Intake meetings lay down the ideal roadmap to a successful recruitment process. Find out more about what it has to offer here.

What is an intake meeting?

An intake meeting is an important initial discussion between a recruiter and a hiring manager or client. 

It solves the purpose of gathering detailed information about a job opening, including the job requirements, responsibilities, qualifications, and company culture. 

This meeting ensures that the recruiter fully understands the position and can effectively communicate it to potential candidates. 

It also gives the recruiter an opportunity to clarify any aspects of the job that may be unclear.

Understanding the intake meeting’s meaning sets the foundation for a successful recruitment process by aligning the recruiter and the hiring manager/client on the goals and expectations for the position.

Why are intake meetings important?

What is intake meeting

1. Uncovers hidden needs

By going deep into the role’s intricacies, such as specific project requirements or team dynamics, you can uncover needs that may not be evident from the initial job description

This deeper understanding allows you to tailor your candidate search and messaging to attract individuals who not only meet the basic requirements but also align with the more nuanced needs of the role.

2. Helps in communicating

Understanding the hiring manager’s pain points and challenges can help you position the job opportunity as a solution. 

For example, if the team is struggling with a particular project or task, highlighting how the new hire can help alleviate this pain point can make the role more appealing to candidates.

Also read: 8 free cold calling scripts for recruiters

3. Highlights growth opportunities

Providing candidates with opportunities for growth can be a powerful motivator.

Whether it’s career advancement, skill development, or exposure to new projects, highlighting these factors can attract candidates who are looking to grow exponentially.

4. Showcases company culture

Painting a vivid picture of the company culture and work environment can help candidates envision themselves fitting in and thriving within the organization. 

A supportive work culture, team outings, or flexible work arrangements can make the role more attractive to applicants.

5. Helps evaluate team dynamics

Understanding the dynamics of the team the new hire will be joining can help you assess cultural fit. 

An organization that emphasizes collaboration and support can be a strong selling point for candidates who are seeking a positive workplace.

6. Emphasizes flexibility

If the role offers flexibility in terms of work hours or remote work options, make sure to highlight this. 

Many candidates value work-life balance and flexibility, so emphasizing these aspects can make the role more appealing.

7. Provides insights into the interview process

Sharing insights into the interview process, such as the number of rounds, types of interviews (e.g., behavioral, technical), and key decision-makers involved, can help candidates feel more prepared and confident. 

This can lead to a smoother interview process and a positive candidate experience.

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8. Offers salary transparency

Being transparent about the salary range for the position can help set expectations early on and attract candidates who are a good fit both culturally and financially. 

It also helps to avoid any misunderstandings or discrepancies later in the process.

9. Discuss employer branding

Use the intake meeting to discuss employer branding strategies, such as highlighting employee testimonials, showcasing company values, or sharing success stories. 

This can help position the company as an employer of choice and attract top talent.

10. Provides ongoing support

Offering ongoing support to hiring managers throughout the recruitment process, such as providing regular updates, answering questions, and addressing concerns, can help ensure a positive experience for both candidates and hiring managers. 

This level of support can also help build trust and strengthen your relationship with hiring managers, making future collaborations more successful.

How should recruiters prepare for intake meetings?

1. Review the job description

Before the meeting, thoroughly review the job description to familiarize yourself with the role’s requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications. 

This preparation will help you ask informed questions and better understand the hiring manager’s needs, enabling you to tailor your recruitment strategy to find the best candidates for the position.

Read more: Learn how to write job compelling descriptions + 50+ ready-to-use templates [Download free e-book]

2. Research the company

Conduct research on the company, including its culture, values, and recent news or developments. 

A detailed background knowledge will enable you to tailor your approach and align with the company’s ethos, making it easier to attract candidates who align with the organization’s values and culture.

3. Prepare questions

Create a list of thoughtful questions to ask a hiring manager during the meeting. These questions should focus on clarifying job requirements, understanding team dynamics, and uncovering any hidden needs. 

By asking relevant questions, you can gather valuable information that will help you identify and attract top talent for the position.

4. Understand the market

Stay informed about the current job market trends, especially in the industry or sector related to the job opening. 

It will help you provide valuable insights and advice to the hiring manager, ensuring that your recruitment strategy is aligned with market conditions and best practices.

5. Review candidate profiles

If possible, review profiles of successful candidates in similar roles. 

A thorough evaluation can give you a better understanding of the type of candidate the hiring manager is looking for, allowing you to tailor your candidate search and selection process to find the best match for the position.

6. Plan your approach

Develop a plan for how you will approach the meeting, including how you will introduce yourself, how you will structure the discussion, and how you will follow up after the meeting. 

