Hiring is hard. It’s even harder when you are a small team, or even a single person, trying to manage the entire process from start to finish. Reviewing resumes, contacting candidates, setting up interviews and writing offer letters takes time! Multiply that by the number of open positions you have, and the number of candidates applying to those positions - and, let’s not forget about advertising for your open positions - it’s no wonder you might be feeling overwhelmed. Luckily, there are some cheap (or free!) and easy ways to manage some of this work, which can both increase your efficiency and improve the candidate experience.
1. Tracking Candidates
Not every organization can afford a topnotch applicant tracking system. Luckily, they don’t have to. For organizations hiring a small number of employees each year (less than 20), using a free tool like Trello can make managing a candidate pipeline infinitely easier. It’s free to sign up and it’s incredibly intuitive to use (in fact, we’ve mentioned Trello before, so it must be good, right?). To get started, simply create a new board and set up columns for each of the steps in your hiring workflow. You’ll then be able to create a card for each candidate who applies and to move it from column to column, signifying their progression. You’ll be able to enter comments, add labels to note hot (or cold) prospects and see your entire candidate pipeline at a glance. Once you’re satisfied with the setup of your hiring Trello board, save it as a template so you can create a new copy for each new position you work on. You can add colleagues to the board (and even to specific cards) to promote collaboration and to keep hiring managers informed of progress.
TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER: Set up a simple integration so that new candidates automatically appear on your Trello board when they apply. There are a number of ways to do this, and it ultimately depends on how you’re collecting your applications. If you are a Google Apps user, you can use Google Apps Script (another free tool) which is incredibly powerful and allows you to add further customizations like automated emails.
2. Scheduling Interviews
Anyone who’s scheduled interviews for multiple candidates knows that scheduling can be a huge timesuck. It usually goes something like this: you find a few times that you and everyone else on the interview team are available (at least, according to everyone’s not-always-up-to-date calendars). You write an email and list the times, asking the candidate to respond with their choice (hoping that one of them works). If you’re lucky, they respond with their choice and you proceed to schedule the meeting, sending invites to all parties. If they can’t make one of the times then you’re back to square one.
Thankfully, instead of having to coordinate this all yourself, there are now a number of scheduling services available online. I’ve used YouCanBook.Me with great success. Like many other scheduling tools available, it offers a simple, online scheduling interface for you and your team that allows candidates to book an interview at a time the works best for them, at their leisure. You can elect to set up specific windows of availability if needed, and confirmed events will be added directly to your calendar. It also offers automatic email confirmations that can be sent to you and/or your candidate.
TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER: Integrate your interview scheduling process right into your candidate workflow. Send scheduling invitations automatically, and then use webhooks to add additional actions upon a new booking, or a cancellation. For example, if you’re using Trello to manage your candidates, you could setup a webhook to move the corresponding candidate card from “Schedule Interview” to “Interview Scheduled” when someone schedules their interview, and vice versa for cancellations. As before, there are a number of ways to set this up, and Google Apps Script is a free and easy option.
3. Sending Offer Letters
Sending and receiving an offer letter can be pretty exciting, whether it’s because you’ve just landed a stellar candidate, or because it’s a sign that you’ve finally filled that open position and can move on. Either way, in this day and age, having to print out a form, sign it and send it back can erode some of that excitement by slowing down the process (on both ends). While maybe not as revolutionary as the previous two, using a tool like DocuSign or HelloSign to electronically send, sign and collect documents is certainly another way to improve the efficiency of your hiring process.
TIP: If you’re using Google Docs, you can add basic signatures without the use of a third-party service by simply inserting a drawing, changing the “line type” to the “scribble” option, and drawing the signature.