Recruiting at lightning speed - blog header


5 strategies for recruiting at lightning speed


Monique Richardson, November 29, 2021

As the economy rebounds, headhunters and talent acquisition professionals should be swamped with applications. Companies nationwide have over 10 million open positions, or 6.6% of the job market. And a recent Gallup poll found that 70% of white-collar workers are still working from home, so recruiters have no problem reaching top talent.

But for all the openings out there, participation in the labor force is at its lowest rate in 45 years.

With so many positions available and fewer people to fill them, we’re now in a candidate-driven job market. Job seekers are in high demand and have the flexibility to choose the positions they want. 

And that means recruiting teams run the risk of losing an ideal candidate to another organization while the interview process plays out.

How the recruiting cycle gets bogged down

So what’s the problem? As a recruiting professional, I often see a few factors that sandbag good companies with extended hiring cycles. 

  • Coordinating schedules. Top-paying positions usually require interviews with people in senior roles. Cross-referencing the calendars of these busy leaders and aligning their availability with a candidate’s time takes a lot of time and communication.

  • Competing priorities. When faced with heavy workloads, people added to a review panel tend to push interviews out on their schedules, extending the recruiting cycle by days — if not weeks.

  • Bureaucracy. The hiring process can involve multiple levels of screening and reviews. Each layer of decision makers means more time and resources required from recruiting teams and a disjointed experience for candidates.

Interviewing inefficiencies like these can be fatal for growing companies in the current market. Organizations with slow hiring processes not only miss out on top talent; they also leave teams struggling to meet goals while running short-staffed, hurting productivity and revenue.

5 ways recruiters can streamline the hiring process 

Successful recruiters connect with candidates sooner and move them through the hiring process quickly. 

Fortunately, you can easily streamline interviews with Calendly. By automating the administrative side of talent acquisition, you’re better able to reach quality talent before they move off the market. 

To help you get started, here are 5 top tips to help you optimize your recruiting cycle and win the race to hire the best people.

1. Speed up the recruitment cycle

Perhaps the biggest drag on the recruiting cycle is coordinating schedules. Finding available times on the calendars of the candidate and each member of the interview panel can require back-and-forth emails with each person involved. Implementing an automated scheduling platform like Calendly removes that barrier, enabling recruiters to set up interviews that can be confirmed in just one click. 

For example, recruiters making initial contact with a candidate can add a scheduling link to their email signature. This simple step enables an interested candidate to schedule a meeting right away. 

Add a scheduling link to your email signature helps candidates schedule a meeting right away.

Calendly also makes it easy to set up interviews between candidates and internal teams. Continuing with the initial contact phase, you can screen a candidate with any available member of your recruiting team using the round robin Event Type. You can schedule screenings during any time slot you select until no more interviewers are available at that time. The round robin feature isn’t just convenient for job seekers; it also helps distribute interviews around your team to avoid burnout.


Further along in the recruiting cycle, a candidate may need to be interviewed by more than one person at the same time, such as a hiring manager and a department head. Calendly’s collective Event Type helps you organize a panel interview in just a few steps. Calendly displays only start times that work for everyone, and then adds all team members to the calendar event once the interview is scheduled.

Calendly has scheduling options for meetings with multiple people.

Related reading: Trying to bring groups together fast? You need team scheduling options.

When speed is the priority, you need to get candidates into your recruiting cycle as soon as possible. Encourage them by limiting the days in which a candidate can book an interview. Calendly enables you to set a window of available days from when you send an meeting invitation or by specifying a range of dates. Either way, conversations with talent begin more quickly. Limiting the availability window also helps set the expectation of a timely interview process.

Limit the window for booking meeting times to start conversations more quickly.

Related reading: 8 tips for hiring on a tight deadline 

2. Use automation to save time for recruiters and candidates

Automation frees recruiters to devote time and energy to hiring the right people, instead of getting bogged down in administrative work. Calendly can automate several stages of the interview process, so you can stay focused on hiring the best people.


An odd trend in the seeker-driven job market is candidates ghosting their scheduled interviews. To keep top talent engaged, it’s helpful to send meeting reminders that include all the information a candidate needs once they schedule, such as next steps and day-of details. The reminders should also be sent to the candidate’s preferred communications channel. 

Calendly’s automated reminders make the process simple, enabling your team to set and send a sequence of reminders through email and/or text messages. Your team members will have more time to focus on matching candidates to roles instead of copying, pasting, and manually sending meeting details before every interview.



Accelerating the recruiting cycle is not just about catering to in-demand candidates. It’s also important to focus time on job seekers who are the right fit. Adding screening questions to your reminder sequence helps you filter out applicants who may not be qualified or have salary and/or responsibility expectations that aren’t aligned with your open roles.


