Mastering Intake Meetings & Job Intake Forms in 2023

Ever found yourself nodding in an intake meeting, secretly lost? We’ve all had those “Wait, what?” moments. This guide’s goal is to make those times a thing of the past – we’ll get into mastering intake meetings and designing effective Job Intake Forms.

What will you learn at the end of this guide: 🎓

  • A clear understanding of what an intake meeting really is and why it’s a game-changer in recruitment.
  • The know-how to design a Job Intake Form that genuinely works.

Why’s this a big deal? 💡

Time’s precious, especially in the recruitment world. Misunderstandings? They eat that time up. Nail your intake meetings, and you’ve just cleared the path for a smoother, faster recruitment journey. It’s about creating that harmony between you and hiring managers.

Alright, let’s break this down step by step:

1. Understanding the Intake Meeting 🤝:

The Heartbeat:

This meeting is the pulse check. It’s where visions align, expectations are set, and the candidate persona is envisioned. Yeah, it’s a biggie.

Real-World Scenario:

Think of a startup scouting for a software engineer. The recruiter might be thinking of looking for a tech-savvy all-rounder, but the hiring manager might dream of a Python pro. This meet-up? It’s the bridge between those two visions and gets everyone on the same page.

2. The Intake Meeting Prep Work 📚:

Your Homework:

Coming in cold? That’s a no-go. Arm yourself with data, insights, and some smart questions.

  • Research on: salary benchmarks, skills, qualifications, and previous hire sources.
  • Set a timeframe considering yield ratios, time-to-hire, and time-to-fill and adjust accordingly.

Real-World Scenario:

Say you’re prepping for a “Content Strategist” meeting. Dive into the company’s past hires, local salary stats, trending skills, and peek into competitor hires. You might find, for example, that local industry standards demand a salary higher than the initial budget, or that most content strategists in the area specialize in video content. That’s great, you want to bring that information into the meeting to discuss.

3. Conducting the Intake Meeting 🎙:

The Playbook:

Like we mentioned before, the intake meeting is your chance to understand who the main stakeholders are, what the deal breakers are, salary range, assessment methods, career path, and so on.

✅ DO: Ask pointed questions that will help you shape the profile of the candidate

 DON’T: Ask vague questions

Examples of questions to ask during the intake meeting:

  1. What primary duties will the person in this position undertake?
  2. How would you describe the purpose of this role within the organization?
  3. How does this position fit into and interact with other business segments?
  4. Can you detail the current team composition and who this role will directly answer to?
  5. Will there be any team members reporting directly to this new position?
  6. What critical milestones would you expect the individual to achieve within their initial 3 to 4 months?
  7. What are the essential qualifications and credentials you’re looking for in potential candidates?
  8. Are there any preferred skills or experiences that would be beneficial for this role?
  9. Why might specific industry experience be beneficial, or can it be overlooked?
  10. Which software expertise is crucial for this role?
  11. What are the absolute non-negotiables when considering candidates?
  12. Could you provide an estimate on the salary range for this role?
  13. Aside from the standard benefits, are there any unique perks or bonuses tied to this position?
  14. What does a typical work week look like for this role?
  15. Is there an ideal start date in mind for the new member?
  16. How will candidates be evaluated during the selection process? Will there be any task or project-based assessments?
  17. What future job opportunities might come from this position?
  18. How would you define your department’s contribution to the broader company mission?
  19. Are there any additional advantages or perks unique to this role, aside from the general employee package?

Real-World Scenarios:

For a “Graphic Designer” role, a vague answer for the required skills would be “Experience with design software.” That’s ambiguous. Instead, you should look for something specific like “Experience with Adobe Creative Suite, especially Illustrator and Photoshop.”

Or let’s imagine you’re in deep discussion about a “Product Manager” role. Instead of a broad “What do they do?”, zoom in with, “How does this role weave into our 5-year plan?” or “Which teams will they work closest with?” These questions can help narrow down whether the company needs someone with a software background, a physical product background, or perhaps someone with extensive user experience understanding.

4. Post-Meeting Actions 🚀:

Next steps:

You might end up with a long list of skills and requirements. It’s good to help the hiring manager differentiate between the must-haves and the nice-to-haves.

Turn those meeting insights into an irresistible job ad. But remember, two eyes are better than one. Get that hiring manager to greenlight it.

Set up regular cadences with them to create an efficient and agile recruitment process.

Real-World Scenario:

You’ve wrapped a meeting for an “HR Specialist” role. You realize that while a certification is nice, it’s actually more important for the candidate to have a hands-on track record with diversity initiatives. That’ll be your star highlight in the job ad, setting the tone for what you’re really after.

5. Crafting the Job Intake Form: 📝

The Blueprint: This isn’t another form; it’s THE form. It’s the backbone of your recruitment process, which you would refer back to at multiple points of the recruitment process.

You can bring this form with you into the intake meeting, or send it straight to your hiring manager to fill out asynchronously.

Now, let’s walk through how to create an intake form. We’ll go through 2 templates (spoiler: the second one is one that we use ourselves!).

TEMPLATE 1 (by Madeleine Nguyen) (🔗 below)

Starting with the basics: the job title, hiring manager, a quick overview of the role and who the role reports to.

(When in doubt, think back to the 5W1H – what, where, who, when, why, how)

Next could be what the target candidate looks like. In an ideal world, what kind of person would the candidate be?

You could also find and include sample profiles on LinkedIn to get clear on the exact kind of candidate you’re looking for.

Talk a little bit about the sourcing strategy you’re planning to use. What kind of companies should they have worked at? Any specific keywords to look out for? Where are you going to source them from?

Next, another big one: setting expectations. When should the hire be closed and onboarded? What is the set budget for this role? Also talk through any other processes that you already have in place.

And last but not least, next steps and action items. Get clear on this together with the hiring manager so you can jump right into it after your meeting.

TEMPLATE 2: ContactOut’s Intake Form (🔗 below)

As we mentioned above, this is one that we personally use at ContactOut!

Starting off strong once again with the basics: hiring status, seniority level, target fill date, monthly budget and timezone requirements (especially useful if you’re hiring remotely).

A useful question to ask is: “What gaps in the business are they meant to solve?”. This will help you and the hiring manager understand how the role relates to the business’ short and long term goals.

Next up, some details on their day-to-day. This is especially useful for helping you and the candidate visualize what it would like to take on the role.

Of course, you can’t miss core responsibilities. This translates nicely to a “What You’ll Do” section in a job description.

You could also clarify what “good” looks like in a 3 month, 6 month, 9 month timeframe. This helps you with measuring quality of hire down the line, and also allows the candidate to have a good picture of what will be expected of them going into the role.

To top it off, gather insights on what knowledge, skills and attributes the candidate should have. This is where the list can get long – so be sure to clarify which ones are absolutely crucial (must-haves) and which aren’t (nice-to-haves).

And once again, additional notes and next steps to wrap things up.

Intake form in action 🥷

We’ve gone ahead and reverse-engineered this job ad to give you an example of what a filled in intake form would look like.

Once the masterpiece (aka the form) is ready 🔍:

It’s review time! Loop in your hiring manager for a fresh perspective. Revise, refine, and then? It’s time to begin your recruitment process (whew!).

Key Takeaways 🌟:

  • Alignment is your best friend; getting everyone on the same page will make your life 10x easier.
  • Research? It’s your secret weapon. Use it generously.
  • A form is only as good as its clarity. Make every question count.

Further resources 📚:

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