The One Meeting That Will Increase Your Time To Hire

When your business is moving a million miles per hour a new role often looks like some kind of approval email, a vague resemblance of a job description and a salary range. If you’re lucky you can grab the hiring manager for 10 minutes (maybe standing side by side at the coffee machine?!) to get a high level overview of main responsibilities – there you have it, you’re ready to go! While a quick intake meeting can often do the trick there are times that the role drags on, candidates aren’t hitting the mark or the hiring manger’s priorities change – after several resets on one particular role it got me thinking how I could best utilize that precious time I have with a hiring manager to communicate better right from the start to create a more efficient process in the long run.

First – start with a minimum 30 minute Intake meeting for each and every role (not just those senior level or highly technical roles) Whether it’s a junior level position or a backfill it is worth your time and your hiring manager’s time to sit down and flush out their must have’s.

Next – come prepared. Not just a generic list of questions, really spend the time reviewing the job description, pull a few potential candidate profiles from your ATS or LinkedIn and come up with a list of more questions then you have time to ask. The conversation does not stop until your time is up! Even if your hiring manger is giving you one word or vague answers, KEEP ASKING. (Quick Tip – Running out of questions to ask? Sit in with a colleague on their intake meeting to refresh your questions – I got some of my favorites from doing just that)

Here are a few of my favorite questions to bring with me and get the conversation going:

  • In your own words, describe to me ultimately what this person is going to be held accountable for in this position” – Yes I’ve read the Job Description but hearing the responsibilities right from the hiring manager provides more clarity and your MUST have list, they will start with the most important!
  • What are your top 3 questions you would ask these candidates when you are interviewing to ensure they are technically sound? – Possibly my favourite question to ask Hiring Managers, this will equip you to really short list candidates by taking on even more of the technical screen so your hiring manager is getting super capable candidates.
  • Who on your team would you benchmark your ideal candidate against? This will give you some more insight into the caliber and expectation of candidates your hiring manager wants to see

This biggest asset I can walk out of the room with is a simplified, clear, strategic list of the hiring managers Top 5 MUST haves for a successful applicant. This guides my interviews and serves as a cover letter when I am presenting candidates to support my decision to put the candidate forward. If the hiring manager is not impressed with the candidates profile then we need to stop and reassess the Top 5.

Those 30 minute strategic intake meetings have increased my time to hire and solidified my hiring manager relationships. Hit pause, prepare, be strategic and take notes, LOTS of notes. Let me know how it goes!


Alisha Adams, Talent Lab Co-Founder & Talent Acquisition Manager at Kit and Ace