For all the advances we've made when it comes to recruitment technology and systems integration, for some reason, one of the most critical business needs for talent acquisition has largely gone ignored by emerging startups and established players: scheduling.
The HR technology conversation has moved on from core workflow processes to somewhat specious, often speculative topics like social media, mobile enablement and the amorphous concept of "big data."
These topics, which while decidedly more sexy than scheduling, also strike most practitioners as a bit specious. Probably because they're too busy trying to juggle Outlook invites.
But as anyone who's ever tried to lock down a time with a candidate or coordinate complex onsite interviews knows, too much of our daily recruiting lives are spent devoted to the seemingly simple, completely transactional task of scheduling. Coordinating calendars is a professional pain point, but it's a necessary evil for anyone in talent acquisition; in fact, many large corporate talent organizations have dedicated headcount for coordinators whose entire job consists of scheduling screens and on-site interviews. The bad news for them, but the good news for recruiters, is that those roles might soon be rendered obsolete.
Enter Betty. Betty is the rare technology where the recruitment related business case is implicit and obvious as soon as you use the tool, and one that once you try, you're likely to adopt as a core component of your recruiting technology toolbox. The user experience is intuitive, streamlined and simple, and best of all, it's free, which is a pretty easy price point for ensuring ROI.
Here's how it works:
1. Go to TryBetty.com in Chrome & download/enable the extension:
2. Open GMail; the Betty plug-in will appear as an additional field when sending e-mails:
3. Enter the recipient's name in the subject field and click the Betty icon to view your availability:
4. Select proposed meeting times; these will automatically populate in the e-mail:
5. Hit "Send."
It's really that easy. Recipients will be able to view their own availability and accept a time without opening their calendar, whether or not they have Betty installed themselves. Once the recipient selects a proposed time directly in the body of the e-mail and replies, Betty will automatically create the calendar appointment and instantly put it on each user's calendar without the need to then also accept the invitation, since it's already confirmed by both participants. A link to the meeting information on Betty is automatically appended to the e-mail, allowing either party to reschedule directly from their mailboxes if needed.
In the movie "Clueless," Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone) refers to beautiful people as being a "total Betty," but she might as well have been describing this promising new recruiting tool. Because it's pretty sexy - at least when it comes to something as ugly as scheduling.
Betty: Executive Summary
The Company: Betty was developed by Jonathan Woolf, who has experience in the recruiting & staffing industries as an early employee at Jigsaw, a contact sharing platform since acquired by Salesforce that was, when launched, infinitely more effective (and populated) than LinkedIn, and was one of the first online destinations for lead and candidate sharing. Woolf realized in speaking with recruiters, as well as in his own experience having to set up pitches, demos and marketing meetings, that scheduling was a significant pain point - and significant market opportunity for any technology that could simplify this completely manual, time intensive process. Hence, the idea for Betty was born.
Betty is still very early in development and right now seems focused on getting the word out about the product to drive signups and expand active users while exploring opportunities like ATS integration & open APIs to become an integral component of the recruiting & HR workflow.
The Good: It's free, it solves a real recruiting problem and offers a unique solution that has little to no competition on the market. Since Research in Motion, the makers of the Blackberry, inexplicably purchased and discontinued Tungle.me, which was a similar application for social calendaring, there have been no entries into this space, which is a shame for anyone who quickly became dependent on Tungle, then despondent about returning to having to use .ics and other traditional tools. Unlike Tungle, however, Betty works directly from your inbox without having to go to a third party platform or external site, which is a definitive improvement and huge time saver.
The Bad: As yet, Betty only works with Chrome and for GMail users, somewhat limiting its potential adoption for recruiters, who remain largely reliant on applications like Office and browsers like Internet Explorer as their core calendaring and browser technologies. But the good news is that Betty is actively working to build integrations with Office and Apple Mail, which remain the significant factors preempting Betty from being a blockbuster. It's also relatively new, and Woolf seems to still be figuring out the market and monetization for this promising platform.
Rating: 4.5/5: Download this now; it's a no brainer that once you install, you'll wonder how you ever lived without.