What is an intake meeting?
Recruiters hold intake meetings with hiring managers during the initial phase of a recruiting process. During these meetings, recruiters and hiring managers clarify the job title and job duties, set candidate qualification criteria and agree on the hiring stages (e.g. screening calls, assessments tests, etc.)
Intake meetings are useful because they help recruiters:
- Reduce miscommunication and back-and-forth emails
- Clearly establish a position’s requirements
- Engage hiring managers in the recruiting process
- Maintain good working relationships with hiring managers
How to prepare for an intake meeting with hiring managers
The hiring process begins long before recruiters start screening resumes or interviewing candidates. For successful intake meetings with hiring managers:
- Conduct external and internal research. Before meeting with hiring managers, save time by researching:
- Salary benchmark data for this position
- Typical skills and qualifications required for the role
- Sources of previous hires (if you’ve recruited employees for this or a similar role)
- Set a timeframe. Forecast how much time you’ll need for each hiring stage based on recruiting metrics like:
- Gather basic information about the open role. Before meeting with the hiring manager, learn:
- The recruitment budget for this position (contact your finance team, if necessary)
- The reason for this job opening (if it’s a replacement or a new role)
- The employment duration (e.g. long-term or short-term position)
Sample questions to ask hiring managers during intake meetings
Both you and hiring managers will benefit from intake meetings, as long as you ask pointed questions that help shape the profile of a qualified candidate and get at the motivation behind hiring for the position. Here are some example questions to ask:
- Why do you need to hire for this role?
- What’s your department’s function within the company?
- What’s the structure of your current team and who will your new hire report to?
- Will your new hire have any direct reports?
- What are the main responsibilities that your new hire will have?
- What are the top three contributions this new hire will make to the company within their first 90 or 120 days?
- What is the relationship this role has to other lines of business within the organization?
- What qualifications are must-haves for candidates? (e.g. X technical skills, experience with Y projects, Z certification or license)
- What would be some nice-to-have skills for candidates and why? (e.g. experience in retail, familiarity with X programming language)
- Is it necessary for candidates to have industry experience for this role? Why or why not?
- What software should your new hire be proficient in?
- What are your dealbreakers and why?
- What’s the salary range for this position?
- Beyond our standard employee benefits package, are there any additional perks and benefits related to this position? (e.g. sales bonus)
- What’s the working schedule for this position?
- When do you ideally want your new hire to start?
- How do you plan to assess candidates during the hiring process? Will you give them a written assignment or a project?
- What’s the career path for this position?
What to do during and after an intake meeting
- Help hiring managers separate must-haves from nice-to-haves. A long list of requirements not only scares applicants away, but could also compel you to reject good candidates simply because they don’t check all boxes. Ask hiring managers follow-up questions like “Should we immediately disqualify candidates who don’t have X in their resumes?” to identify what’s desired rather than required.
- Prepare the job ad. Or, review the job description your hiring manager wrote. You can use job description templates as a starting point and customize them. Make sure your job ad is well-structured, buzzword-free and that it clearly describes the scope of responsibilities. Add anything that would attract potential candidates, like benefits your company offers.
- Follow up regularly. Communicate with hiring managers through the entire recruiting cycle. Hiring status update emails or reports created by your Applicant Tracking System make the process transparent and easy to understand. Share the following data with hiring managers: number of interviews held, number of candidates qualified and reasons why candidates were rejected.
- Provide interviewing assistance. Some hiring managers, particularly those who are new to their jobs, might struggle with the role of interviewer. Share some sample interview questions, offer tips on how to evaluate candidates’ answers (including how to read candidate body language) and highlight illegal questions they need to avoid.