A well-thought-out approach will help you make a positive impression on the hiring manager and demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to finding the right candidate for the position.

7. Bring relevant materials

Bring any relevant materials to the meeting, such as candidate profiles, market research reports, or examples of successful placements. 

This will demonstrate your preparedness and professionalism and provide tangible examples to support your recommendations and strategies during the meeting.

8. Set objectives

Clearly define your objectives for the meeting, such as understanding the role’s requirements, aligning with the hiring manager on expectations, and building rapport with the client. 

Setting clear objectives will help you stay focused and ensure that the meeting is productive and successful.

9. Anticipate challenges

Anticipate potential challenges or objections that may arise during the meeting and prepare responses or strategies to address them. 

By proactively addressing potential issues, you can demonstrate your problem-solving skills and ability to overcome obstacles, which will build trust and confidence with the hiring manager.

Read more: How to get clients for a staffing agency? 13 solid strategies to level up your game in 2024

9 steps to take AFTER an intake meeting

1. Organize meeting notes

Immediately after the meeting, organize your meeting notes and ensure you have captured all key points discussed, including job requirements, expectations, and any additional insights gained. You can use ChatGPT for meeting notes to streamline this process and ensure no crucial details are missed.

2. Review and confirm details

Review your notes and any additional materials provided during the meeting to confirm your understanding of the role and its requirements.

3. Develop a recruitment strategy

Based on the information gathered in the meeting, develop a recruitment strategy that outlines how you will approach sourcing and attracting candidates for the position.

4. Communicate with the hiring manager

Reach out to the hiring manager to thank them for the meeting and to clarify any points or seek additional information if needed.

5. Begin candidate search

Start sourcing and screening candidates based on the job requirements discussed in the meeting. Use the information gathered to identify candidates who are the best fit for the role.

Read more: Free resume search | Top 10 places where recruiters can get CVs for free!

6. Provide regular updates

Keep the hiring manager informed of your progress and provide regular updates on the recruitment process, including any challenges or successes encountered.

7. Schedule interviews

Coordinate with the hiring manager to schedule interviews with qualified candidates

Provide them with the necessary information and support to ensure a smooth interview process.

8. Follow-up

After the meeting, follow up with the hiring manager to thank them for their time and recap key points discussed. 

This will help reinforce your understanding of the role and demonstrate your commitment to finding the right candidate.

9. Close the loop

Once a candidate has been selected and hired, close the loop with the hiring manager to ensure a smooth transition and to discuss any lessons learned from the recruitment process.

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What are the outcomes of a successful intake meeting?

1. Alignment with the hiring manager

Clear alignment between the recruiter and hiring manager ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding expectations, leading to a more effective recruitment strategy.

When recruiters deliver high-quality candidates that meet the hiring manager’s expectations, it leads to greater satisfaction and a smoother hiring process.

2. Improved candidate quality

With a thorough understanding of the role, recruiters can identify candidates who not only meet the basic requirements but also possess the qualities needed to excel in the position.

3. Enhanced candidate experience

Armed with comprehensive information about the job and company, recruiters can provide candidates with a more engaging and informative experience, increasing their interest in the role.

4. Efficient screening process

A detailed intake meeting helps streamline the candidate screening process, as recruiters can quickly identify candidates who meet the job criteria.

5. Faster time-to-fill

By understanding the role’s requirements upfront, recruiters can expedite the recruitment process, reducing the time it takes to fill the position.

6. Higher candidate acceptance rates

Candidates are more likely to accept offers when they have a clear understanding of the role and feel confident in their fit within the organization.

7. Overall hiring success

Ultimately, a successful intake meeting sets the stage for a successful hire, ensuring that the selected candidate is well-suited for the role and contributes positively to the organization’s goals.

Also read: 14 [FREE] LinkedIn InMail templates for recruiters

9 best practices for successful intake meetings

1. Prepare thoroughly

Before the meeting, review the job description, research the company’s background, and familiarize yourself with the industry trends. 

This preparation will demonstrate your professionalism and enable you to ask relevant questions.

2. Establish goals

Clearly define what you aim to achieve in the meeting, such as understanding the role’s requirements, aligning with the hiring manager’s expectations, and setting a timeline for the recruitment process. This clarity will guide the discussion and ensure that key objectives are met.

3. Listen actively

Pay close attention to what the hiring manager is saying, and ask follow-up questions to clarify any points of confusion. 

Active listening demonstrates your interest in understanding the role and helps build rapport with the hiring manager.

4. Ask probing questions

In addition to standard questions about the job requirements, ask insightful questions that dig deeper into the role’s challenges, opportunities for growth, and team dynamics. 

This approach will help you uncover valuable information that can shape your recruitment strategy.

