How Intake Meetings Can Help Your Recruiting Efforts

With remote work being as prevalent as it is, the recruiting process has been forced to go through some changes. Communication and cohesion within HR departments can falter much more easily when out of the office, but these are essential elements of any successful recruiting process. If too many communication shortcuts are taken during the recruitment process, things can go seriously wrong. 

One of the best ways to set expectations, align on goals, and communicate needs is to hold intake meetings. Intake meetings can not only help mitigate the issues but solve problems before they have the chance to crop up. Today we’ll be discussing what intake meetings are, and how they can turn recruiting struggles into smooth sailing for the whole department.

What are Intake Meetings?

Intake meetings are discussions between recruiters and their hiring manager that occur before the recruitment process begins. They’re generally fairly short, lasting anywhere from 30 mins to an hour. 

The recruiting team, either together or through a designated representative, will ask questions about the open position(s). What are the necessary skills a candidate has to have? Why is this position open/why does it need to be filled? Is this going to be a full-time or part-time position? The hiring manager answers their questions, and guidelines/goals are set.

Purpose of Intake Meetings

To make the most out of intake meetings, it’s important to have a clear picture of what you need to accomplish. Let’s take a look at a few goals that all intake meetings should work toward.

Determine What Makes a Top Candidate

Defining your dream candidate means creating a list of prioritized attributes. Recruiters and hiring managers often have very different expectations for candidates, so this list may come under contention. For recruiters, understanding the acceptable experience range, as well as what soft skills a candidate should demonstrate is key. Managers tend to think more in terms of fit, growth potential, and cost-per-hire. 

Intake meetings allow both parties to find a middle ground, and create a cohesive candidate checklist. With guidelines in hand, your team has an objective baseline. If you use AI recruitment software, this knowledge can let you plug in factors confidently — ensuring your program snags only the very best.  

Set Reasonable Hiring Goals

After concluding talks regarding candidate expectations, talks shift to goals and expectations. Recruiters can often feel strapped for time when it comes to hiring talent, as there’s always a push to lower hiring costs and save resources. During intake meetings, recruiters can work with the hiring manager to set a variety of realistic goals that won’t cause a bad hire or burnout. Some topics to cover:

What are sourcing expectations?

  • Make estimates on the budget. How much will be spent on sourcing has a serious impact on what methods, job boards, and tools recruiters make use of. Doing this is much easier when you have a recruitment marketing vendor that can tell you your budget upfront before you spend a dollar.
  • Give a time frame for sourcing. How long sourcing will take depends on the budget, available tools, and the number of desired hires.

Time-to-hire goals

  • Consider non-traditional methods of recruitment. Leveraging employee referrals can produce top talent quickly and at little cost to the organization.

Onboarding plans

  • When employers are desperate for coverage, new hires may receive more expedited training than is usual. Make sure to mention this, and offer support to new employees if this is the case.

Set a Communication Baseline

With a cohesive narrative now formed between the recruiters and hiring managers, communication becomes much smoother long term. Intake meetings serve as a point of reference that both parties can look back on, and use as a baseline. If things aren’t getting done quickly enough, it may be that a previously agreed-upon budget or time frame has been shirked. A faster than usual hire can be compared favorably with the intake meetings numbers and used as proof of HR competency. 

The Importance of Intake Meetings

To sum it up, intake meetings give leverage and stability to the entire HR department by setting boundaries and improving communication between managers and recruiters. By having concrete touchpoints between the recruitment team and hiring managers, the chances for poor communication, mismatched expectations, or unclear goals become far lower. Intake meetings are a great tool that should be utilized by all organizations with multiple teams working together to bring on new hires. However, conducting clear and concise meetings is essential to getting the answers needed while not taking up too much time in the process. 

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