Calendly’s Prelude vs GoodTime Hire: Which is the best interview scheduling automation for your team?


Kristin Schultz

Kristin Schultz
Dec. 01, 2022

Calendly’s Prelude vs GoodTime Hire hero

When reducing time to hire, one of the smartest things recruiting teams can do is automate manual scheduling tasks with an enterprise scheduling tool. Two of the biggest interview scheduling platforms are Calendly’s Prelude and GoodTime Hire. Both solutions streamline this complex part of the recruiting and hiring process, but offer vastly different approaches to automation and interview flexibility. 

Which interview scheduling solution is right for your team? This guide can help you decide.

What is Prelude?

A recent addition to the Calendly brand, Prelude helps recruiting teams manage interview loops — complex interview sequences involving varying combinations of people and days — while automating manual scheduling tasks, like sending out calendar invitations and reminders. Recruiting coordinators use Prelude to schedule any interview in just a few clicks, from initial phone screens to multi-day hiring panel interviews. Prelude integrates well with the major applicant tracking systems (ATS), updating candidate records in real time. 

Prelude’s automation saves recruiting teams valuable time by reviewing stakeholder calendars and automatically recommending interview sequences and times. When scheduling an interview sequence, recruiting coordinators first determine the types of interviews they want to conduct and the number of interviewers they need (or they can choose an existing interview template they've used previously). Coordinators then send a personalized link to the candidate to collect their availability. Prelude analyzes the calendars of all stakeholders and recommends one or more loop structures that work for everyone — flagging any conflicting meetings that can be rescheduled, if necessary. 

Recruiting coordinators can further review and customize the interview schedule before sending calendar invites to the candidate and interviewers. Prelude’s automation also helps balance the workload for recruiters and interviewers to avoid burnout.

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I really like how Prelude makes me feel while I’m using it. It feels empowering that I’m able to schedule interviews efficiently and effectively.”

Celena Zeng

Sr. Recruiting Coordinator


Calendly’s Prelude stores key information about interviewers, such as seniority level, demographic information, and location. Prelude also tracks what types of interviews they are qualified to conduct, such as culture interviews, coding exercises, and more. These taggable attributes are easy to update and help recruiters assemble fair and diverse interview panels in minutes.

Screenshot of Prelude's interviewer management function
Prelude’s interview profiles help recruiting coordinators create hiring panels in minutes.

What is GoodTime Hire?

GoodTime Hire uses scheduling automation to help recruiting teams focus on building relationships with candidates instead of creating interview schedules. It’s similar to Prelude in that recruiting coordinators create interview loops of available interviewers based on interviewer profile attributes. GoodTime Hire analyzes the schedules of each hiring panel member, surfacing available time slots for each stage of the interview process. Like Prelude, GoodTime Hire also provides standard features such as bulk communication tools and load balancing.

Where GoodTime Hire differs is its focus on standardizing interview scheduling instead of offering customization. The platform’s automation puts the onus of scheduling on candidates. Once the available interview times are found, GoodTime presents the time slots to the candidate on a personalized scheduling page. The candidate then self-books all interviews in the loop. With this model, the recruiting coordinator can’t adjust the schedule after it’s selected by the candidate.

GoodTime’s automation helps time-strapped recruiting teams save more time for connecting with talent and creating candidate relationships. However, the trade-off is having less control over the interview process.

Prelude vs GoodTime: key differences

While GoodTime Hire and Calendly’s Prelude have similar functionality on the surface, their approaches to interview scheduling can have a big impact on your recruiting processes.

Scheduling control

The biggest difference between these two platforms is how much control recruiting coordinators have over the final interview schedule. GoodTime Hire asks candidates to schedule all of their own interviews — even for complicated interview sequences involving multiple stakeholders and interview types. In addition to preparing for interviews, candidates must take on scheduling responsibilities.

Screenshot of GoodTime Hire interface where candidates must self-select interview times
GoodTime Hire makes candidates responsible for interview scheduling.

