What is Candidate Availability? How do I use it?

Candidate Availability attempts to alleviate some scheduling pain by making it easier than ever to plan interviews and keep track of what need to be done with each candidate. Since this feature has many steps, we thought it might be helpful to show you how it works in real time with Customer Support Specialist Alexa!

Candidate Availability Feature Sneak Peek from Greenhouse on Vimeo.

Requesting Availability

When you go to schedule a candidate for an interview, you will now see an extra section that relates to Candidate Availability. It will only show up for the stage a candidate is in, so you'll need to move the candidate if you want to request availability for another stage.

The status on the lefthand side will show you whether you've reached out to the candidate in Greenhouse. This will update automatically as you move through the process, but if you do anything outside of Greenhouse, you can manually change the status as well. 

When you click Request Availability, an email popup will appear -- this is your new Candidate Availability Request Template, which can be edited on the Configure > Email Templates page. Use it to reach out to your candidate and suggest times when they might be available for a call or a face-to-face meeting.

When you're done with the message, click Suggest interview times for candidate. This will open a new calendar window you can use to mark when your team is free for the interview. If you only want to find out when a candidate is available and don't want to suggest any times, you can also skip this step!

You can click and drag in the calendar to create proposed times for your calls or interviews. Select as many as you want, change the view to show different days/weeks/months, and simply X out of any times you added incorrectly. 

After you select the times, they will be slotted into the bottom of the email to the candidate. 

When the candidate receives your email, it will include a link to their very own scheduling window where they can see your message and availability. If you don't get an answer after sending it, you can click the resend button on the Stage tab to make sure they see it again. 

The times you chose will be highlighted in light green, then they can use the same functionality to indicate when they are free for the interview. 

After they send you their times and any notes they'd like to include, the person who requested availability will receive an email notification letting them know it's time to schedule the interview. Both sets of times will then appear on the Stage tab, allowing you to choose the most ideal time and schedule the interview like normal. When you do, you should see the Available times on the right side of the scheduling window for easy reference. 

The Final Step is to Send Interview Confirmation, which uses the new Candidate Interview Confirmation Template to let the candidate know when they'll be coming in.

If you want to create additional email templates for requesting availability and sending confirmations, you can do that on the Configure > Email Templates page. Just create a new one and make sure to adjust the type, or make changes to your default templates for the whole organization.

 

You can also filter by Availability status on the Candidates tab to see who still needs attention. If you filter by Requested, you can check which candidates received the email X number of days ago to easily send reminders to them.

                          

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Benjamin Cary

    Can you set this up so your google or outlook calendar shows up in the greenhouse calendar? The way it looks now we will have to toggle between two screens to compare our real schedule and the requested schedule.

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Benjamin,

    Seeing your calendar in the scheduling window won't be something we have immediately when this feature launches, but it may be something we can throw in at a later point! I'll be sure to run it by the product team to see what they think.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Jeunee Simon

    When is this feature slated to launch?

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Jeunee,

    We don't have a firm release date quite yet, but I know our engineers have been doing a ton of testing over the last couple weeks to get it ready to go. It shouldn't be too much longer, but we'll be sure to make an announce it as soon as it is released!

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Kyli Lamar

    Is there a way to set permanent suggested interview times so that you don't have to add them each time?

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Kyli,

    It isn't possible to include something like that at the moment, but that's definitely something we could talk to the product team about adding in the future! Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Jessica Laughlin

    I'm so excited to try this!

  • Avatar
    Jeannette Osterweil

    How do the timezones work for this new feature? If I'm in Mountain time and I mark my suggested interview availability, but the candidate is in Eastern time, do the times change to match their timezone?

    Thanks,
    Jeannette

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Jeannette,

    Great question! When the candidate clicks the link, Greenhouse checks their computer time/time zone and will adjust the times. When you get the times back, they should be listed in the same time zone as your computer.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Matt Paddock

    Great new feature. I agree that Google Calendar integration is a good option.

  • Avatar
    James Armijo

    Nice feature, but not ideal IMO. It would be great if you could just integrate with Calendly or some other application, so that neither the candidate for the interviewers has to do any work to provide availability. I do this manually today by having an email template that I send with a Calendly link. The problem is that once a candidate schedules an interview, there's no feedback. Cool feature but I won't use it since it's not integrated for real world use - figure out how to get things done with less, no more work :)

  • Avatar
    Gabriela Matias

    If I give two candidates my availability for example, I want to schedule 30min interviews a give them the possibilities within a 2hour period. If the first candidate confirms in the calendar his preferred slot, will that slot appear as unavailable when the second candidate opens the calendar to confirm his availability?

