The Scheduler

Engineering

Learn from our challenges and triumphs as our talented engineering team offers insights for discussion and sharing.

The Scheduler

Engineering

Scheduling a phone interview can be frustrating. In February, one of our busiest recruiting months, our team processed 2,138 candidates, setting up over 250 phone calls with our engineers. At the time, scheduling each call would have required a recruiter and a candidates to engage in a lengthy chain of emails, guessing at each others’ availabilities, and agreeing on the first time that worked for both. Not only is this a time-consuming exercise, it’s imperfect and invariably results in a time that is less-than-ideal for at least one of the parties. A few Hackweeks ago, we came up with a simple web app to solve this problem, known internally as the Scheduler.

The premise of the Scheduler is simple – it allows a candidate to schedule a phone call by picking a time from a list of available slots on the interviewer’s calendar. The slots are available in the timezone of their choice.

To match a candidate with an interviewer, our recruiters simply need to specify the candidate’s email addresses and the desired length of the phone call. Our system then generates a unique link that takes the candidate to their personalized Scheduler invitation.

Selecting one of these slots completes the loop, creating an event on the interviewer’s calendar, notifying all relevant parties, and eliminating the slot from the list of available times. All interactions with the calendar (finding available times, creating events, etc) happen via Google’s calendar API, reducing the manual effort needed to coordinate the call to just what it takes to send the invitation.

In practice, we automate away even this effort. By exposing a simple API to create invitations, the Scheduler fits into a larger interviewing system that automatically triggers interview invitations when appropriate (passing a written exam, a phone screen, etc). Interviewers have the option to restrict slots to specific times of the week, giving them the confidence to expose their calendars to a fully automated system that seamlessly coordinates interviewers and candidates. Therefore, once a candidate is in our system, the only human ‘effort’ spent is in actually interviewing her.

The Scheduler has been very successful for a number of reasons:

  • It has greatly reduced latency in our recruiting process, as it eliminates the back-and-forth emailing.
  • It frees up our recruiting team to do what they do best – find great people.
  • It eliminates much of the work a candidate typically needs to do (such as scouring their calendar and writing down all their available times in an email).
  • It is a great representation of our company. Hackweek is a big part of our culture, and we engage in creative projects that improve our lives or those of the people that interact with us, even if they don’t relate directly to our product.

The Scheduler itself is not specific to our recruiting needs and can be used by anyone at LiveRamp to schedule a meeting. However, given the volume of people that go through our recruiting pipeline, the majority of its use comes from our hiring process. So if you want to see it in action, check out our open positions and send us your resume.