Navigating the trick world of scheduling international candidate meetings

Author: Gabriele Ottino, CEO, Doodle 

A recruiters job is not an easy one.

Finding a job – the right ones – is a tough, exhausting task, which is why people turn to recruiters to do the heavy lifting. A typical working day can include scheduling endless meetings with candidates as clients, each needing a significant amount of preparation to ensure an understanding of all parties’ needs are met.

These issues are exacerbated when tasked with placing candidates amongst international clients and vice-versa. 

Those tasked with recruiting internationally have additional (and perhaps unexpected), complexities to consider when meeting with prospective candidates. There’s a surprising amount of variation between countries when it comes to scheduling meetings, a lot of which was uncovered Doodle’s 2019 ‘state of meetings report’.

When it came to responding to meeting invites, for example, of the 6,500 professionals surveyed, Italians were some of the most prompt, responding on average within 5 hours 24 minutes, whereas Switzerland or France took much longer, responding within 10 hours 30 minutes and 10 hours 45 mins respectively. The length of meetings also varied across countries, with the USA and UK typically meeting for periods of up to 1 hour, while in Germany, meetings were commonly only 30 minutes. 

An awareness of these idiosyncrasies is of vital importance for recruiters working against tight deadlines and looking to maximize the efficacy of time in the diary, as well as in helping to build strong relations between global clients and candidates. For example, a 1 hour meeting with a German candidate may come across negatively to them as they’re used to more quick-fire sessions. Doodle, in particular, can lend a helping hand, as no matter where you are – calendar invites appear in the correct time zone to the user. 

International recruiters also have it tough in the difficulty with organising face-to-face meetings. 

The meeting report showed that 76% of professionals still prefer face-to-face meetings over virtual methods, with 100% of those surveyed saying that face-to-face meetings help give them a better understanding of other peoples’ opinions and arguments. Given that most international recruitment meetings will undoubtedly take place remotely, the odds are stacked even further against the recruiter in terms of deciding the best move for their candidate. 

Meeting pain points can also occur before you’ve even got that far – the nitty gritty of scheduling itself can quickly balloon into a seemingly impossible feat. One-to-one scheduling can result in a frustrating game of email ping pong, and any resulting last-minute rescheduling can be detrimental as it often leads to meetings being cancelled or slipping off the calendar. 

Doodle 1:1 can help soothe these pain points and our AI-driven tools make rescheduling or planning recurring meetings super simple, without having to resend invites or trawl through people’s original availability. Since we communicate across varying platforms, we developed our new Doodle Bot which integrates into Slack channels to keep track of meeting details without having to create a separate invite.

Overall, recruiting internationally is a difficult task for anyone – though you can take some of the strain away by understanding cultural differences, taking time to prepare thoroughly, and by letting technology do some of the heavy lifting.


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