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How do I use the Assessment scheduling module?

Using the Assessment scheduling module (the Backoffice Assessments tab)

This article assumes that the assessment scheduling module is configured on your system (the Assessments tab in the main navigation). If it isn't and you would like further information on this, please contact Advorto Support or your Account Manager.

Key areas covered in this article:

  1. Definitions and summary of functionality
  2. The process
  3. Adding slots/availability
  4. Slot list view v. calendar view
  5. Time saving techniques for adding slots and slot patterns in bulk
  6. Vacancy-specific slots v. non-vacancy-specific slots
  7. Candidate self-scheduling
  8. Recruiter scheduling
  9. Merge fields for use in comms (emails, SMS and letters)
  10. Editing existing slots (no candidates allocated)
  11. Editing existing slots (candidates already allocated)
  12. Assessment/Interview complete and the importance of "Completing" a slot properly

Definitions and summary of functionality

Assessment series - also known as "Interview series". This is a grouping of a certain type of assessment activity - e.g. first interviews, second interviews, telephone interviews, assessment centre, screening, testing.

  • A candidate must be invited to an assessment/interview series in order to be able to select or be allocated to a slot.
  • A candidate may only go through the process for a specific assessment series once.
  • This functionality is configured globally and deployed - do not use the Edit series function (Edit this Series) as this functionality has been deprecated (although the icon remains currently).

Assessment slot - also known as "Interview slot". This is a particular period of availability associated with an assessment series. There are a number of fields which define a slot or which are visible when adding/editing slots:

  • Name/Venue - the name of the slot as it appears in the slot list and as will be displayed to candidates selecting slots.
  • Vacancies - the vacancies for which the slot will be available for candidates to select or assigned (applies to all vacancies if none selected)
  • Date - the date of the interview/assessment
  • Gap - when adding multiple slots on the same day, this is the default time in between slots (may be amended manually for specific slots)
  • Start time - the time the interview/assessment starts
  • End time - the time the interview/assessment ends
  • Min attendees - the minimum number of candidates required - usually 1 for interviews, but may be higher to help indicate viability of running an assessment centre with enough candidates
  • Max attendees - the maximum number of candidates who may be assigned to the same slot before it will no longer be available for other candidates to choose or be assigned to (e.g. 1 person for a telephone interview; or 20 people for an assessment centre)
  • Interviewer (or assessor) - optional - the person doing the interview or assessment. This causes the candidate to appear in the selected users "My assessments" list
  • Description - optional (displayed to candidates)
  • Custom fields - optional - up to 10 custom fields may be configured as required, which may be either for Recruiter use only or visible to candidates as well

Assessment slots list page - this is the page in the Backoffice which displays a list of all available slots:

  • Selecting this option in the main sub-navigation displays all slots for all assessment series.
  • Selecting the "Edit assessment slots" icon (Edit the Assessment Slots) for a particular series displays slots for the selected series only.
  • By default, the slots list page is filtered to only show slots which are in the future and still have availability. To view slots which are already filled, select the drop-down filter option for the "Availability" column and remove the filter.

Calendar view - this icon (View slots in calendar view) opens an alternative view of the slots for a particular assessment series in a calendar format. This page also supports various slot manipulation and copying functionality to make it quicker and easier to update and create slots and slot patterns over multiple days/weeks from existing slots:

  • Search/Filter - use the search box to filter the slots to show only those for a particular vacancy, those assigned to a particular interviewer, etc.
  • Copy - create new slots by coping an existing slot, all slots on a particular day, in a particular week or across multiple weeks.
  • Move - move an existing slot or all slots in a day/week or more to the same pattern on a different date (and optionally time). Note that great care should be taken when candidates are already allocated to slots, as they will need to be updated with the new date and time of their selected slot; or may need to be contacted to arrange an alternative slot.
  • Quick edit - quickly edit the key details of one or more selected slots.
  • Assign interviewer - assign or update the interviewer for one or more selected slots, e.g. because an interviewer or assessor is ill and it is necessary to assigned their work to someone else.

