When it comes to scheduling an interview, the step that requires the most back-and-forth with a candidate is asking them for what times they're available. By requesting availability through InterviewPlanner, you should be able to reduce the number of times you have to go back to the candidate.
Before requesting availability for a candidate, you'll need to make sure everything is set up first. An optional (though recommended) step is configuring your company branding so that the page that the candidates will see have your company's logo and colors.
Once that's set up, you'll need to configure a stage for availability requests. This is a quick step that will help save time in the long run because it sets up defaults for all availability requests you send out for that stage.
Getting to the request availability workflow
Once everything is configured, you're ready to start sending out availability requests! Once you enable a stage for availability requests, we create "Ready to Request Availability" tasks for unscheduled candidates currently in that stage, so you can head to your Tasks page to see what you need to do next.
You can also do directly to the Candidates page and find a candidate with the "Ready to Request Availability" status.
Clicking on the "Request Availability" button on any page will take you into the request availability workflow.
Request availability workflow
The first and primary step in the workflow is setting up the preferences for the availability request. Many of these settings will be familiar from when you configured the stage, and just like when you're scheduling, you can modify any of these values for this specific candidate, and it won't change it on the stage for everyone else. There are also a few new settings that you haven't seen yet for availabilities.
You'll notice that you have a Preferred Times section that wasn't there on the Availability Preferences tab on the stage. Just like the scheduling window, this is meant to be the business hours and timezone of the interviewers. This will make sure that the candidate provides available times within this window.
The default value for this time window is whatever is configured for the scheduling window on the stage. This will be shown on the candidate-facing availability page.
While this is the timezone of the interviewers, the candidate will see the times in their local timezone when they view the availability page.
It's also important to note that if you change this value here for this specific candidate, it will also change the scheduling window for this candidate whenever you start scheduling them for this stage. That way, you won't have to remember to adjust this value again when we're scheduling them in the future.
This setting determines the minimum duration for every time slot that the candidate submits. This ensures that the candidate doesn't provide a 1-hour block for a 5-hour interview. They can submit longer than this time, but it will show the candidate a warning if one of their time slots is too short and prevent them from submitting.
The default is the sub of the durations of all of the interviews. For example, if an onsite stage has 4 45-minute interviews, this value will default to 3 hours. This will be shown on the candidate-facing availability page.
Similar to the minimum duration, this setting is to enforce a minimum on the total duration submitted by the candidate. The purpose of this is to provide you with more possible time slots for redundancy, so if the candidate's earliest available time doesn't work out for your team (e.g., all the available interviewers have conflicts), you'll have more times to work with without having to go back to the candidate to ask for more time. If the candidate doesn't provide at least this much time, it will show them an error.
The default for this is 3 times the value for the minimum duration. This should provide at least 3 different times for you to possibly scheduling the interview. This will be shown on the candidate-facing availability page.
Once you've set up all of the preferences to your liking for this candidate, the next step is reviewing all of the information to make sure it looks good. This is also another opportunity for you to preview exactly what the candidate will be seeing.
If everything checks out, you can create the availability link!
3. Send Email
After the availability has been created, the link is now live. You can view it yourself to double-check that it's just like the preview that you saw before.
The final step in the process is to get this link to the candidate. You can either copy this and send it through your ATS, or you can click on the "Compose Email" button on this page. This will open up a draft email that you can customize and send to the candidate.
And that's it! Now, the candidate will be able to submit what times they're available through this link so you can use that information when you're scheduling them.