Read more: Positive candidate experience & organizational culture: how to hire top talent & keep it?

5. Clarify expectations

If there are any ambiguities or conflicting information in the job description, seek clarification from the hiring manager. 

Clearing up these uncertainties early on will prevent misunderstandings later in the process.

6. Provide insights

Share relevant industry insights and market trends that may impact the recruitment process. 

This demonstrates your expertise and adds value to the discussion, helping the hiring manager make informed decisions.

7. Set realistic timelines

Agree on realistic timelines for each stage of the recruitment process, taking into account factors such as sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding

Setting clear timelines will help manage expectations and ensure a smooth recruitment process.

8. Document key points

Take detailed notes during the meeting, highlighting key requirements, expectations, and any action items. 

Summarize these points at the end of the meeting to ensure alignment and avoid miscommunication.

9. Collaborate effectively

Maintain open communication with the hiring manager throughout the recruitment process, providing regular updates and seeking feedback. 

Collaboration is key to a successful hire and a positive hiring experience for all parties involved.

Also read: Recruiter certification 101: 10+ courses you can’t afford to miss!

Recruitment intake meeting questions [+ answers]

Now that you’re well aware of the benefits, it’s time to start planning. Here is a simple recruitment intake meeting template to get you started:

1. Understanding the job

  • Can you describe the job requirements in layman’s terms? I’m not well-versed in HR jargon.
  • What’s the most exciting part about this job? We want to know what makes this opportunity stand out!
  • Can you tell us a story about a previous hire who was successful in this role? We love a good success story!

2. Company culture and environment

  • What’s the dress code like? Can one wear flip-flops to work?
  • What’s the team’s favorite office snack? Is it Doritos or Cheetos?
  • Does your office have a fun tradition or event that everyone looks forward to every year? We want to know what to sell!

3. Ideal candidate profile

  • Can you describe the ideal candidate in three words or less? We love a good challenge!
  • Are there any personality traits or soft skills you’re looking for in a candidate? Outline the variable nice-to-have competencies.
  • If the new hire were a superhero, who would they be and why? We need to know what we’re hunting for!

4. Interview process and timeline

  • What’s the most creative interview question you’ve ever heard? Can we steal it?
  • How many rounds of interviews are there, and will snacks be provided? Talent gets hangry!
  • Can we make a quirky recruitment video to show to the candidates? We promise we won’t embarrass you too much! 

5. Salary and benefits

  • Could you please provide us with a specific salary range for this position? We need to prepare our recruiting & sourcing strategy accordingly! We might have to hit the floor for a dance-off, which is salary negotiations.
  • What’s that unique benefit you offer your employees?
  • Suppose the salary for this position were a pizza; what toppings would it have? We need to know the delicious details!

It is essential to establish that the client and the recruiter are not merely business associates but team members aiming for a common goal.

Using these sample questions, you can conduct an effective intake meeting that aligns with your client’s expectations and sets the stage for a fruitful partnership.

This ensures there is no need for follow-up queries on job descriptions, and the work can be carried out with clarity and no delay.

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Recruitment intake meetings checklist

To facilitate your recruitment intake meetings, we have created a downloadable checklist. 

This comprehensive document will ensure you cover all necessary aspects of the intake process, helping you to streamline your recruitment efforts and align closely with hiring managers’ expectations.

So, put on your best recruiter hat, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, we don’t judge), and get ready to impress your clients with your intake meeting skills!

Frequently asked questions

1. How do you prepare for an intake meeting?

To prepare for an intake meeting, you first gather the necessary information, review relevant materials, create a list of relevant questions, and be ready to actively listen and engage with your client.

2. How do you set up an intake meeting?

Get on a call with the most reliable prospect within your business associates’ circle. Then, convince them how worthwhile this would be for them and their company. Voila! It’s on.

3. What are the benefits of an intake meeting?

The benefits of an intake meeting are incomparable; time is always priceless, and this meeting can save this invaluable resource more than anything.

It even brings out the best of both worlds on the table to cook something delicious from!

4. How long should an intake meeting be?

An intake meeting could last for roughly 45 minutes, but you never know what’s on the other side of that wall of formalities!

5. When should I conduct an intake meeting?

One must conduct this at the earliest in order to strategize your recruiting game plan further and execute it to perfection.

6. Are intake meetings one-on-one?

Yes, intake meetings typically involve a one-on-one discussion between the recruiter and the hiring manager or client.

7. What should HR do after an intake meeting?

After an intake meeting, HR should summarize key points, confirm details with the hiring manager, and begin the recruitment process.

8. How can intake meetings speed up the time to hire?

Intake meetings can speed up the time to hire by clarifying job requirements, aligning expectations, and streamlining the recruitment process.