The days of leisurely recruiting are long gone. Job seekers expect an almost instant response to their application, a smooth interview process and rapid time to hire—and businesses across the globe are stepping up to the challenge. When it comes to acquiring top talent, the race is on, and companies need to use every tool at their fingertips to shorten the recruiting process, hire faster and provide a more positive candidate experience.

Recruiters know that one of the slowest, most frustrating steps in the hiring process is interview scheduling. From back-and-forth calendar coordination to starting all over when someone cancels, interview scheduling can become a serious administrative burden for companies with high-volume hiring needs.

We recently surveyed talent acquisition professionals across all industries to gather interview scheduling statistics that unveil exactly how big a challenge this step in the hiring process is for recruiting teams large and small. Yello’s Interview Scheduling Survey highlights which parts of the recruitment process are slowing recruitment down the most, and how recruiters are finding ways to speed things up.

By the Numbers

  • Average time to-hire across all industries is 3-4 weeks.
  • On average, recruiters are spending ⅔ of their overall hiring time on the interview process.
  • 67% of respondents say it takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours to schedule a single interview.
  • 56% of companies have a dedicated person on their recruiting team who is responsible for scheduling interviews.
  • Recruiters’ #1 interview scheduling challenge is finding a time that works for everyone.
  • 60% of recruiters say that they regularly lose candidates before they’re able to schedule an interview.
  • 51% of recruiters now use interview scheduling software, with an additional 26% thinking about starting.

Time-to-hire isn’t meeting job seeker expectations:

Average time-to-hire across all industries is three to four weeks, and only 25% of respondents say they’re able to fill open roles in under two weeks. With a growing number of job seekers expecting an offer within five days of the first interview, most companies are falling short when it comes to meeting candidate demands.

The interview process takes the longest:

Most recruiters reveal that interviewing takes up the most time in their hiring process. On average, recruiters are spending two-thirds of their overall hiring process on interview scheduling.

From first interview to offer extended, more than 40% of recruiters are spending 2+ weeks on the interview process.

The burden of interview scheduling

Interview scheduling has traditionally been a huge time drag on the recruitment process. Contacting every stakeholder involved in interviews, juggling schedules, and often rescheduling repeatedly is frustrating for everyone. For the candidate, it can signify that a company simply isn’t organized; not a great first impression. For recruiters, time wasted on scheduling means time taken away from more meaningful tasks like building relationships with candidates, building talent communities and improving employer brand.

When it comes to interviewing, scheduling is an administrative burden felt by almost all employers. 35% of respondents identified scheduling interviews as the most time-consuming aspect of recruitment. 

Just how much time is wasted on scheduling? 67% of respondents say it takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours to schedule a single interview. For 17%, it takes two to five hours.

A graph depicting how long it takes to schedule interviews for an individual candidate. Most often, it takes from 1-2 hours.

For organizations that are hiring thousands of employees per year, these hours add up quickly — and at a significant cost. 57% of companies have a dedicated team member who solely schedules interviews, or schedules interviews in addition to other responsibilities.

A graph showing who schedules the interviews on teams.

Rescheduling is another challenge: more than 74% of recruiters reveal that last-minute changes and rescheduling are a challenge when it comes to interviewing, and respondents overwhelmingly agree that finding a time that works for everyone is the #1 biggest challenge.

All of these challenges ultimately mean a poor candidate experience for job seekers, which can have a significant impact on recruiters’ ability to fill roles quickly and efficiently. In fact, 60% of recruiters say that they sometimes or often lose candidates before they’ve scheduled an interview.

Graph showing how often candidates drop out before you have an interview scheduled. It's not likely, but it does happen sometimes.

How are recruiters solving the interview scheduling problem?

With so much time wasted juggling schedules, recruiters are turning to technology to solve their interview process inefficiencies.

Interview scheduling software is a growing trend: 51% of recruiters are now using interview scheduling software. Almost 36% of began using it in the last year alone. An additional 26% of recruiting teams are thinking about starting.

The results have been staggering: 59% of recruiters who use interview scheduling software say they’ve saved between 2 and 10 hours per week.

A graph showing if respondents use interview scheduling software. 51% do and 49% do not.

Cut interview scheduling time by 90%

Interview scheduling software can reduce the most frustrating part of the hiring process from an average of 60 minutes to 60 seconds. Whether it’s an initial phone interview, event scheduling or complex, multi-part meetings, interview software boosts candidate experience and allows recruiters to spend their time more effectively.

What’s more, research shows that companies who don’t use recruiting technology will suffer the consequences. According to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, 54% of Gen Z candidates won’t complete an application if your recruiting methods are outdated, and 26% agree that a lack of technology throughout the hiring process would deter them from accepting a job.

A graph showing what tools teams use to schedule interviews instead of software. Emails are the most common, followed by phone calls, while paper and pen/notes is the least common.

Is there an alternative to interview scheduling software?

For those organizations that don’t use scheduling software, phone calls and emails are the most popular methods to connect with talent:

That’s bad news for business; some data suggests Americans only answer half of the phone calls they receive: another reveals only 20 to 30% of emails are ever opened. Scheduling software is immediate: once a candidate is offered an interview, they’re given instant access to calendars with available time slots. Self-scheduling not only saves time, it shows job seekers you’re willing to leverage the best tech available to optimize their time and candidate experience.

A graph showing the main reason teams do not use interview scheduling software from limited budget to teams not being tech-savvy

Is interview scheduling software penny wise?

Businesses that don’t use recruiting technology often cite cost. In fact, a majority of recruiters surveyed claimed they haven’t invested in interview scheduling software due to limited budget.

While budget is a valid concern, interview scheduling software will reduce costs in the long run. Hours of recruiters’ and hiring managers’ time wasted may be a more significant drain on the budget than an investment in technology, and longer time-to-hire may increase cost-per-hire and decrease business productivity and profitability.

The choice is easy: the war on talent demands that businesses work with the best available technology to streamline the interview process. Scheduling software is a cost-effective way to boost candidate experience, attract top talent, reduce time to hire and increase recruitment ROI.  If you’re not using scheduling software, you can bet your competition is.


Yello partnered with SurveyMonkey Audience, SurveyMonkey’s global market research panel, to survey full- and part-time employed adults, ages 18 – 99+ in the United States. The survey was conducted online between September 16 and September 19, 2019. It surveyed 200 professionals in the recruiting, talent acquisition, recruiting operations or staffing space.