How not to Schedule Interviews for Passive Candidates!

If recruitment buzzwords were an Olympic sport, the bronze medal has to go to the "passive" candidate (hint on gold and silver...just try to think like a "strategic" "business partner"). I won't argue that hot labour markets require an extra focus on finding passive candidates, but I would suggest not enough attention is paid to how we engage these candidates throughout the recruitment process. If you think you can or should treat the passive candidate the same way as the active candidate, well...you need to be more strategic there partner.

I have an example from a buddy who recently had the misfortune described below. Keep in mind, he is a passive candidate who is more or less happily employed, but open to new opportunities. This is the timeline of the crime against good recruiting and interview scheduling:

How not to schedule an interview

Day 1 - Thursday:

Recruiter (in this case an Agency) called late in the day to propose an interview for next Wednesday or Thursday (how's that for vague...my buddy works for a living remember, like most passives). He didn't hear the voice mail until after hours so called back the next day.

Day 2 - Friday:

Our passive hero calls back and leaves a voice mail saying his schedule was tight those two days so needed more guidance on times for a prospective meet and greet.

Day 5 - Monday:

Again they called during work hours so he only got the voice mail at the end of the day indicating Thursday morning was ideal. He couldn't phone back because they did not leave a number and the paper he wrote it on initially was at home.

Day 5 - Monday (encore):

Again they called during work hours so he only got the voice mail at the end of the day indicating Thursday morning was ideal. He couldn't phone back because they did not leave a number and the paper he wrote it on initially was at home.

Day 7 - Wednesday:

Agency phones back with a time for Thursday morning and offers to confirm with an email. Later that evening - interview booked and interview schedule email sent.

Awesome! 7 days of dragging a passive candidate around while he tries to manage his life and his current job. How eager do you think he was to go the interview...keep in mind he wasn't looking for a job to start with? What do you think his opinion of Human Resources or recruiters is now?

Did this have to happen this way? Obviously not. Is it ok that this happened this way? In the short term, his interest in the company is very much in doubt now and in the long term, he is sure to have little regard for recruiters. This is unacceptable in my world and is a key driver behind why Interviewer Assistant was created.

I have seen this situation play out from both the recruiter and applicant side of the table and it's frustrating because it's totally avoidable. With the right interview scheduling software, ideally one that is created by recruiters for recruiters (no knock against those general purpose meeting schedulers, but scheduling interviews is just not the same animal as a lunch date), this interview booking tragedy would never happen.

With Interviewer Assitant, I think it would have gone more like this:

Day 1 - Thursday:

Agency sends out interview schedule template to Mr. Passive who views it at home that evening and selects his day and time of interview. Later that evening he receives his email confirmation with all the details. Because this process is automated to include all the important details, no more phone tag is required. Think it doesn't work that easy....sorry, you need to join the rest of us in the 21st century.

Ok, how about the recruiter's time in all this? Good question...let's think this though in terms of the 5 minutes spent setting up the Interview Schedule template as opposed to the countless phone calls and messages (that frankly I'm too lazy to scroll up and count because it makes my head hurt). No doubt in my mind that the better way to woo the passive candidate in the short and long term is with a proper interview scheduling tool...and not with a high volume of unproductive phone calls and voice messages.

Maybe that's just me, but either way, I have to go do some Olympic buzzword training for my next recruitment symposium (it's not enough to work smart...sometimes you have to look smart too!).

Trick…or Interview Scheduling Treat?

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