The job market is brutally competitive. With the lowest national unemployment rate in 17 years, talent wars will ramp up in 2018.

Recruiting teams across the U.S. are scrambling to bring in top talent, but working at a frantic pace just isn’t enough. No matter how hard teams work, it’s tough to get candidates through the door fast enough to remain their organization of choice.

Here’s the good news: It’s the perfect time for recruiting teams to improve processes and hire faster than their competition.

Efficient processes are crucial to winning top talent in this market. They help you put in the same amount of effort and reap more rewards (i.e., great candidates!).

How do you create more efficient processes? Where do you begin?

Look at your time to hire — it’s a key metric​. It shows you how quickly a qualified candidate moves through your recruiting process, from start to finish. A slow time-to-hire rate means you risk candidates losing interest in your organization, and it also costs you time and resources.

Drilling down into your time-to-hire rates can even tell you which jobs or departments face the most challenges in their hiring processes. You’ll definitely want to find out what’s causing those long time-to-hire rates.

A likely culprit is … interviewer calendars

If your interviewers don’t have time available in their calendars to conduct interviews, you have to delay those interviews until you can get everyone in a room. That means your time to hire increases.

That’s a problem because a slow interview process can lead to higher attrition rates in the candidate pipeline.

You don’t want to give the competition time to lure candidates away from your organization. Do you know if delayed interviews are happening at your organization? To find out, take a look at your interviewers’ calendars.

  • Are they booked up weeks in advance, with almost no availability?
  • Are they blocked off from the crack of dawn until dusk, leaving you no wiggle room to fit in valuable candidate interviews?

If so, you’ll find yourself frequently delaying interviews with potentially amazing candidates — and that’s doesn’t work in this brutally competitive job market.

The solution? Calendar etiquette

Etiquette. It sounds so old fashioned, but sometimes, the simple and civil rules are what matter the most. Ignoring them can cause problems.

To help reverse the trend of unavailable interviewers, you need to educate your staff on basic calendar etiquette.

Getting a few rules in place can have shockingly positive effects on your hiring processes and get the right candidates in the door quickly. That’s good all around: for recruiting teams, candidates, fast-scaling departments, and the overall health of your organization.

Start by working with your hiring managers to foster better calendar etiquette and open up availability in interviewers’ calendars.

Here are five (5) tips to get your team started:

1 — Be transparent

If every event on an interviewer’s calendar shows up as “Busy,” recruiting coordinators have no visibility into their calendar.

The problem is, it’s private. No one knows whether they’ve booked time off for a critical meeting with a VP, or simply want to work on a project they’ve been meaning to tackle. That leaves coordinators with no room to make suggestions about priorities when time is of the essence.

What if your recruiters have an incredible candidate who can only interview on Monday at 2 pm, and a critical interviewer’s calendar says busy … but it’s for something unimportant. That’s frustrating for the recruiters and risky for your organization, because you might lose out on a great candidate.

Here’s a solution: Encourage hiring managers to move away from wholly private calendars. Unless there is a very convincing reason why meeting information cannot be shared with the rest of the organization, ask everyone to keep their calendar information transparent.

It will make your recruiting process easier and help recruiting coordinators prioritize meeting times.

2 – Stop scheduling fake events

Do people at your organization create fake events with dubious titles to block out portions of their day? Some of the most common ones are:

  • Work-life balance;
  • Do not schedule;
  • Work block; and,
  • No meeting day.

Often times, those labels are a last resort for employees whose time isn’t fundamentally respected. People are creative, and if they’re forced to create time to focus, they will.

So proceed with a bit of caution. If you need to ask people to stop scheduling fake events, you may also want to think about whether your organization’s culture is meeting-heavy or if you’re asking interviewers to do too many interviews.

Overall, while this behavior may indicate a deeper issue in your organization’s work culture, it’s detrimental and a roadblock for your recruiting team. It needs to stop.

3 – Kill the zombie events

Some interviewers’ calendars are cluttered with events that were created ages ago but that no one attends regularly.

They may also have activities “scheduled’ that every member of the team is invited to, like Friday Lunch yoga. When the co-worker who taught yoga leaves the organization, their lingering invite becomes a zombie.

If it’s a poorly attended regular meeting or not happening at all, get it out of everyone’s calendars!

4 – Don’t use it as a “to-do” list

Employees often use their calendars as daily to-do lists. They’ll drop all kinds of things in there, and those tasks may or may not be relevant to work.

We’ve all done it, but for some people, it’s a chronic issue.

Some common examples are:

  • Go grocery shopping;
  • Call mom;
  • Email customer; or,
  • Pick up UPS package.

If those to-do’s are eating up your calendar space (especially if your calendar isn’t transparent!), you’re having a direct and negative impact on your recruiting team’s hiring efforts.

Here’s a solution: Make your to-do lists elsewhere.

5. – Make timely calendar updates

The worst calendar etiquette is not keeping it up to date.

When you don’t post Personal Time Off (PTO), Out of Office (OoO), or Working from home (WFH) on your calendar, recruiters may schedule an interview without knowing you’re away. They’ll have to reschedule it when they find out you’re gone, in a different time zone, or have a conflicting event. That’s an unnecessary hassle and results in a poor candidate experience.

When you’re away, let everyone know on your calendar as far in advance as possible.

The heart of it all

Better calendar etiquette will carry your scheduling efforts to new heights.

Painting a better picture of every interviewer’s day will reduce the time it takes to move a qualified candidate through the interview process. That reduces your time to hire, which is a significant win for the organization and candidates.

Bonus tip:​ Cap it off with robust scheduling technology and you’ll be well on your way to improved recruiting processes.

Ahryun Moon

Ahryun Moon is CEO of, the first Talent Operations Platform that provides intelligent interview scheduling for recruiting teams. seamlessly schedules high-volume phone interviews and complex onsite interviews, allowing companies to scale efficiently while focusing on higher value talent acquisition activities. You can follow her on Twitter @Ahryun or connect with her on LinkedIn.