Calendly enables you to customize confirming questions and avoid misunderstandings about:

  • Whether the role is an salaried, hourly or contract position

  • Experience levels required for specific job functions

  • Travel requirements

  • Qualifications, education levels, etc.

  • Specifics of the role’s responsibilities

Based on the feedback you receive, you can keep qualified people moving through your hiring process while preventing your team from using valuable time interviewing candidates who wouldn’t be qualified or interested in a position.

Related reading: How to customize your interview questions for remote workers

3. Customize interviews according to your workflow‌

Schedulers sometimes treat interviews as if they are all the same length and follow the same format. The result can be major inconveniences for interviewers and for candidates alike. Time gets wasted when more time is booked than needed. There’s also a greater risk for confusion, with candidates uncertain what to expect during each meeting.

Fortunately, Calendly makes it easy to customize meetings for each stage of the interviewing process. By creating different Event Types, you’ll be able to set up exactly the kinds of meetings that make sense for your interviewing style and/or the role you’re trying to fill. For example, you could set up Event Types for:

  •  Phone screening (20 minutes)

  • Hiring manager session (45 minutes)

  • Group director session (30 minutes)

  • Offer discussion (30 minutes)

Use the appropriate link for inviting a candidate to the interview phase you need, and the candidate and interview both receive the right details. The process creates greater clarity and efficiency for interviewers and candidates alike.

Use different Event Types to customize meetings for each stage of the interviewing process.

Related reading: Introducing Managed Events: Improve team consistency and lift performance

4. Track your recruiting and hiring metrics

‌As your company grows and headcount needs expand, your team will conduct many interviews across a wide range of roles. As your team gains interview experience, it’s a good idea to do everything possible to improve your recruiting process next time. Calendly’s tools enable you to build a solid database of interview notes, suggestions, and enhancements. Use it as a reference to improve the experience for the future candidates.

Calendly’s reports help you quickly review your past interviews or view your upcoming interviews. Use the reports to keep track of candidates’ reschedules and cancellations or view your team’s progress through the recruiting process. Tracking these metrics lets you build up a database of statistics like conversion rates, time to interview, and time to hire, creating a solid foundation for performance reviews and incentives.

Use Calendly’s reports to review your past and upcoming interviews.

Related reading: Introducing Calendly Analytics: Easy insights to grow your business

5. Integrate Calendly with your business tools to create more efficiencies

Recruiting teams rely on a variety of tools to review candidates and schedule interviews. Integrating Calendly with them helps you share information and functions between platforms, unlocking even more efficiencies. 

Application tracking systems (ATS)

Organizations of all sizes typically use an application tracking system (ATS) to manage the hiring process. It gives everyone involved in the hiring process one place to monitor a candidate’s progress in the recruiting cycle. An ATS also provides an easy way to track interviews and review the interviewers’ notes from each session. 

Integrating Calendly with an ATS (such as Greenhouse, JazzHR, and others) enables your team to align recruiting communications and management tasks from a single platform. Scheduling and schedule updates can take place in the ATS and flow through automatically to Calendly so team members don’t have to jump between applications. 

What’s more, team members can easily see if interviews are booked and/or confirmed at any point in the cycle without having to confirm with the hiring manager or the candidate.

Source: Greenhouse

Related reading: 8 enterprise recruitment software vendors to streamline your hiring process

Video conferencing

With the explosion of remote-first working environments over the past two years, integrating your scheduling automation and video conferencing platforms is a must. 

Video conferencing integrations enable you to conduct remote interviews more easily. But it’s not just about having an option to meet virtually. As with their other communication channels, job seekers will have their own preferred platforms. Organizations wanting to connect with candidates quickly must have scheduling solutions that integrate with multiple video conferencing tools. 

Calendly offers integrations with the leading video conferencing platforms, including Webex, Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting. (Further integrations are available through Zapier.)

Calendly enables you to offer multiple video conferencing options.

No matter which platform a candidate prefers, the meeting details will automatically transfer to Calendly, automatically updating in the calendar invite for the candidate and interviewer. 

Calendly also adjusts for differences in time zones across platforms, helping reduce confusion and the risk of interview no-shows.

Fill your open roles faster

The post-pandemic economy is expected to bounce back stronger than ever. When your organization ramps up to meet the demands of that rapid growth, will your recruiting team be ready to meet its needs?

You can’t afford to waste any time on inefficient processes or outdated approaches. Now is the time to enhance your recruiting productivity and make sure that you hire the right people to position your business for success. 

Calendly’s scheduling tools make it happen.

Ready to make your recruiting process more efficient with Calendly? Sign up for free today.

Sign up FREE for Calendly

Monique Richardson biography
Monique Richardson

Monique is an Operations Recruiting Coordinator at Calendly. When not creating candidate experiences, you'll find her listening to crime-filled podcasts, blogging, and trailing nature.

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