The most important part of the recruiting process is the recruiter’s initial meeting with the hiring manager. With the right approach you can save an incredible amount of time and energy, and hire better candidates. In addition, you raise your standing with hiring managers to that of a true business partner.
In any profession, whether it is in business or sports, one must study the best to learn what they do that sets them apart. In sports, athletes like Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi, and Lance Armstrong are legendary for their relentless drive for perfection and extraordinary work ethic in training. In recruiting, we can study executive recruiters who are given key assignments by business leaders and regularly command large commissions.
I recently spoke with Robert Fong, a managing Partner for the Global Advanced Technology Practice at Nosal Partners, an executive search firm in San Francisco. We discussed the importance of the first meeting with the hiring manager.
Two key factors that set them apart are the time reserved, and the order in which they approach gathering information:
- An hour to an hour and a half is typically reserved for the meeting.
- The recruiter spends the first part of the meeting learning about the business and what priorities the position will address.
- The position description and how it relates to the business priorities is then addressed.
- Only after learning the above, does the recruiter gather information about the candidate qualifications.
This is the diametric opposite of the approach taken by most in-house and agency recruiters. They:
- Spend 10-30 minutes at most in the intake meeting.
- Focus almost solely on the candidate qualifications.
- Spend little time on the position description.
- Spend no time on learning or understanding the business.
Let’s break this down step by step: keep reading…