Manage attendees - this icon (Manage Attendees) opens a list of all candidates who are invited to a particular assessment series. The options available from here are:

  • Find slot for a candidate (Find Slot) - displays the slot list page filtered to show available slots for a particular candidate, including slots configured to be available to all vacancies and slots for the specific vacancy the candidate is associated with.
  • Remove from slot (Remove from Slot) - where a candidate is already allocated to a slot, this option removes them from the slot, allowing them to be allocated to an alternative one.
  • Confirm (Compulsory checks) - in configurations where candidates are not automatically confirmed to slots at the point of being allocated, this option will appear and candidates should be confirmed to their slot prior to the slot being completed.
  • Active - this is an option in the main sub-navigation and is the default - the list of candidates will be filtered to only display active ones - those which are either awaiting allocation to a slot or have been allocated, but where the slot isn't completed.
  • Completed - this is an option in the main sub-navigation which will filter the list of candidates to display only those who have had their slots completed.
  • All - this is an option in the main sub-navigation which will remove the "Active" filter, displaying candidates who are both active and who have completed.

Add slot/Create new slot - this option is available from several locations and opens a blank slot entry form, allowing a new slot to be added to the list as required:

  • Add slot icon (Add Slot) - available for a particular series on the main assessment tab homepage.
  • Create new slot option in the main sub-navigation - appears only when on the Assessment slots list page for a particular assessment series (Edit the Assessment Slots).
  • Add new slots button - available on the Calendar view.
  • Create interview slot icon (Create Interview Slot) on the Vacancies page - this option also automatically adds the relevant vacancy to the slot, so the slot will only be available for candidates in that particular vacancy. This is usually a quicker and easier way to add slots to a particular vacancy in the first instance.

My assessments - this option shows a list of candidates awaiting their assessment or interview for slots assigned to the currently logged in user. There are two options:

  • My assessments (main sub-navigation) - shows candidates in slots assigned to the currently logged in user across all assessment series.
  • My assessments icon (My Assessments) - shows candidates in slots assigned to the currently logged in user for the selected assessment series.

Assign interview icon (Assign Interview) - this is an option which appears on the Candidates list page for candidates who are active in an interview series. It's essentially the same as the Find slot for a candidate (Find Slot) function which appears on the Manage attendees list page and opens a list of slots which are available for the selected candidate to be allocated to.

  • Assign to slot icon (Assign to Slot) - click this icon to assign the candidate to the selected slot.
  • Remove from slot icon (Remove from Slot) - where a candidate is already allocated to a slot, the Assign to slot icon above will not appear, so you will need to remove the default filter from the "Available" column. This icon will then be displayed for the slot which the candidate is already allocated to and you may click this to remove them and assign them to a new slot as required.

Slot window - this is a moving period of time which governs which slots are available for candidates to choose when self-scheduling. This window is configurable. e.g. If your window was set to be from three days in the future up to two weeks in the future, this means that candidates who are logging in to select their slots today would not see slots before two days in the future (even if they were available) and would also not see any slots which were further than two weeks away.

This has advantages in so far as:

  • Candidates are encouraged to fill up the immediately up and coming slots, without restricting recruiters from planning out availability well into the future.
  • Candidates can't allocate themselves to a slot last thing on a Friday night for an assessment or interview first thing on the following Monday morning, where people may not be prepared for it.

Speak to Advorto Support to confirm what your window is set to or to request any changes.

Complete assessment slot - this term applies to a process action which is carried out once a candidate has attended an assessment or interview and the outcome has been recorded in the system. This process usually happens automatically as part of running the relevant Proceed/Reject process to progress candidates to the next stage of the recruitment process.

When an assessment slot is completed:

  • The candidate is no longer visible on the "Active" candidates list on the Manage attendees page (Manage Attendees) - click "Complete" or "All" from the main sub-navigation to view if required
  • The Assign interview icon (Assign Interview) will no longer appear for that candidate on the Candidates page
  • The may not be invited to the same assessment series again, however they may be invited to a different assessment series as required

Candidate status - the following statuses may apply to candidates who have been invited to an assessment/interview series:

 

  • Blank - the candidate has not yet selected a slot
  • CandidateChoice - the Candidate chose the slot (self-scheduling)
  • RecruiterChoice - the Recruiter allocated the candidate to a slot
  • Confirmed - the candidate has been confirmed to the slot
  • InterviewCompleted - the slot has been completed

 

The process

The process involves the following steps:

  1. Add slots
    Add appropriate slots of availability to the relevant assessment series. These may be either slots added and available to specific vacancy or vacancies; or slots open to candidates in all vacancies.