For some teams, GoodTime may be overly automated. While admin tasks are removed from recruiting coordinators’ workloads, the coordinators lose the ability to make nuanced decisions about interview sequencing or customizing the interview lineup.

For example, a recruiting coordinator might want to adjust the interview order to keep a candidate engaged, breaking up a series of technical interviews with a cultural interview, or even a 30-minute intermission. With GoodTime, while the coordinator can review and approve the interview sequence, they can’t change the order of interviews. Once the candidate self-schedules their interview, the sequence is locked.

Without that flexibility, scheduling complex interviews may actually become more difficult with GoodTime.

Calendly’s Prelude doesn’t put the responsibility of scheduling on the candidate. Once the platform generates interview sequences that work with every stakeholder’s schedule, the recruiting coordinator reviews all available options before confirming. Prelude gives coordinators the flexibility and control they need to customize every aspect of the interview sequence, instead of being bound by the platform automation and candidate selections.

Multi-day interview scheduling

Interviews for priority or leadership roles typically require several days of interviews across multiple teams. That’s Prelude’s specialty. Because the platform considers a candidate’s availability over multiple days, it’s easy for recruiting coordinators to manage extended loops and determine the best meeting sequence for their hiring teams. 

GoodTime is working on multi-day appointment scheduling for the Hire platform, but as of this writing the feature is in beta.

Automatic conflict resolution

With so many stakeholders involved in interview loops — meeting with two people for 30 minutes, then a 1:1, then a break, then a panel interview, then another 1:1, etc. — it can be challenging for recruiting coordinators to keep up with everyone’s evolving schedules. It’s critical to know which meetings on an interviewer’s calendar can’t be moved. 

Prelude’s flexible automatic conflict resolution identifies which existing meetings on interviewers’ calendars can be scheduled over. Prelude lets recruiting coordinators update these settings as they go, providing more flexibility as interviewer schedules or priorities change. Recruiting coordinators have the option to mark a meeting as never movable, always moveable, movable for this interview sequence only, and so on.

Screenshot of Prelude interviewer profile screen with assignable attributes that drive automatic conflict resolution
Prelude’s automatic conflict resolution lets recruiting coordinators know which existing meetings can’t be scheduled over.

GoodTime Hire also features conflict resolution based on interviewer profiles. But the platform makes interviewers set their attributes during implementation, and they’re difficult to change afterward. What’s more, attributes aren’t standardized. Interviewers could use the terms one-on-one, 1:1, 1-1, 1/1, etc. interchangeably, making it more difficult for conflict resolution to work properly. And when an interviewer’s schedule changes, recruiting coordinators can’t make updates because the loop sequence is established by the candidate’s booked interview times.

Applicant Tracking System integrations

ATS integrations are essential for a modern recruiting software stack, and both Prelude and GoodTime Hire connect with the major tools in the space. Prelude has native integrations with Greenhouse, iCIMS, Workday, and Lever. GoodTime offers these, plus integrations with SmartRecruiters and Jobvite. (Both platforms have integrations with video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams to enable video interviews, and further integrations with other hiring functions such as assessments.) 

However, Prelude's Chrome extension helps recruiting coordinators request availability or schedule interviews seamlessly from their ATS, without disrupting their workflow. The browser extension embeds interview scheduling features directly in Greenhouse and Lever, adding buttons to candidate profiles. Users can schedule interview loops or request a candidate’s availability in a few clicks.

Screenshot of Prelude scheduling features embedded in a Greenhouse candidate page
Prelude’s browser app embeds interview scheduling features directly in Greenhouse.

Unfortunately, GoodTime doesn’t have similar in-app ATS integrations. When users need to schedule an interview, the platform makes them go back into GoodTime to perform their scheduling functions. Recruiting coordinators spend time jumping between platforms instead of connecting with candidates. While GoodTime highlights how its scheduling automation saves recruiting teams time, these workflow interruptions could cancel out the app’s time savings. 

