Setting the stage for successful intake meetings for recruiters

A hiring manager with an urgent role to fill and a recruiter poised to identify the ideal candidate. 

The question arises: where do they initiate this process? The answer lies in the intake meeting. 

It’s an opportunity to establish mutual expectations, clarify role requirements, and plan the recruitment journey. 

Miss out on getting this right, and you might find yourself back at square one, searching for another candidate or even redefining the role. 

So, how do you ensure this meeting is more than just a formality? Stick around, and we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of intake meetings.

What is an intake meeting?

An intake meeting is the initial conversation between a recruiter and the hiring manager when a new role opens up. 

It’s the starting point for the recruitment process, where both come together to discuss the specifics of the job vacancy. 

During this meeting, the hiring manager provides insights on key elements of the hiring process, which include, but are not limited to: 

  • Ideal candidate profile
  • Job title and salary range
  • Job requirements
  • Sourcing strategies
  • Various hiring stages 
  • Interview process and assessment tests

On the other hand, the recruiter gets a chance to ask questions, clarify doubts, and gather all the necessary information to start the search effectively. 

By the end of this meeting, the recruiter has a clear roadmap to find not just any candidate but only the right one. 

Top 3 advantages of holding intake meetings

  1. Clear vision

Without clarity, recruiters might be unsure of the exact requirements, leading to potential mismatches and extended hiring timelines. 

However, with a shared vision, it becomes easier to identify the right candidates.

Also, when recruiters clearly understand the role and its requirements, they can craft more targeted job descriptions and advertisements. 

Additionally, a well-defined vision can act as a benchmark throughout the recruitment process. It can be referred to during candidate screenings, interviews, and evaluations. 

  1. Saves time

Intake meetings might seem like an added step, but they’re a real time-saver in the long run. 

By setting clear expectations from the outset, recruiters can streamline their search. 

They can zero in on the suitable candidates from the get-go, reducing the number of interviews and assessments needed. 

This speeds up the hiring process, reduces hiring costs, and ensures that the company doesn’t miss out on top talent due to delays.

  1. Focus on the right fit

Beyond the technical skills and qualifications, there’s the human element of hiring. 

It’s about finding someone who not only can do the job but also fits into the team and company culture. 

Intake meetings give recruiters a chance to understand the team’s dynamics, values, and work environment. 

With this knowledge, they can identify candidates who align with the company’s ethos and can contribute positively to the company.

This leads to more successful placements, higher job satisfaction, and reduced turnover.

Step-by-step guide to conducting intake meetings the right way

  1. Pre-meeting research

Before you even schedule the intake meeting, invest time understanding the role you’re hiring for. Apart from job specifications, you must also understand the industry in a broader context. Here are a few guidelines for  thorough pre-meeting research:

  1. Trending skills: Identify the skills and qualifications that are currently in demand within the industry.
  1. Industry growth: Understand the growth trajectory of the industry, including emerging sectors or areas of decline.
  1. Major players: Recognize the key companies or competitors in the industry and their market positioning.
  1. Challenges: Be aware of the current challenges faced by the industry, such as regulatory changes, technological disruptions, or economic factors.
  1. Opportunities: Identify areas of potential growth or innovation within the industry.
  1. Compensation standards: Familiarize yourself with the industry’s compensation benchmarks for similar roles.
  1. Employee expectations: Understand what professionals typically seek in terms of work culture, benefits, and career progression.
  1. Obtain a preliminary job description

Request the hiring manager to provide a draft or previous version of the job description. 

Having this in hand means that when you sit down in that intake meeting, you’re not starting from scratch. You’ve got a base to work from.

The job description can be refined and adjusted as discussions progress to match the organization’s needs better.

  1. Identify past hiring patterns

Before beginning the process of filling a new position, it’s beneficial to reflect on past hiring trends within the organization. 

By reviewing past hires, recruiters can know which sourcing channels yielded the best candidates or if specific interview techniques were particularly effective. 

Were there specific universities or professional networks that consistently produced top-tier candidates? Or were there specific skills or qualifications that past successful candidates shared?

It’s also helpful to note the turnover rate for such positions. High turnover might hint at issues with the job description, role expectations, or onboarding challenges. 

Recognizing these early helps fine-tune the current hiring strategy.

  1. Prepare a set of probing questions

Heading into an intake meeting well-prepared means preparing a list of probing questions. Here are some sample questions for your reference:

  • What are the daily tasks and responsibilities associated with this role?
  • Can you describe the characteristics of someone who previously excelled in this position?
  • What immediate challenges would the new hire face in the first three months?
  • How does this role contribute to the larger team and company goals?
  • Are there specific technical skills or certifications required for this position?
  • How would you describe the team’s working style and dynamics?
  • What growth opportunities are available for someone in this role?
  • Are there any specific cultural fit considerations we should know when sourcing candidates?
  1. Set the agenda

An agenda ensures that the intake meeting stays focused and productive. Here are key aspects to consider when setting the agenda:

  • Meeting objectives: Clearly define the primary objectives of the meeting.
  • Topics to be discussed: Outline the main topics that will be covered during the meeting. 
  • Time allocation: Assign time slots to each agenda item. This helps manage time during the meeting, ensuring that discussions are neither rushed nor overly prolonged.
  • Participants’ roles: Specify the roles and responsibilities of each participant. This includes the hiring manager’s role in providing job insights and the recruiter’s role in guiding the discussion.
  • Expected duration: Mention the expected duration of the meeting. This gives participants an idea of the time commitment required.
  1. Create a collaborative atmosphere

Remember, the intake meeting is a collaborative effort between you and the hiring manager. Approach it with an open mind. 

While you bring your recruiting expertise, the hiring manager brings in-depth knowledge about the role and team.

9 steps to take after the intake meeting

  1. Confirm meeting notes

After the meeting, review your notes for accuracy and completeness. Ensure that all important details, requirements, and candidate expectations are recorded correctly. Consider contacting the hiring manager or team members for clarification if anything is unclear.

  1. Share meeting summary

Share a summarized version of the meeting notes and action items with all relevant stakeholders involved in the hiring process. This ensures everyone is aware of the agreed-upon strategies and expectations.

  1. Prioritize roles

Determine which positions need immediate attention and which can be managed with a longer timeline. Prioritizing roles helps you allocate your resources effectively.

  1. Create job profiles

Based on the information gathered during the meeting, begin crafting detailed job profiles for each role. These profiles should include job descriptions, required qualifications, and any specific skills or competencies needed. 

  1. Develop sourcing strategies

Work with your team to develop sourcing strategies. This may involve using various channels, such as job boards, social media, or professional networks, to identify potential candidates.

  1. Establish a timeline 

Set a recruitment timeline that outlines key milestones, deadlines, and expected timeframes for each phase of the hiring process. This timeline helps keep the team accountable and ensures the recruitment process stays on track.

  1. Assign responsibilities

Clearly define roles and responsibilities within your recruitment team. Assign tasks to team members based on their strengths and expertise. This ensures that everyone knows their role in executing the recruitment strategy.

  1. Communicate with candidates

If you already have potential candidates in your pipeline, begin reaching out to them to gauge their interest and alignment with the job opportunities. Effective communication is a must for a positive candidate experience.

  1. Evaluate and adjust

Regularly review your progress and assess whether your recruitment strategies yield the desired results. Be prepared to adjust your approach based on feedback and changing circumstances.

As you gear up for your next intake meeting, embrace these strategies and watch how they transform your hiring process. 

Your stage is set, and the spotlight is on you. It’s time to find your star candidate and bring them into the limelight. Happy recruiting!