We share a lot of resources on how technology enables better business, but we have not shared a lot about how we use technology in specific business processes. At Smart Dolphins, we use Microsoft 365 apps to enhance our efficiency during our recruitment process.

We are growing and have gone through several rounds of remote recruiting during the past year. Each time we do this, I try to improve the workflow and reduce the time spent. There is still so much more we could do but I would like to share a few specific changes that have been impactful.

Microsoft Teams

As the third step in our process (before interviews), I have a short (5-15 minutes) conversation with applicants. In a round of recruitment where we get roughly 100 applicants, I do 15-30 of these chats.

Historically, this was scheduled by email – I would batch a few and offer the applicants a window of time to book them. After that, we would volley back and forth a bit and agree on a time. This worked, but it was clunky.

About six months ago, I adopted Microsoft Bookings to help streamline the process of scheduling these meetings (and other external meetings). For recruiting, I can create a specific type of “service” in Bookings that defines it as a 15-minute recruitment appointment. Then, I send these applicants a link that allows them to see my availability in the calendar and book themselves during a convenient time. This has saved me 5-10 hours this year after spending about 30 minutes setting up the service (easy).

Bookings can also automatically create a Microsoft “Teams” meeting for these appointments. A video call is a significant upgrade over a phone call. The added information and value gained from the visual experience is exponential-like in its effect. Additionally, I am able to make a much stronger connection early in the process. We are often hiring techs, so I take note if someone stumbles on the technology part of this process as a bonus.

The greatest improvement we have made in this process is recording these initial conversations and subsequent interviews (of course, we ask for permission). When I get down to the final candidates, I review the previous conversations as a whole and make a better assessment. I can also share these recordings with others involved in the hiring process — allowing everyone to see a more holistic view of the applicants’ journey through our process. Sometimes a second interview will hinge on the next interviewer watching the recorded first interview and weighing in — potentially saving this step.

Microsoft Teams has transformed the way we work at Smart Dolphins. Teams has helped direct the information and discussions that arise from recruiting. This is substantially more efficient and secure. Instead of files and messages dispersed, we have a private recruitment channel where we gather the documents, interview recordings, and discussions all in one secure location.

Again, we are only scratching the surface with these improvements made possible with technology. With greater care, intention, and guidance, I plan to integrate more of SharePoint, Power Automate, and other Microsoft 365 elements into the evolution of our recruitment process. The value of successfully hiring the right person in a convenient manner cannot be overstated. Having the ability to continuously develop this process with readily available technology is becoming increasingly indispensable in business.