User experience

Software is only as good as someone’s ability to use it. While GoodTime offers extensive automation, the user interface can be complex and difficult to learn. Many settings must be programmed during implementation, and it's hard to change them once setup is complete.

Some new users report those challenges make it hard to adopt the platform and realize the time savings promised by the automation.

"It's a little overwhelming to learn at first ... I know there are things I've not yet learned about GoodTime. I'm just nervous to play around because I don't want to mess up anything.”

Prelude offers a visually driven, user-friendly interface. The platform also has great flexibility, letting users change platform settings and preferences for conflict resolution rules, interviewer profile editing permissions, and more as they work. Recruiting teams can continually customize and adjust workflows, so they can find time savings based on their needs.

Screenshot of Prelude interview loop scheduling feature
Prelude features an intuitive, visually driven interface that helps users start scheduling complex interview loops right away.

New users report ramping up quickly and scheduling interviews through Prelude right away.

"Set up [is] very easy and the interface is quite intuitive. You can learn it fast.”
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When I look back at where we were pre-Prelude and then compare it to our current recruiting process, it feels like we’ve advanced light years.”

Testimonial author

Andrea Brent

Recruiting Operations Specialist


Prelude vs GoodTime: pricing and support

Like many enterprise solutions, pricing for both Prelude and GoodTime varies widely depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the customer and the complexity of their interview scheduling needs. Prelude’s annual plans have different levels of platform integrations, analytics, and automated tools, as well as a variable platform fee. Prelude assigns a dedicated implementation specialist anda customer success manager (CSM) to each account at no additional cost.

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We knew we weren’t the only Prelude customers, but the team was always willing to jump on a call, listen to us, and partner on solutions and strategies that would improve our candidate experience. We were then and are now excited to hear about and partner on the next iterations of the Prelude platform.”

Testimonial author

Kathryn Thane

Manager, Recruiting Operations


To get an estimate of what Prelude’s pricing would look like for your organization, book a quick call with the team here.

GoodTime Hire’s support model isn’t as strong. The company does manage a popular Talent Ops Slack channel where professionals can discuss recruiting operations issues. However, only certain GoodTime pricing plans come with CSM support or onboarding assistance. Instead, the platform encourages users to get assistance from help center articles, FAQs, and customer forums to troubleshoot issues or learn more about features.

Pricing tiers are also structured differently with GoodTime. Varying tiers with increasing levels of features are available. But rather than offer user licenses, GoodTime’s pricing plans assume anyone in an organization could be an interviewer. Some pricing plans also limit resources like training and templates. To find more details, book a demo through GoodTime’s pricing page.

Prelude vs GoodTime: Which interview scheduling solution is best for your team?

Before investing in an interview scheduling solution, make sure it meets your team’s needs. GoodTime may be a better fit for smaller recruiting teams with limited bandwidth and fewer preferences around complex interviews. These teams typically work on fewer job requisitions and don’t need to juggle as many schedules, so they may prefer to have candidates take on interview scheduling tasks. Smaller teams also won’t miss value-added features not available in GoodTime, like unlimited templates and training plans.

When you have a large recruiting team in growth mode with complex, multi-day appointment scheduling needs, Prelude is the way to go. The platform automates many tasks for recruiters and recruiting coordinators. But Prelude also recognizes recruiting teams must have the ability to make final decisions about loop structures, including order and timing. It’s how these teams create the most effective interview process while offering the best possible experience for candidates and hiring teams. 

Prelude’s functionality and flexibility makes interview scheduling a collective process that aligns all stakeholders. Its blend of efficiency and flexibility reduces time to hire while delivering a better experience — and that’s what helps you capture more top talent.

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Learn more about Prelude

Ready to see what Prelude can do for your organization? Request a demo today!

Kristin Schultz

Kristin Schultz

Kristin is a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager at Calendly.


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