How to Conduct an Intake Meeting

October 19, 2017 Sarah Sipek


In business, it’s never smart to waste time—especially when that time costs you great candidates.

We’ve previously discussed how intake meetings can help speed up your time to hire by clearing up any confusion and setting realistic expectations from Day 1. In fact, CareerBuilder research found that 84 percent of surveyed employers say positions can stay open up to two weeks longer when an intake meeting is not held.

And while you may already recognize the benefits of having an intake meeting, it’s possible that you’re struggling with the execution. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. CareerBuilder also found that 20 percent of employers who utilize intake meetings find unrealistic expectations from the hiring manager and compensation ranges that don’t match the current market rates to be their biggest challenges when creating a candidate profile.

Follow these steps to prepare for and conduct a successful intake meeting:

Prepare for the Intake Meeting

  • Ask the hiring manager to share a job description. A resume of their ideal candidate or of the person who is leaving the position is also helpful. These materials will provide insight into the hiring manager’s initial expectations—including skill sets, years of experience and educational background—and help set a baseline for your discussions during the intake meeting.
  • Gather supply and demand data for that position in your location. Once you have an idea of the type of candidate the hiring manager wants, it’s important to determine if that person even exists and how much you’ll have to pay to get them. Supply and demand data will give you a layout of the current candidate marketplace and help you adjust your search criteria to match the talent currently available. While you could play the role of super sleuth and gather this information on your own, many HR tech solutions offer the ability to search and collect candidate marketplace data on a single platform to streamline the valuable—but time consuming—process.

During the Intake Meeting

  • Start with the supply and demand data. Bringing data into the conversation early will set you apart as an expert and provide inarguable facts for consideration. Demonstrating your knowledge of the current candidate pool to your hiring manager, which will increase the likelihood that they will take your recommendations seriously.
  • Review and confirm requirements. While the hiring manager is going through their list of necessary skills and requirements, you need to be taking notes so that you can challenge them if they’re setting criteria that will be difficult to meet. Together you should be prioritizing the skills on two lists: “must haves” and “nice-to-haves,” so you are clear on their expectations.
  • Review the resumes you brought to the meeting. Go through the resumes you found line-by-line and discuss whether those candidates are a good fit based on your previous discussion of the supply and demand data and requirements. If the candidate is no longer a good fit, determine why and adjust your expectations for skills and background accordingly.
  • Set expectations for next steps. Determine your next steps and what each of you will be responsible for going forward. Typically, you will agree to send over a batch of prescreened candidates by a pre-determined date and time, and your hiring manager will agree to review those candidates and provide feedback within 24 hours.

Following the Meeting

  • Send a recap email. Immediately after you complete the intake meeting, type all of the requirements and details you discussed with your hiring manager and send them in an email. It’s important to ensure your notes are saved and documented in case there are any disagreements down the road. For the absent-minded among us, there are tech solutions available that automatically send recap emails to the hiring manger reviewing all of the information discussed and collected during the intake meeting.
  • Start building your sourcing strategy. Based on what you learned from your supply and demand research, develop and execute a recruitment strategy to collect the agreed upon number of candidates by your deadline.
  • Send in your candidates and request feedback within 24 hours. Candidates can be taken off the market quickly. As soon as you’ve found someone who fits the role, send them to your hiring manager for approval. The faster this process goes, the faster your time to hire will be! Your hiring manager should be your partner and together you can fill the role faster. If the hiring manager doesn’t respond within 24 hours, send a reminder email. HR tech platforms often automate this feature so you can focus your time on filling other open requisitions instead of remembering to hound the hiring manager.

Following these steps will help increase the effectiveness of your intake meetings. But if you’re looking to speed up the process even more, consider implementing a technology solution. CareerBuilder’s Talent Discovery platform helps you collect information during the intake meeting and helps automate steps to increase overall efficiency.

Learn more about CareerBuilder Talent Discovery today.



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