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the feedback! We adhere to the philosophy that everything can be improved, so we agree that this isn't a perfect feature (does such a thing even exist?). We definitely don't think it will solve everyone's scheduling woes for all time, but we hope it's a step in the right direction.

    I think the goal with this feature is to model and improve a behavior that a majority of people are already doing within Greenhouse -- contact the candidate, find their availability, match it with internal availability, and confirm the interview. It will hopefully improve the day-to-day scheduling experience for many users, and could eventually provide a useful framework that we can build on in the future. Now that we have the calendar view for picking availability, for example, it becomes easier to layer additional functionality over it later.

    I'll be sure to share your feedback with the product team as they start to brainstorm what's coming next for scheduling (and Greenhouse as a whole). Please let us know if you have any other questions or suggestions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Gabriela,

    The scheduling aspect of the feature isn't a series of slots that can be claimed by candidates. Instead, it is meant to figure out all the different times that would work with candidates so you can schedule them for the times that works best for you and the interviewers. After someone replies with their availability, you'll still need to schedule the interview like normal, but you'll be able to see their availability for easy reference.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Alison Lee

    Looks great. Especially for single phone screens where there isn't as much coordination, I'd love to be able to set default time ranges for the interviewer's calendar. If there is free time in that time range (across whatever dates) for Greenhouse to read that and send those available time ranges to the candidate without anyone having to manually select suggested times.

  • Avatar
    Tony Ford

    I really like this feature and I'm sure you will build on it in the coming months. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Jeunee Simon

    Is there a way to flag candidates that haven't replied within a certain period of time?

  • Avatar
    Samantha Price

    If you requested a candidate's availability in "phone screen" but actually want to to move them to "in person interview" is there a way to transfer the availability to a different stage so I don't have to re-request them to submit it?

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    @Jeunee - Yes, you can use the new availability filter on the candidates tab to find people who haven't replied in a certain number of days. There is a screenshot of this at the bottom of the this article.

    @Samantha - There isn't a way to transfer the availability, but if you take a note of what they've chosen, you can then enter availability manually once they are in the new stage. The menu to do this is shown in the second screenshot above.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Russell Abdo

    Hey Murphy! Is there anyway to edit the availability after you've sent it to the candidate? Timing changes so much on our end that I've already found myself having to email candidates a second time with updated times.

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Mark Scott

    Is there a way to permanently change the calendar the candidate sees so they only see options for M-F?

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    @Russell - After you send availability to a candidate, you can click the "Requested" button on the stage and manually change it back to "Not Requested" in order to choose new times and send over something different.

    @Mark - There isn't currently a way to limit days of the weeks for interviewing, so you'll want to give guidance in your Availability Templates so that candidates know which times and dates might be appropriate for an interview.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Mallory Mazer

    Hi Murphy. I can't seem to find this anymore? Did you remove this ability?

    Thanks,
    Mallory

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Mallory,

    It's still there, but there are a couple of common reasons you might not see it. For one, you'll only see the availability buttons for the candidate's current stage, so if they are in app review and you want to request availability for their next stage, you won't see the buttons. If it is listed as not needing scheduling on the bottom of that interview's its interview kit, it won't show any availability as well. If neither of these things solve your problem, email us at support@greenhouse.io so we can take a look at what's going wrong for you!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Kachi Okoronkwo

    I would love to be able to set general business hours without specifying availability every time. I'm shocked by how many people select after 6 and weekends only. WHAT?! C'mon! I just don't have time to company calendar to calendar, but this should be a basic feature.

  • Avatar
    Jeffrey Swartwout

    Hi Kachi,

    I totally see the use case here. It's frustrating that candidates provide availabilities during non-business hours and it can be time consuming to specify your interviewers' availabilities before sending every time. I've added this as a feature request to be discussed with the product team! Thanks so much for the feedback!

    Best,
    Jeff

  • Avatar
    Evan Birtch

    Hi Murphy,

    Is there a way to bulk request availability? I've got a large group of candidates that we want to push through over the course of the next 2 weeks and if the availability slots are all the same, doing this in bulk would be ideal.

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Murphy

    Hi Evan,

    This can only be done on a candidate by candidate basis for right now, but I will bring it up with the Product team to see if this might be something we can add in the future! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    Murphy

  • Avatar
    Rebecca O'Connor

    Can you track the time taken to schedule an interview once availability is requested?

  • Avatar
    Jeffrey Swartwout

    Hi Rebecca,

    Currently, there's no way to do that. I think that could be a useful metric to track so I'll submit your feedback to the product team!

    Best,
    Jeff

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