What is the best way to setup a new hire with recurring/scheduled calendar appointments?

We have Office and Exchange 2010. Our HR department schedules all the office holidays and recurring "sterile cockpit" white space for the office. They will create all the appointments at the beginning of the year and invite everyone in the office.

The issue is that when we get new hires they have to repeat this process for each new hire. I have looked into creating an .ics file with all of the appointments packed inside or using the export to .pst and then importing for the new hires. Both work, neither one is perfect though. The .pst appends "Copy:" to each meeting and I found a VBA script to remove it but the whole process isn't smooth. For the .ics I took all the individual appointments and saved them as .ics, then used Rainlendar to combine them into one .ics that contained all the appointments. Again, fairly cumbersome.

These appointments are pretty much static and don't need to be connected to the original for updating. We're just looking for an elegant solution to put these on everyone's calendar, including new hires. We want to avoid using just a shared calendar as that won't put the event on each person's calendar so it shows up as busy in scheduling assistant.

Any and all ideas are welcome. If I've forgotten something please ask.

Louis GarciaAsked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
setup a shared company calendar is probably the best way and the least amount of overhead.

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David LeeCommented:
Hi, Louis Garcia.

The simplest automated solution would be to create a file that contains all the appointments.  That file could be a text file (csv) of Excel spreadsheet.  We could then write a couple of scripts to automate adding the appointments to everyone's calendar.  The first script would be for HR.  They would use it to automate the creation of appointments at the beginning of each year rather than creating each appointment manually.  In other words, the script would read the file and create the appointments in Outlook for them.  The second script would be for new employees.  It would read the file and add the appointments to their calendars.  We could have them run it manually, or we could come up with a way to do that automatically.  For example, if your company uses a login script, then we could include commands in the login script that would run this script and add the appointments the first time the new employee logs into the network.  If your company doesn't use a login script, then we could add the script to the list of things that Windows runs on each time it starts.  The script would check to see if the appointments have already been added and, if not, then it would add them.
Louis GarciaAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys!
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