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Why You Need To Be Scheduling Candidate Interviews Yourself

Christian Spletzer - July 29, 2019

As an executive recruiter, one of the key components of your job is to consistently keep your search project moving forward. That’s a multifaceted responsibility, and too often a recruiter will make one mistake in particular that can significantly slow their search project: not scheduling the interviews between the candidates and the client themselves.

Do recruiters need to be personally scheduling every single interview? Not necessarily, but you as a recruiter do need to make sure they’re getting done. Again, that’s your responsibility to manage the scheduling of interviews—not the client.

Here's why.

You Save Time By Scheduling Candidate Interviews Yourself

If not handled succinctly, the interview process can halt a search's progress right in its tracks. Scheduling candidate interviews can be a cumbersome process, so whoever is managing it needs to be invested in that process.

If you leave the scheduling of interviews to the client, it likely won’t get done in a timely fashion. 

Key information is gathered during these interviews, so time is always of the essence. The quicker interviews are conducted, the faster that important information is gathered and analyzed. The sooner a client can make a final decision about the candidate they choose to hire, the closer you come to finalizing your search project.

Unfortunately, clients simply aren’t equipped for scheduling candidate interviews. They have a variety of other things going on, not the least of which is running a business. Plus, they are not responsible for the search’s success. While it may be in their best interest to work closely with you in completing the search, scheduling interviews with candidates is not in their job description.

That’s your job, and it will be your fault if the search ends up taking too long due to a prolonged interview period. If the client you’re working with ends up dissatisfied because of that fact, then that’s on you, too.

Scheduling Candidate Interviews Yourself Allows You To Leverage Your Firm's Expertise

This is ultimately what you’re promising to do when you sign on to work with a client. You’re promising to lend them your full consultative skills. And you’re promising, above all, to do everything you can to help them land a great candidate.

If you're not the one to manage scheduling, you’re not fully executing on your expertise and you fail to uphold your end of the bargain.

When scheduling and overseeing interviews, you must be fully aware of what’s going on. You must “own” the process. You cannot be in a position where you're constantly asking the client for critical info or rely on them for whatever it is you need to do your job. That puts you in a place where you’re no longer the expert nor in control of the process, which is the opposite of what you want.

Conversely, if a client feels as if you are doing everything you can—that you are in control—they’ll feel as if you’re properly leading the project, as opposed to leaving the fate of it up to them.

Make The Most Of The Online Tools Available To You

In those instances, it’s beneficial to use virtual assistants like those offered by Hubspot or Calendly, which enable clients and candidates to access a shared calendar and reserve blocks of time.

The goal of using this technology is to avoid any extensive back and forth between the candidate (who’s likely busy and distracted) and the client (who’s likely busier and even more distracted), which is often what delays searches in this stage.

From there, you can track progress through a platform like Clockwork. A platform such as Clockwork can be a big help in managing all of these moving parts from one location that’s viewable by both your team and the client

Through Clockwork, you or the client can log in at any time and affirm where, in the interview process, a candidate is at—whether their interview has been scheduled or conducted, for example.

You and your team can also leave notes for the client soliciting their feedback on a candidate after an interview, which is crucial in making sure important information is gathered right away.

Whatever kind of process-management platform you use, make sure it’s one that allows you a high-level view of all the different candidates being interviewed. Also, make sure it allows you opportunities for dynamic collaboration with your client which can make managing this process infinitely easier.

A Quicker Search Project Makes For Happy Clients And Wins You More Work

What matters most, so far as managing the candidate interview process, is that it doesn’t delay the search so long that the client becomes unhappy. That means it’s best to designate someone on your team to manage it exclusively. If you have no one else on your team, you’ll have to do it yourself. 

This is usually the longest part of a search—introducing candidates to clients, waiting for the client to connect with them, waiting for the client to say yes, and so on. It will take a long time regardless, so you can’t afford to hold it up any longer.

Remember that your job, at the end of the day, is to fill a role, so you need to be involved in actually doing that through the very end. Make it clear to the client throughout the entirety of the search and during this stage that you’re in control, that you own it, and that they can trust you to help them find their perfect candidate.

The simplest way to do that? Manage scheduling and interviewing yourself.

Topics: Executive Search- Executive Recruiter- Executive Search Software- The Eight Stages of Successful Retained Search

Christian Spletzer

Christian Spletzer

After years of working as an executive recruiter, Christian Spletzer founded Clockwork to improve how search firms and clients work together on retained search projects. He designed Clockwork to help recruiters demonstrate their consultative value to their clients at every stage of each project.

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