Business Travel Management
The Future of Hiring: Embracing an Interview Travel Platform for Small Businesses

The Future of Hiring: Embracing an Interview Travel Platform for Small Businesses

Samantha Shankman

21 Apr 2023
6 minute read
Discover the power of an interview travel platform for small businesses.

In a  world where remote work and hybrid schedules have become the norm, the traditional in-person interview process may seem like a relic. However, optimizing the interview process and prioritizing face-to-face interactions with important candidates can yield invaluable benefits for startups and small businesses.

In this blog post, Navan HR experts explore the significance of an interview travel platform and why small businesses and startups should consider incorporating one into their hiring strategies.

The Previous State of Interview Travel

Before the advent of modern travel management solutions, handling candidate travel was a complex and time-consuming task for small businesses. It required manual coordination, endless phone calls, and reliance on travel agencies or disparate travel tech providers, making the process challenging.

The obstacles included:

  • Manual Coordination and Communication. Coordinating interview travel with candidates required numerous phone calls and emails. Small businesses had to manually arrange interview dates, book flights or train tickets, reserve accommodations, and handle reimbursements. This time-consuming process often resulted in miscommunication, scheduling conflicts, and delays, frustrating both candidates and employers.
  • Lack of Real-Time Availability Insights. Small businesses had limited visibility into candidates’ availability without a centralized system. Coordinating interview schedules with multiple stakeholders, including hiring managers, interview panels, and candidates, was a logistical nightmare. It was also difficult to confirm travel bookings. This lack of real-time availability insights made it difficult to expedite the hiring process, potentially causing top-tier talent to accept offers from competitors while waiting for interview arrangements.
  • Limited Candidate Pool. The burdensome nature of interview travel posed a challenge for small businesses when attracting candidates from outside their immediate vicinity. The cost and effort associated with travel discouraged some candidates from applying, limiting the talent pool available to these businesses. As a result, they might have missed out on exceptional candidates who could have significantly affected their growth and success.
  • Financial Constraints. Small businesses often operate on tight budgets, and the expenses associated with interview travel add additional strain. The financial burden could be a significant deterrent from covering travel costs to reimbursing candidates.
  • Lost Time and Productivity. The manual and disjointed nature of coordinating interview travel arrangements directly affected productivity. Hiring managers and HR teams spent excessive time on logistics, such as researching travel content, comparing prices, talking to travel companies or agents, and managing reservations. The extra work detracted from their core responsibilities and reduced the time to evaluate candidates thoroughly. 
  • Negative Candidate Experience. Inefficient interview travel processes often result in a negative candidate experience. Candidates faced the burden of making their own travel arrangements, navigating unfamiliar cities, and dealing with reimbursement complexities. These hurdles left candidates with a negative perception of the hiring company, leading them to potentially decline offers or accept positions with more streamlined and candidate-centric organizations.

By addressing the challenges posed by traditional interview and candidate travel methods, small businesses can avoid past pitfalls and create a more streamlined and efficient hiring process. Implementing an interview travel platform revolutionizes candidate travel management, allowing companies to focus on connecting with top-tier talent and making well-informed hiring decisions.

The Power of an Interview Travel Platform

First impressions are crucial for building lasting professional relationships.

While virtual interviews have their merits, there’s something uniquely impactful about meeting a candidate and asking interview questions in person. By utilizing an interview travel platform, small businesses can demonstrate their commitment to recruitment and make a memorable impression on potential employees. Likewise, employees can better evaluate the opportunity, company culture, and role. 

An interview is a two-way process, and leveraging an interview travel platform for in-person meetings offers multiple benefits, including the following:

Evaluating Soft Skills

Hiring managers can assess candidates’ technical skills to a certain extent through virtual interviews, but evaluating a candidate’s soft skills requires observing their demeanor, body language, and overall presence.

Small businesses are often looking to foster a close-knit work culture. They can benefit greatly from personal interactions that enable a deeper understanding of a candidate’s communication style, interpersonal skills, and cultural fit. These in-person, more nuanced connections were largely missing from the professional field during the pandemic.

Enhancing Candidate Experience

Job candidates typically invest considerable time and effort in pursuing new opportunities. By facilitating travel arrangements through an interview travel platform, businesses showcase their commitment to a seamless candidate experience and alleviate the logistical burden that candidates often face.

Hiring managers can share travel tips, suggest the best travel brands for the trip, and leverage travel technology that proactively assists candidates in the event of delays or cancellations. This positive impression can leave candidates feeling valued, increasing the likelihood of accepting an offer.

Showcasing Company Culture

Company culture plays a vital role in attracting and retaining top talent. Inviting candidates to visit the workplace through an interview travel platform gives them an exclusive glimpse into the company’s ethos, values, and working environment.

While it might feel like a candidate can get a sense of the environment through social media, it pales compared to the knowledge and feeling one gets when meeting potential peers in person. This transparency helps candidates assess whether they align with the organization’s culture, fostering a more informed decision-making process.

Differentiating from Competitors

In a competitive job market, small businesses (and even large tech companies) face the challenge of standing out among larger, more established organizations.

Investing in an interview travel platform signals a company’s commitment to finding the best talent and differentiates it from competitors. This proactive approach to recruitment helps create a positive image in candidates’ minds, elevating the employer’s brand.

Mitigating Hiring Risks

Hiring decisions are crucial investments for small businesses, and any misstep can have significant consequences. In-person interviews provide an opportunity to validate candidates’ qualifications, confirm their references, and assess their overall suitability for the role. An interview travel platform enables small businesses to mitigate hiring risks by conducting thorough evaluations and ensuring they make well-informed decisions.

After reviewing the reasons to streamline travel arrangements and encourage in-person interviews, the main question is: How? While multiple travel tech providers are looking to shake up the travel industry today, only one has prioritized interview travel as a prominent feature.

How to Use the Navan Guest Invite Solution

Navan created the Navan Guest Invite solution to solve this challenge. This tool streamlines booking guest travel by empowering those who book business travel on behalf of others to invite job candidates to make their own travel arrangements while following company travel policies. 

The Navan Guest Invite solution minimizes the back-and-forth necessary to book candidate travel and provides a better experience and smoother workflow for both travel arrangers and guests. The software is so easy to use that anyone familiar with online travel booking tools can easily search and select preferred hotels, airfares, and rental cars. And by inviting the candidate to book travel through Navan, the host company can ensure that candidates book within allowable pricing limits and receive an itemized receipt.

By simplifying corporate travel arrangements, Navan helps HR and recruiting teams save time and energy while giving their guests and candidates the best first experience with their company — no messy travel reimbursements or expense reports are needed for travel expenses.

Benefits of the Navan Guest Invite solution:

  • Removes the complexity of travel arrangements
  • Creates great impressions with new hires and guests
  • Manages costs for guest travel
  • Automates the expense management process and per diem limits
  • Streamlines access to candidate contact information
  • Offers 24/7 support for guests, candidates, and teams

The benefits are two-fold: Travel arrangers save time with a specific custom travel policy and spend limit controls, while candidates enjoy booking on a best-in-class platform.

While virtual interviews have become the norm, small businesses and startups are particularly positioned to reap the value of in-person interactions in hiring. By prioritizing face-to-face interviews, companies can gain a competitive edge, attract top talent, and build strong, long-lasting teams that propel their growth and success in the dynamic business landscape.

Embrace the power of an interview travel platform and let it be the catalyst for finding the perfect fit for any small business.

Learn more about how to leverage Navan as a small business.

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