Setting the Stage for Recruiting SuccessComments Off


Business StrategyWhether you call it a strategy session or an intake meeting – the initial conversation you have with your hiring manager is the most critical step in the recruitment process. In my experience, anytime there has been an issue with a search, it could be traced back to the strategy session. The success, or failure, of your search depends on how it begins.

This is the opportunity for us to not only gather key details for the position and build out a recruitment strategy, but we get to set the stage for the entire recruiting experience! Most managers do not hire that frequently, and given recruiting is what we do everyday, hiring managers rely on us (recruiters) to guide the process. So how do we do that? Here are some recommendations to get you started:


  • Familiarize yourself with the hiring manager – how long have they been with the company, when was the last time they hired someone for his/her team, how long have they been in their current role?
  • Review the position description. May sound like a no-brainer, but it is worth a reminder. Just because job titles are the same, does not mean the scope and responsibilities are.
  • Identify the questions you need answered to ensure a successful search.
  • Prepare your hiring manager for the discussion. Let them know the intent of the conversation and what questions you have.
  • Review your plans from previous successful searches, including candidate profiles.



  • Identify not only the needs of the specific role, but look beyond that – what are the needs of the team, of the company? You can easily fill the chair, but the goal should be to fill multiple seats. Think bigger picture! Look for candidates that cannot only fit the role, but will fit the company so when the candidate is ready, they can easily move into other roles within the organization.
  • Determine what sources and methods will be used to find and attract candidates – associations, colleges, groups, social media tools, networking, etc.
  • Discuss company values, norms, behaviors. Are these represented in the job description? Determine how you will know if candidates possess characteristics that will ensure their success within the role, team and company.
  • Outline roles and responsibilities. The hiring manager has a role in the process, what is it, what support do you need from him/her? Who will do what and when? When and how will the search be conducted? What is the method for candidate submittals and feedback?Who will interview, when, what format?
  • Review your talent acquisition process from end to end, let the manager know what they can expect at each stage in the process and what you need from them. Agree on these expectations.


  • Provide your hiring manager with a summary of what was agreed to during the strategy session.
  • Schedule a recurring recruitment discussions to evaluate the progress of the search.
  • Recruit, recruit, recruit!

As with any process, planning is essential. Talent acquisition is no different. A solid recruiting strategy session is key to a successful search!