  2. Invite candidates to series
    Add or invite candidate(s) to the relevant assessment series - this may be done automatically by a single or bulk candidate process or manually (Assessment option in the bulk action list).

  3. Candidate selects slot or recruiter assigns slot
    • If self-scheduling, an "Invite" email is sent to candidate advising them to login to the Candidate portal and select a slot.

      The candidate receives the invite email, logs into the Candidate portal, selects the relevant application indicating "Action required" and chooses an available slot.

    • If recruiter scheduling, the recruiter may allocate a slot on a candidate's behalf, either by searching and selecting a candidate from the slot; or searching and selecting a slot from the candidate (candidates must still be added to the series first).

  4. Confirm slot
    • If self-scheduling, the activity of a candidate selecting their own slot is usually configured to also automatically run the appropriate confirmation process. This will move the candidate to the relevant "Confirmed" folder and send them a confirmation email with the date and time of their selected slot.

    • If recruiter scheduling, other steps which would happen automatically when a candidate self-schedules will not run, so after selecting a slot manually on behalf of a candidate, recruiters should return to the Candidates tab and manually run the appropriate "Confirmation" process; or do a manual folder move/email to progress the candidate as required and send the appropriate confirmation email.

  5. Complete slot
    Once an outcome is known for a candidate at a particular recruitment stage associated with an assessment series, the slot should be "completed". This is usually done automatically as part of running the appropriate Proceed or Reject process, which combines this action with appropriate folder moves and comms to the candidate.

Adding assessment/interview slots/availability

See Add slot/Create new slot above.

If the slot is to be applicable to a particular vacancy (or vacancies), we suggest adding the slot via the Create interview slot icon (Create Interview Slot) on the Vacancies page in the first instance. You may then search for additional vacancies for the same slot as required.

You may also save time if you want a slot to be available to multiple specific vacancies by using the Add by bulk reference option on the slot creation page - enter a comma separated list of up to five requisition or vacancy IDs to assign a slot to up to five vacancies at a time. Repeat to add additional batches of up to five vacancies.

Slot list view v. calendar view

See Assessment slots list page and Calendar view above.

Time saving techniques for adding slots and slot patterns in bulk

  • First add all required slots to a particular day, using the Gap field to set the default time in between slots on that day
  • Add slots from the Vacancies page via the Create interview slot icon (Create Interview Slot) if adding slots to a particular vacancy
  • If assigning slots to multiple vacancies, make a note of the Requisition/Vacancy IDs of the relevant vacancies and use the Add by bulk reference function
  • Edit the start times, end times or gaps for a particular slot - all the slots after the edited slot will update automatically
  • Once a one day slot pattern has been added, switch to Calendar view and then use the Copy slots function, selecting either particular slots or the entire day to copy the relevant slots to a different day (repeat to copy the same pattern to multiple days)
  • Use the search/filter options on the calendar view to filter the slot list to show only the slots you want to copy
  • Once a week's slot pattern has been added, select an entire week to copy the slot pattern for a particular week to other weeks
  • After using the Copy function to quickly create lots of other slots, use the Quick edit, Move and Assign interviewer functions to make minor adjustments as required (avoids having to open the full slot edit page)

Vacancy-specific slots v. non-vacancy-specific slots

Slots with have one or more vacancies allocated will only be available for candidates in those vacancies to choose. If no vacancy is added to a slot, the slot will be available for candidates in all vacancies to choose or to be allocated to by a Recruiter.

Candidate self-scheduling

This is the most common and efficient configuration for the Assessments module. Candidates are sent an "Invite" email, advising them to login to your Candidate portal. When they login, they can see any applications which have an action required, e.g. ACTION REQUIRED - Please select an interview slot.

The candidate may then select the relevant application and navigate through to view a list of available slots within the slot window (see above).

Selecting a slot is usually configured to run all required actions e.g.

