Runbooks   / Time Management

Balance interview load across engineers

When to apply this runbook

Your company is growing fast and more engineers need to join the interview rotation. Great! Until you start noticing the following problems:

  • Engineers complain privately in 1/1s that their schedule is constantly interrupted by interviews.
  • Your recruiting team tends to repeatedly assign the same go-to / "nice" engineers, who end up bearing the majority of the interview load.
  • Some interview questions have many trained interviewers, while other questions have small interviewer pools.

Instructions

  1. Get the numbers

    Instead of relying on intuition or anecdotal evidence, get the hard numbers!

    The 3 easiest ways to get the numbers are:

    • Talking to the recruiting team: they might have a spreasheet of all the interviewers that they use to coordinate interviews. You can also ask them to create one and start tracking assignments over time.
    • Google Calendar: you can manually search for interviews on your engineers' calendars by adding their calendar to your gcal default view.
    • Your Applicant Tracking System: In some cases, your ATS will have reports rolled up by interviewers.
  2. Assess the impact to the team

    Equipped with the facts, you want to balance 2 aspects:

    • The productivity impact of over-interviewing to the team in general, and to specific engineers who bear too much of the load.
    • The need for the company to scale and hire more engineers.

    Ask your team to participate in the evaluation, and decide on an acceptable interview load together.

  3. Take action

    To re-balance interview load:

    • Make sure every interview question has enough trained interviewers.
    • Make interview training part of your long-term onboarding program (typically 3-6 months after joining).
    • Establish an upper bound of interviews/week per person (usually 2 or 3 max.).
    • Include interview participation in performance reviews.
  4. Create a self-correcting process

    To prevent the situation from reverting to the mean, we recommend building a weekly habit of checking your interview load numbers. It can also help to keep everyone in the loop: managers, recruiters, engineers. What gets measured get acted on.

Going further

Okay automates the process of getting interview load numbers at every level of the organization. You can use Okay to detect particularly disruptive interviews (e.g happening during no-meetings days or otherwise focused blocks of time). Please reach out to us if you need help!