Welcome back to Dear Artemis: Where you ask us tough questions and we use our collective 45+ years knowledge in the recruiting space to answer them.
Calendars at my organization are mayhem. Leaders are booked back to back day after day, and I’m having a hard time prioritizing interviews. I know candidates are engaged in multiple opportunities and other organizations are moving quickly… How do I speed up my interview process and prioritize interviews over existing meetings?
Talent Partner, B2B SaaS Scale Up
Dear Talent Partner, B2B SaaS Scale Up,
We understand the painful reality here - if you don’t prioritize interviews, you will lose your top candidates. If you lose candidates, your interview process drags out… taking up more time in your leaders’ calendars. Not to mention - the work of the role you’re hiring for is distributed among your leaders and employees right now… meaning the longer this takes, the crazier their calendars will be.
So, what do you do?
Block time in the interviewer(s) calendars in advance When you open a new search, dive into the hiring managers’ calendars and book 2-3 “HOLDS” a week. If the leaders agree that this is a high priority hire, they will not push back. When the time comes, if you have an interview then your slot is saved. If you don’t, you can cancel it and give them precious time back, meeting-free.
Ask leaders/their EAs which other meetings can be made “asynchronous” to help open up new times. With Zoom meetings as the new default, calendars are clogged. Which meeting could be an email, a Slack voice note, or a video? (hint: a lot of them)
Keep a strong pulse on other interview processes that a candidate is engaged in Our clients are more responsive and flexible when they know that a great candidate is in the final stages of another opportunity - we bet your leaders will be too. Be transparent with your leaders so they understand how an expedient process can make or break hiring top candidates.
After-business-hours interviews Sometimes, candidates are just as busy as interviewers are. If both parties have crazy schedules and are both eager to continue the process, they can find time before or after their workday to have a call. We’ve had candidates be open to meeting up for a walk (or zoom meeting) on the weekend too - which should not be the precedent, but an example of a creative solution if you need to find one. Let the candidate dictate the time/location to be as accommodating as possible.
Make sure your leaders know what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate… before they start interviewing Yes, we know that requirements can be fluid and change. But investing extra time upfront to define the ideal profile and to test assumptions means you won’t use interviewer(s) time playing guessing games or meeting an overly broad mix of potential candidates. The people they interview should be those that you’re confident they’ll be excited about - so push for clarity so that you can deliver that. And then make sure that every person in the hiring process is working from the same definition of ‘ideal candidate’.
Hopefully this helps. We know this is an ongoing struggle, especially in today’s crazy market where a candidate can go from a second-last interview to an offer letter in an hour. (True story, this happened to one of our candidates.)
Until next time,
The Artemis Team