Talent Intake Meetings: The Secret To Hiring Top Talent

Talent intake meetings are preliminary meetings between hiring managers and recruiters to discuss what ideal candidates look like for specific open roles. Read on to learn more about how you can prepare for an intake meeting, best practices for intake meetings, and get a list of sample questions you can ask.

Thuy Vi Nguyen
Thuy Vi is the Marketing Lead at Puck and has worked in the SaaS industry for nearly a decade. Outside of marketing, she can be found at concerts, trying new restaurants, and journaling.

Did you know that 3 in every 4 business recruitment processes results in a wrong hire? That’s 75%! And, the costs and time wasted on a bad hire are never recovered. When your recruitment team uses a flawed recruiting and onboarding process, they end up filling positions with unqualified candidates.

A bad hire has a penetrative domino effect – onboarding an unqualified prospect adversely impacts turnover rates and can produce a ripple effect, forcing good workers to quit. So how can recruiters maximize the efficiency of recruiting and onboarding processes and avoid these consequences? Talent intake meetings are the solution. 

What Is a Talent Intake Meeting? 

A talent intake meeting is a strategic meeting held to set goals and define the recruiting process. It's the initial and most crucial recruiting stage, where the recruiter meets the hiring manager to align on qualifications and requirements, and create a successful recruitment strategy.

Here, the two parties contribute to the theme of the day – finding the ideal candidate – by giving suggestions on the qualities, credentials, and attributes they want the candidate to possess. The goal is to establish intake questions and hiring processes. Asked and answered correctly, these questions make it easier to find a prospect who understands your company culture and has ambitions to contribute to its growth. 

During an intake meeting, parties have to agree on the qualifications, goals, ambitions, and experience a candidate should have. Intake meetings should minimize communication errors that often lead to bad hires.

Why Should Your Company Leverage Intake Meetings? 

Intake meetings build a strong foundation on which successful recruitments are built. Intake meetings fasten the onboarding process, increasing success rates by significant margins. So how do these meetings achieve this?

If your recruitment team and hiring managers are on the same page in terms of objectives of the hiring process and are aligned on what type of candidate is best for the role, they are more likely to make a successful hire. Both parties should also agree on budget, scope of the role they want to fill, and timeline for hiring. With these items clearly defined, it’s much easier to find a candidate who checks all the boxes because everyone is on the same page about what makes a candidate qualified.

Intake meetings also help recruiting and hiring managers improve their collaboration and communication. Recruiting new talent is not a one-man or one-department project. Heads from the recruitment and hiring managerial departments must combine thoughts and ideas to make the process successful. 

Preparing For a Recruiting Intake Meeting

Before setting up a meeting with the hiring manager, recruiters should prepare accordingly. Start by reviewing the position to familiarize yourself with crucial details such as qualifications, role, and responsibilities. 

Preparation is key for having a successful intake meeting. Before you meet with the hiring manager, you should:

  • Familiarize yourself with current hiring data and understand what competitors are paying for the same job and what kind of talent is available. 
  • Create an agenda that sets clear expectations, topics, and goals for the meeting.
  • Use the data from your research to come up with questions to ask the hiring manager.

Questions to Ask The Hiring Manager During an Intake Meeting

When you sit at the table with the hiring manager, you must extract as much data from them as possible. This is achieved by asking the right questions, touching on issues relevant to the position. 

Prepare for an interactive and engaging interview with a hiring manager with some of these crucial questions:

  • Why do you need to hire for this role?
  • 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 qualifications are must-haves for candidates? What would be some nice-to-have skills for candidates and why?
  • Is it necessary for candidates to have industry experience for this role?
  • What software should your new hire be proficient in?
  • What are your dealbreakers and why?
  • Which challenges should the candidate expect, and how prepared should they be?
  • What is the hiring timeline and your budget?
  • Who will be involved in the interview and assessment phases?
  • What do you expect from the candidate in a month, six months, or a year?
  • Is the position permanent or temporary, and do you expect any special requirements from the candidate?
  • What would you say in one sentence to attract someone to this role or to work for your team?

Bonus Intake Meeting Questions to Ask

Need some more questions? Check these out:

  • How do you plan to assess candidates during the hiring process? Will you give them a written assignment or a project?
  • Are there growth opportunities? What is the career path for this position?
  • Who are the key stakeholders at the company who will work with the new hire?
  • What business outcomes will the new hire own?
  • What’s the working schedule for this position? What does a day in-the-life look like?

Best Practices For Intake Meetings & Weekly Syncs

The following are the best practices to make your intake meetings and weekly syncs a success:

  • Set and stick to the meeting agenda. This ensures all discussions and activities have a common goal.
  • Be thorough and articulate in answering questions from the hiring manager.
  • Spend time learning about the company and the advertised position. You want to exhibit a distinguishable level of understanding and knowledge of the said position.
  • You must be proactive throughout the session, asking questions and querying things you think aren't right.

Steps to Take After an Intake Meeting

After the meeting, take time to summarize the meeting proceedings and send takeaways to the hiring manager. You might need to create an intake recruiter form for a successful recruiting process – take a look at the one we’ve linked!

Post-intake meeting is when you’re ready to implement your new recruitment strategy. A key step in the entire process is maintaining communication with the hiring manager and actioning upon the steps you agreed on. This typically includes:

  • Sending a summary email of the key outcomes of the meeting and what next steps are.
  • Building your sourcing strategy, from identifying qualified candidates in your talent database to engaging in outreach with your contacts or cold sourcing candidates.
  • Preparing an interview strategy that outlines who will be involved and determining what types of questions will be asked. You should have a mix of competency and behavioral questions for evaluating candidates.
  • Setting up your hiring manager on your ATS or other tech platforms so that everyone who is involved in the hiring process has access to the necessary tools and platforms.
  • Maintaining close contact and constant communication with your hiring manager to keep them informed about new developments.
  • Provide assistance and connect with managers after major interviews.

Intake Meetings Accelerate Recruiting & Strengthen Recruiter and Hiring Manager Relationships

Intake meetings aren't just deliberation sessions between a hiring manager and a recruiter. They are game changers that bring value to a company. By preparing everyone for the hiring process, these meetings minimize miscommunication and cut down on hiring delays.

These learning points are where recruiters and hiring managers understand the position and expected challenges. The takeaways from the meetings offer a platform to brainstorm mitigation strategies to ensure the hiring process does not stall. If the hiring process is delayed, recruiters and hiring managers can go back to figure out where they need to improve or what they need to budge on – but this would be very difficult if the process was not outlined and everyone was not aligned.

Finally, the one-on-one interaction between recruiters and managers creates room for understanding each other better. The recruiter gets to understand the hiring manager and vice versa, establishing a strong work relationship.

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