Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What Is Scheduling Software?
Scheduling software systems integrate with your primary work calendar to automate how others you and your team input appointments. Many scheduling softwares are an add-on feature of greater CRM or ATS systems, or they can be standalone software with the specific feature of streamlining your appointment needs.
To schedule an appointment, you set the days, timeframes and meeting durations in the scheduling software you want to make available. These systems then scrub or search through your calendar to see when you are busy or available. The scheduler (job candidates, vendors, employees, etc.) then simply clicks on your custom scheduling link and sees when you are available. They can then select available time slots to sign up for a meeting, which the scheduling software automatically inputs onto your calendar. You’ll receive an email to let you know you have a new calendar event, including the individual who scheduled the event on to your meeting.
These systems are robust and can also gather information into the process, like contact information, questionnaires, or required documents. Video conferencing systems like Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, etc. can be integrated into the scheduled events as well. Scheduling software is not only commonly used for talent acquisition and HR servicing needs, but widely used in sales, marketing and other departments within a business.
Why Is Scheduling Software Helpful?
Gone are the days of three or four back-and-forth emails to set up one simple calendar meeting. Scheduling software is here to save the headache and streamline the process.
- Minimal communication is required. In one email or message, you can provide a link to a calendar that shows your availability. The person you are reaching out to can then simply choose the best time for them to meet. No additional messaging is needed.
- Rescheduling is easy. The majority of scheduling systems include a “reschedule” feature where you or the other party can choose a different time if the original time doesn’t work. The system looks at available time slots on your calendar and a new meeting can be established.
- You can set expectations and/or gather required information with little effort. As you set up the appointment process, you can include important information and/or require information from others before the event is even set up. No follow up or additional communication is needed.
Features of Scheduling Software
These systems can be as simple or as robust as you need them to be. The majority of systems have the following features.
Availability Scrubbing or Searching of Your Primary Calendar
These systems require an integration of your primary work calendar. It then searches through your availability and only shows those requesting a meeting when you are free. These systems never show the other parties when you have meetings or the duration of other meetings; it just shows the available time slots you have allocated.
Preset Scheduling Timeframes and Meeting Durations
When launching your custom calendar link from the scheduling software, you establish key time expectations first. You tell the system the days and time windows you want to make available and how long to allocate each meeting time slot. For example, you may select to allocate Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm as timeframes with scheduling time slots of 30 minutes.
Personal Links and Custom Titles for a Personal Experience
Generally, most scheduling software allows custom titles and personalized messaging as part of the experience. It starts with the link where you can add a custom label to the end of the URL. When the person scheduling clicks on the unique URL, it will take them to a scheduling page with a title specific to you. You can also generally customize messages, including meeting confirmations or meeting invites.
Types of Scheduling Software
These systems can either be an add-on feature to an enterprise software your business is using, or a stand-alone system; you can choose based on the features you need.
Customer relationship management systems like SalesForce and Hubspot have created a scheduling software add-on to help streamline communication and meeting setup.
Many applicant tracking systems (ATS) are starting to offer add-ons that can either integrate with stand-alone scheduling software or proprietary systems.
These systems are the most commonly used because they are not tied to one department or need within the company. These systems specialize in streamlining scheduling and can integrate with a myriad of systems.
Tips for Choosing the Right Scheduling Software for Your Business
Here is a simple What, Who, How method to choose your next scheduling software system that will best fit your needs and the needs of your team/department/company.
Tip 1: What Systems Are You Integrating With?
First, ask yourself what systems are you integrating with. If you are simply wanting to add the scheduling link in messages, then any third-party system should work since they generally provide a custom link you can easily paste in your messages across various platforms. If you will be using it with a specific CRM or ATS system, see which scheduling software integrations or add-ons those systems have.
Tip 2: Who Needs Access?
Are you trying to streamline scheduling for just your calendar? See if you can find a third-party system with minimal cost (or even free). If you would like your team to have access or even your entire company, analyze a system that works best for the company as a whole.
Tip 3: How Many Custom Links or Calendars?
Many scheduling software systems limit how many calendars you can link or even how many meeting scheduling pages you can set up on their basic plans. Watch for these nuances when choosing the best plan for you.
The Best Scheduling Softwares Out There
If you take a quick look at the G2 Magic Quadrant with some industry experience, there are a few scheduling software options to check out:
The OG of scheduling software, Calendly has been there since the beginning. They still offer a freemium basic plan that allows one user to connect one calendar to one scheduling page. This is a perfect option if you want to get your feet wet in the scheduling software world and try things out.
Doodle takes scheduling software to the next level by offering a scheduling poll system to multiple users so you can easily coordinate meeting times for a group. Like other top scheduling software systems, they offer a freemium basic plan that allows for one user, one booking page AND unlimited group polls.
Cronofy is an up-and-coming player in the scheduling software space. They tout encrypted security and the largest library of API integrations with other software systems. Their basic pricing model is interesting: you only pay if individuals schedule with your link. So if you have a month that is quiet, you don’t pay. They also offer more options for their most basic plan than the other freemium options out there.
And Many More…
Hubspot’s scheduling software ranks high for those who use Hubspot, and there are many other options. I would apply the What, Why, How questions listed above to decide what is best for you and your team/company.
Questions You’ve Asked Us About Scheduling Software
Still have questions? Send them here – we promise we’ll answer them.
Rob a.k.a Rob From HR is a passionate HR professional striving to find the #HRNuggets that can only improve the sacred relationship between Company and their most valuable asset–the People! With well over a decade within the HR world, Rob continues to grow himself as a professional, network with other HR professionals, and also share the HR Wisdom he comes across.
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