In order to request availability from candidates within InterviewPlanner, you must first configure the specific stage that they are in. In this article, we'll walk through how to do this.
1. Ensure a stage is enabled for scheduling.
Before being able to access the settings for requesting availability, you need to enable the stage for scheduling first. You can find out how to do that here. Once you've enabled scheduling, you'll be able to go to the Availability Preferences tab.
2. Enable requesting availability for that stage.
When a stage in enabled for scheduling, we don't enable requesting availability for that stage by default. This is because every company schedules interviews a little differently, and you might want to request availability over the phone or in a more casual environment for a specific job or stage.
To enable requesting availability, first, click on the Edit button in the Availability section.
Check the "Enable requesting availability for this stage" box and click Save. This will unlock the settings to configure the stage for availability.
3. Configure default date settings.
Click the Edit button in the Dates section.
3a. Preferred date window
With this setting, you can suggest a preferred window to the candidate to input available times. This won't limit the candidate's ability to submit times outside of this window—in case they actually don't have any other times available—but it encourages them to try to submit an earlier time to keep the interview process flowing quickly. This value is in calendar days, not business days.
The default is 14 days, but you can change that to be whatever works best for you. The value of this setting will be shown on the candidate-facing availability page.
3b. Allowed days
This determines which days of the week are acceptable when submitting availability. If a candidate tries to submit times on a day that's disabled, it will show them an error and prevent it.
The default is to allow all weekdays, but if you've blocked off interviewers' time on specific days, you can restrict it even further. If all weekdays are used, it won't show up on the candidate-facing availability page, but if you pick any other set of days, it will be shown.
4. Set an advanced notice window.
This value determines how many hours (at a minimum) are required in between the time the candidate submits availability and their first available time slot. This ensures that candidates can't submit all their availability within the next 24 hours, forcing you to scramble to quickly schedule them. Many interviewers appreciate this setting so that they don't have to worry about interviews appearing at the last minute for them. If a candidate tries to submit times within this window, it will show them an error and prevent it.
The default is 24 hours, but you can change that to be whatever works best for you and your company. This won't show up on the candidate-facing availability page, but it will be grayed out in the calendar picker.
One setting that affects availability requests but doesn't live on this page is the scheduling window. This is configured on the Scheduling Preferences tab but applies to both scheduling and availability.
If it is set, it will be shown on the candidate-facing availability page.
And that's it! You can now start requesting availability for any candidate currently in this stage. You'll see tasks appear on your Tasks page, as well as the Ready to Request Availability status for candidates.
To learn more about what it would look like when you're actually sending an availability request to a candidate, check out our article on requesting availability.