexibility and ease of use.

3. How does AI help with re-scheduling?

It’s inevitable: Priorities shift last-minute, and a scheduled interview time no longer works for all involved. With AI Scheduling, all it takes is hitting one button on the calendar, and the recruiter can notify all parties of the change, Chandler explained.

Automated re-scheduling is especially useful for global companies that require scheduling in different time zones, he added.

“There’s definitely still some chaos when you get that last-minute cancellation, but … it just eases the pain in terms of having to follow up with the recruiter, the manager, and figure out all these pieces of what you’re going to reschedule when you’re going to reschedule.”

A major benefit of letting AI handle re-scheduling? Attention stays centered on the candidate and the goals of the interview.

4. What value can recruiters bring to the job with these manual tasks lifted?

When AI and automation take over manual tasks for recruiters, the hope is that they can focus on building more meaningful relationships with candidates, and evolve into talent advisors. Chandler confirmed that that’s been the case for him, calling AI a complement to the recruiter’s knowledge and ability to connect on a human level.

“The AI [helps] take that mundane task and allows the recruiter to really reinvest that time into focusing on that human element,” he said. Instead of worrying about how calendars are going to align, “I can focus more on how our interaction will impact the candidate experience.”

“Making sure there aren’t too many barriers for [candidates] always comes across as being a huge win for the organization and for me as a recruiter,” he said, noting that getting quickly to the point where he can have a conversation with the candidate is critical. It’s a sharp contrast from before, when manual scheduling “really slowed down a lot of those pieces.”

5. Are you able to set preferences for when meetings can take place?

The tool allows recruiters to set organization-wide scheduling parameters (e.g., meetings can only take place between 9am and 4pm).

Recruiters also customize their own availability. Sometimes, for example, Chandler blocks part of his day to focus on other activities — like sourcing — and the AI will recognize that.

Sometimes, none of the meeting times work for everyone. When that happens, the automated scheduling tool goes to work finding alternate meeting times. AI also illuminates when it might be beneficial for the recruiter to intervene. For example, Chandler sometimes sees that hiring managers have such limited availability that he’ll suggest that they free up some time to devote to interviewing.

6. What would you say to recruiters not yet using AI scheduling?

For Chandler, it comes down to numbers.

Say the average recruiter is working to fill 15 roles on any given day, with about five candidates lined up per job. That’s a lot of interviews to schedule. Why not let AI and automation take that over and save time spent on countless manual emails?

“I’ll get to invest that time back into all the things I really love to do in terms of recruitment,” Chandler said.

Does he miss manual interview scheduling at all? The ease of use, time management, and focus that AI scheduling allows makes the answer easy.

“I’ll never go back,” he concluded.

Related resource:
AI Scheduling Essentials: How to Expedite AI’s Role in the Process and Get Best-fit Talent Quicker

Out of all the candidates who apply for a position, only one will join your team. Through the power of AI scheduling, though, recruiters can create a personalized process that leaves candidates with a positive experience and impression of your company — even if they’re walking away without the position.

And with the time it saves recruiters, you can capture the right candidates faster.

See how you can improve recruiter efficiency and the candidate experience:
Book a personalized demo of Phenom AI Scheduling.

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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