Intake meetings are a crucial step to find the best candidates as quickly as possible. Regardless of whether a hiring manager is working with an internal or external recruiter, it should be an important part of the hiring process.
The intake meeting is a structured conversation between the hiring manager and the recruiting agency (or internal recruiter) to establish the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the position, set a realistic timeline for hiring, learn more about the EQ and personality needed, and define the interview process and expectations so that a great candidate can be hired in the timeline needed.
Intake Meeting Benefits
The cost of an empty seat can increase substantially month over month, eventually adding up to at least 34% of the lost employee’s annual salary. Some talent executives estimate that the cost of finding a new hire can be as much as 3 to 4 times that person’s salary. The recruiter’s purpose is to save the client time and money. We believe at Spot On Talent, the better questions asked during the intake, the better answers we get from the hiring manager — our client — and the less time and the less money that it will cost all of us to find a great candidate for them.
A More Efficient, Quicker Time to Hire
When a hiring manager provides thorough and thoughtful answers to their recruiting team, finding and hiring the right candidate happens much more quickly and efficiently then it would otherwise. The problem with not having a good intake call the first time is that then the recruiter is in a bit of a guessing game trying to find the right candidate. The intake meeting establishes the kind of candidate the client’s team is looking for. That means less back and forth between the hiring manager and the recruiter (and less time wasted).
Prevent a Bad Hire
Intake meetings prompt managers to reflect about the qualities of the ideal candidate and communicate this with their recruiting team. That makes it far less likely the recruiting team might present someone that doesn’t fit in the long term. Rarely will you spend the time on the front end and then have a person that doesn’t work out — that’s because you did your homework. And hiring the wrong candidate is costly. There are hard and soft costs associated with replacing them including the lost time and investment your current staff spent onboarding and training.
What to Bring to an Intake Meeting
Hiring Process Plan: Ask yourself, “What is the hiring process for this specific role and is there any reason we would need to change it for this job?” Some reasons you might need to change your process include a short hiring timeline or to accommodate a large number of stakeholders who need to be involved.
Hiring Stakeholders List: Who are the people who must be included in the interviews and who do you want to be included in the meetings? Will they be available during the hiring process? Are they familiar with the position they’re conducting interviews for, and do they know how to interview? Be honest with your recruiter about this. They’re there to help.
Hiring Team PTO: It’s unavoidable and manageable, but only if you plan ahead. Your recruiter wants to work with your team’s schedule, so be sure to inform them of who will be out of town and when — this will keep the process running smoothly.
Benefits Documents: If you’re working with an external recruiter, be sure to bring an up-to-date copy of your company’s benefits packages or an overview of what’s offered.
Company Unique Selling Proposition: Interviewing a candidate is a two-way street. They’re evaluating you too. As recruiters, we’re presenting your brand to the candidates and selling the company and the opportunity. So give us something to work with. Think through the best parts of working for your company and how you’d accurately explain them to a prospective employee.
What Will This Person Add To the Team, Culturally: Consider the team you have currently. What kind of cultural add could a new hire make, ideally? What would you like that to be? Remember that the best teams bring a diverse set of strengths to the table. After all, you don’t want the Stepford wives, where everybody looks the same and acts the same.
It’s important to remember that intake meetings aren’t just for external recruiters. Hiring managers working with an internal recruiting team should provide more than just job descriptions. Give your internal team the same information that you would give an external firm.
In the very understandable rush to hire, it would be easy to skip this step or to not include the hiring manager in the intake meeting. After all, they’re down an employee. But the whole point of the intake is for the hiring manager to stop what they’re doing, pause and really think through what is important to them about this hire. It’s this exact kind of reflection and communication with the recruiting team that will lead to a better, and faster, outcome down the line.