LinkedIn isn't the only platform that Microsoft is using to connect job seekers with potential employers.
The software giant has added a scheduling component to Skype Interviews, a browser-based tool that serves as an alternative to in-person job interviews, particularly for employers looking to fill software development roles. In addition to video-calling features, Skype Interviews includes a real-time code editor that allows interviewers to conduct coding challenges during the interview process. Built-in syntax highlighting helps candidates avoid potentially embarrassing mistakes.
Taking things a step further, Skype Interviews now includes scheduling tools that help both recruiters and job candidates align their calendars.
Skype representatives at Microsoft said Skype Interviews Scheduler was "designed to simplify the process of scheduling interviews—as well as reduce the number of steps required to send an invite," in a Dec. 17 blog post. "With an embedded interview link, candidates can launch an interview directly from their calendar. In addition, Skype Interviews Scheduler can also become an integrated part of your recruitment workflows via APIs [application programming interfaces]."
During the process of sending an invitation, a recruiter enters both the interviewer's and candidate's information (name and email address, no Skype ID required) and either manually selects a date and time for the interview or allows the service's Smart Scheduler to come up with a few options.
When both parties agree on a time slot, the service automatically sends a calendar invite with a link that allows them to join an interview. If an interview needs to be adjusted, the Skype Interviews dashboard lists upcoming sessions and allows users to make changes.
Skype Interviews Scheduler arrives at an opportune time for IT job recruiters. A significant portion of the IT workforce is considering exploring new job opportunities in 2018, according to a recent study by IT community Spiceworks.
In its latest IT Career Outlook survey, involving more than 2,100 IT workers across the United States and Europe, Spiceworks discovered that 32 percent of respondents plan to search for a new job in the new year. That figure is slightly higher for millennial IT professionals at 36 percent. Generally, those soon-to-be job seekers are looking for better compensation (75 percent) and opportunities to improve their skill sets (70 percent).
Recruiters will soon have another tool from Microsoft that can help them navigate this job landscape. The company is readying the 2018 release of LinkedIn Talent Insights, a big data analytics offering that can help guide an organization's hiring and retention efforts.
Talent Insights taps into the social network's trove of data on its 500 million members, along with information on millions of companies and job listings, allowing human resources professionals to explore labor market trends and the flow of talent between organizations, explained Eric Owski, head of LinkedIn's Talent Insights division.
And no data science skills are required. With a few clicks, LinkedIn Talent Insights generates professional-quality reports. Users can then print or share the reports, helping business leaders make data-driven hiring decisions.