Embrace Recruiting Kickoff Meetings!
Share What Your Know and Ask Questions Regarding What You Don’t Know!
Unfortunately there are recruiters who overlook or minimize the importance of the recruiting kickoff meeting. However there is much to be learned and shared during an effective recruiting kickoff meeting that is very relevant to the overall recruiting process. In my opinion, effective recruiting kickoff meetings set the stage, act as the first formal meeting between the client and the recruiting team(s). These meetings need to be embraced, a time to ask questions that cannot not generally be answered from just a job specification. It is a time to also build rapport between all parties, strengthen the relationship and quite frankly can be the start of a successful search. Believe it or not, some poor recruiting efforts and results can be tied directly to a poor recruiting kickoff meeting and unfortunately in some cases one in which may never fully recover. Therefore the act of engagement in these recruiting kickoff meetings is a must.
The recruiting kickoff meeting can serve multiple administrative purposes. It can be the formal introduction of the hiring manager, the hiring team, the recruiting team(s), and others who will be instrumental in the overall success of the recruiting process. Important goals of the recruiting kickoff meetings include a detailed discussion regarding the role, the requirements and of course the qualities of an ideal candidate. These recruiting kickoff meetings also establish communication protocols, the client specific recruiting process, and of course the interview process.
A few suggestions for the effective recruiting kickoff meetings;
Set an agenda - the agenda should be kept simple and exclude any extraneous items. Sufficient time should be allowed to cover all agenda items. Each item should add value to the discussion. Most importantly be prepared. A standard meeting agenda template can be developed and sent to all parties prior to the meeting. The template often times ensures consistency. Agenda may include topics such as;
▪ The introduction of all attendees.
▪ Review of the job specification in detail.
▪ Recruiting process and of course intended timing to bring the candidate on board.
▪ Expected communications of each party, role of each party, expected reports, and follow-up activities.
Conducting The Meeting:
Conducting the meeting- to show respect for all parties the meeting should start promptly. To facilitate this, it is recommended to send copies of meeting materials in advance. This may include job specifications, the attendees and their biographies.
▪ Introductions of each attendee with explanations of their roles during the engagement.
▪ The client may then take control and process with each item on the agenda. This is the time when a detailed discussion should take place regarding the role, the process and expectations. May I suggest recruiters may want to avoid asking obvious or rudimentary questions about the process. In my opinion it could lead the client to think the recruiter is not prepared or has not taken the time to review existing process in advance.
Time to build the relationship or make it stronger if one exists. An effective recruiting kickoff meeting presents a unique opportunity to establish a tone of mutual partnership. This should include the recruiting team’s objectives and how they add value to the client. Be mindful that some clients may have had bad experiences with past recruiters and organizations making it even more important for the recruiter (s) to define their own responsibilities for the engagement. It is okay for the recruiters to “sell” but not oversell, the recruiting function to the client as a value-added service. Do so by explaining objectives that are aligned with the strategic mission of the organization. This can create mutual respect of each other’s jobs, may assist with resolving future/potential conflicts and enhance the probability of a smooth process, the delivery of a strong potential candidate pipeline and the successful hire.
Effective recruiting kickoff meetings, in my opinion are a must. Would you agree?