Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
I’m a big fan of the recruiting strategy meeting, sometimes called the manager intake meeting. This is the conversation between the recruiter and the hiring manager about the open job. I think there are a lot of things to discuss, including:
Review the job description
Discuss must-have knowledge, skills, and abilities
A typical day in the life for this position
And expectations for the new hire in their first 30/60/90 days
Even when we regularly recruit for the same position, it’s important to still have these conversations. I’ve been caught a few times because the hiring manager and I were both too busy, so we skipped the meeting. Later, we realized that we missed discussing a change to the job or the budget. It impacted our hiring process – and not in a good way.
So having that pre-meeting is important. What’s equally important is to have a post-hire debrief. This is not only a time to find out how the new hire is doing, but to discuss how the process worked. I like keeping things simple, so here’s a two-question debrief:
What did we do well? I always like asking this question first because sometimes we want to immediately go to all the things that went wrong. There were things that went well and it’s important to acknowledge them. A hiring manager might share that they asked a question that they hadn’t asked before and was impressed with the response. Or they might mention that we discussed something during the recruiting strategy meeting that was helpful during the process.
What could we do differently next time? This isn’t a what did we do wrong question because maybe we didn’t do anything wrong. But it’s possible there are some things that we’d like to change. Hiring managers might discuss using different sources or adding a panel interview format instead of individual interviews. We could spend some time talking about how much time the process took and are there places we can be more efficient.
When should you conduct the post-hire debrief? Well, that’s a conversation for the recruiter and hiring manager. Many organizations conduct 90-day / introductory performance reviews so it could make sense to do it before then. But wait long enough for the hiring manager to have some specifics to share about the employee’s performance, maybe a minimum of 30-45 days post-hire.
Recruiters and hiring managers are a team and all good teams do regular debriefs to get better. Several years ago, I interviewed Dr. Scott Tannenbaum about group debriefs. I remember him saying teams that conduct regular debriefs perform an average of 20% better. While I’ll admit the research is a bit dated, there’s also some logic attached to it that I’d like to believe holds up over time. Teams that take the time to debrief are communicating and sharing at a higher level, which should translate into better processes. Which by the way, should translate into better hires.
Recruiting teams that take the time to conduct a recruiting strategy meeting are planning well. And then, if they conduct the debrief, they are setting themselves up for success the next time. This (hopefully!) results in greater applicant flow, a better candidate experience, and ultimately a great new hire.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of London, England