 

  • Candidate is moved to the appropriate "Confirmed" candidate folder/status
  • Candidate is sent an appropriate confirmation email
  • Slot is marked as "Confirmed" within the Assessment scheduler

Supporting processes may be configured to chase candidates who have not yet chosen a slot - e.g. reminder, final reminder, withdraw as appropriate - all in one click

Recruiter scheduling

Provided that a candidate is already allocated/invited to the required assessment/interview series, Recruiters may manually allocate a slot on a candidate's behalf. There are three ways to do this:

  1. From the Manage attendees page - search for and select a slot for a candidate - Assessments tab > Manage attendees (Manage Attendees) > Find slot (Find Slot) > Assign to slot (Assign to Slot)
  2. From the Slot list page - search for and select a candidate for a slot - Assessments tab > Assessment slots (or Edit assessment slots (Edit the Assessment Slots) for a particular series) > Find candidates (Find Candidates) > Assign to slot (Assign to Slot)
  3. Search for and select a slot for the candidate from the Candidates page via the Assign interview icon (Assign Interview) in the Functions column > Assign to slot (Assign to Slot)

IMPORTANT NOTE - manual confirmation required

  • If recruiter scheduling, other steps which would happen automatically when a candidate self-schedules will not run, so after selecting a slot manually on behalf of a candidate, recruiters should return to the Candidates tab and manually run the appropriate "Confirmation" process; or do a manual folder move/email to progress the candidate as required and send the appropriate confirmation email.
  • The same applies if selecting slots on behalf of a candidate via the Mimic candidate feature, so if you want to assign a candidate to a slot as a Recruiter, you should use one of the above methods and the run the appropriate confirmation process on the candidate afterwards.

Merge fields for use in comms (emails, SMS and letters)

There are a number of merge fields which may be used in emails, SMS messages and Word mail merge documents. All fields apply to the current (uncompleted) slot the candidate is allocated to (miss off the {! and } if using the merge fields in Word documents):

 

  • {!InterviewSlot.Start} - the full date/time stamp of the slot
  • {!InterviewSlot.StartDate} - the start date of the slot only
  • {!InterviewSlot.StartTime} - this start time of the slot only
  • {!InterviewSlot.End} - the full date/time stamp for the end of the slot
  • {!InterviewSlot.EndDate} - the end date of the slot only
  • {!InterviewSlot.EndTime} - this end time of the slot only
  • {!InterviewSlot.Name} - the name/venue of the slot
  • {!InterviewSlot.Notes} - the notes from the slot
  • {!InterviewSlot.Description} - the description from the slot
  • {!InterviewSlot.CreatedDateTime} - the date/time stamp of when the slot was created
  • {!InterviewSlot.OptionalFieldValue1} to {!InterviewSlot.OptionalFieldValue10} - custom client slot fields (if configured)
  • {!InterviewSlotApplications.Status} - the status of the candidate in the slot
  • {!InterviewSeries.Name} - the name of the assessment series
  • {!InterviewSlot.Assigned} - true/false value as to whether the candidate is assigned a slot
  • {!Interviewer.Email} - the email address of the user assigned as the interviewer for the slot

Editing existing slots (no candidates allocated)

If no candidates are allocated to a slot, there is no problem with moving or editing any details on the slot. Just make sure there are no candidates allocated first (see Allocated column).

Editing existing slots (candidates already allocated)

Depending on the security group a user is allocated to, they may be able to edit slot details, even after candidates are allocated.

IMPORTANT: Care should be taken when doing so, particularly when changing the date or time of the slot:

  • Has the candidate agreed to the new date and/or time?
  • You may need to contact the candidate first, remove them from the slot and either assign them to a different slot straight away or advise them to login and select a new slot.

Assessment/Interview complete and the importance of "Completing" a slot properly

A candidate can not be invited to a subsequent interview series, unless the previous slot has been completed (otherwise the system wouldn't know which data to merge into comms or display).

Candidates who are not completed also remain as active on the Manage attendees page, greatly increasing the noise for users and, worst case, making the system slower for everyone due to a lot of historical, irrelevant data being displayed.

User should ensure that the appropriate process is run on candidates who have completed an assessment or interview - usually a Proceed or Regret decision recorded on an outcomes pop-up page, followed by clicking the relevant "Submit" button; or by running the appropriate process from the Candidates list page (processes column or bulk action menu).

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