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How To Run Intake Meetings: Top Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager

January 10, 2024
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January 10, 2024
Arianna Rulli
How To Run Intake Meetings: Top Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager
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Don’t know how to behave during an intake meeting?

Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. We’ll explain all the necessary details you need to know.

What Are Intake Meetings?

Intake meetings play a pivotal role in the recruitment process, serving as a strategic discussion platform between Human Resources and the Hiring Manager. These meetings are focused on defining and understanding the primary objectives of the recruitment effort. They are instrumental in ensuring a successful hire by intelligently determining the type of candidate they are looking for.

Additionally, these meetings help in streamlining the recruitment process by reducing the number of unnecessary job postings.

While there is no mandated timing for conducting an intake meeting, they are particularly beneficial when there is a vacant position in the company, as they provide a structured approach to filling the role efficiently and effectively.

The duration of an intake meeting can vary, but typically it lasts between 30 minutes to an hour.

The frequency of intake meetings can vary depending on the organization's size, the industry, and the rate at which new positions open up. Typically, an intake meeting is held whenever there is a new job opening or when a position becomes vacant and needs to be filled.

Before an Intake Meeting

Effective preparation for an intake meeting is essential for recruiters. It's important to start with fundamental questions regarding the role, including its necessity, title, uniqueness, significance, and the number of available positions.

We can describe the process in 3 points:

  • First, it's essential to develop a deep understanding of the role's requirements, particularly the essential skills and responsibilities. Assessing the current team's strengths and weaknesses is crucial to identifying any gaps in skills or specific needs, aiding in crafting an accurate job description.
  • Analyzing previous recruitment processes for similar positions can reveal what strategies worked well and what didn't, offering valuable lessons for improvement. Reviewing existing exit interview data or climate survey results can provide further insights.
  • Lastly, compiling demographic data about your team or unit and information on applicants for similar positions in the past three years is an important step to tailor your recruitment approach effectively.

It's also beneficial to familiarize oneself with the intake meeting structure to grasp the important considerations and formulate relevant questions for the discussion.

Recruiters should aim for clarity on the role's contribution, set specific goals for the recruitment process, prepare targeted questions for candidates, and review past job descriptions for insights.

This groundwork, often involving one or several discussions with the hiring manager, lays the foundation for the subsequent stage of the recruitment process.

All these steps can be completed in one or more meetings with the hiring manager. Once all the previous steps have been taken, the recruiter can proceed to the next phase concerning the step before the hiring stage.

During an Intake Meeting

During the process, it's important to understand what the goals, expectations, and needs of the hiring manager are. To achieve the objective, we suggest you create a question structure to follow during an intake meeting so that every point will be covered.

Questions can be split as follows:

Opening questions:

  • Why do you need to hire for this role?
  • What’s the structure of your current team and who will your new hire report to?
  • Will the new hire have direct reports?
  • How would you describe your ideal candidate?
  • How many openings are there for the role?

Duties and expected results questions:

  • What are the main responsibilities that your new hire will have?
  • Who are the main people within the company who will collaborate with the new employee?
  • What specific business goals will the new employee be responsible for achieving?
  • What are the main expectations the new hire has to accomplish in their first 2 months?

Abilities and qualifications questions:

  • What qualifications are must-haves for candidates? (e.g. X technical skills, experience with Y projects, Z certification or license)
  • What would be some nice-to-have skills for candidates and why? (e.g. experience in retail, familiarity with X programming language)
  • Is it necessary for candidates to have industry experience for this role? Why or why not?

Budget questions:

  • What is the salary range for this position?
  • Are equity, commission, bonuses, or other forms of compensation offered?
  • What are the benefits associated with the position?

Time and schedule questions:

  • When do you ideally want your new hire to start?
  • How do you plan to assess candidates for the required skills and competencies?
  • When can you and your team start screening candidates?

After an Intake Meeting

After the interview process, to choose the right candidate, it's important to evaluate every single piece of information that can be crucial in the hiring process. Do not underestimate this step because it'll be crucial for a successful intake meeting.

Recruiters and hiring managers have to collaborate to make the process as transparent as possible. They have to be constantly updated about the entire process as the number of interviews held, the number of candidates qualified, and how many candidates were rejected.

Also, recruiters and hiring managers should follow these 4 steps to not miss any important information and aspects.

The 4 main steps are:

1. Summarizing the Meeting: Compile a concise summary of the meeting's key points, including specific hiring requirements and goals discussed. The summary should be sent by email to maintain communication with the hiring manager.

Don't have time to learn how to write great summaries by hand? Consider trying Wudpecker, whose AI tool will automate this task for you.

2. Developing a Recruitment Plan: Use the insights gained to create a tailored recruitment strategy, addressing the unique needs and preferences of the hiring manager. This involves several key steps:

  • Identifying Specific Role Requirements
  • Understanding Team Dynamics
  • Setting Clear Objectives
  • Choosing the Right Recruitment Channels

3. Communicating with the Hiring Manager: Keep regular communication with the hiring manager about the progress and any challenges in the recruiting process. Update them at key points throughout the process: when qualified candidates apply, during applicant screening, when arranging interviews, and to relay any new information regarding the hiring process.

4. Stay aware of the timeline: Constantly remember the desired time frame for hiring. Prolonged processes could signal issues with your approach, expectations, or initial projections.

General guidelines for recruiters and hiring managers

Managing everything concerning the preparation for intake meetings as the recruiting process and sample questions can be difficult and confusing at the same time.

So, the following steps will provide a better guideline for successful intake meetings with hiring managers:

  • Analyze the job description and the requirements of the role: Be sure about the job requirements for the role. Also, it can be helpful to collect feedback and suggestions from the hiring manager.
  • Prepare samples of job descriptions and candidate outreach messages. Once recruiters have written compelling drafts, hiring managers can provide feedback and additional selling points on the role, team, and company.
  • Know the market and salary data: Being informed about typical salary ranges and the size of the available talent pool will enable a discussion that is grounded in objective and data-driven insights.
  • Know the hiring data: This point permits recruiters to understand how many outreach messages it takes to generate an interested candidate, how many interested candidates it takes to generate an offer, how many offers are needed to make a hire, and other similar information will be able to advise hiring managers on timelines and resource use.


Intake meetings are pivotal for aligning the hiring manager's expectations with the recruitment process.

These meetings allow talent acquisition professionals to thoroughly understand the job title and the typical skills required. They facilitate a deeper evaluation of candidates' answers, ensuring that only the most qualified candidates are selected.

This alignment and understanding are vital in building a strong foundation for successful talent acquisition and meeting organizational hiring goals.

Intake meetings are instrumental in defining the job role, understanding the ideal candidate profile, and setting the foundation for a successful recruitment strategy. Effective intake meetings lead to more targeted and efficient hiring, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the organization.


What questions should I ask in an intake meeting?

Questions play a crucial role during an intake meeting, but we are talking about a lot of questions that cover a variety of topics. We can break them up depending on the salary range, career path, past hires, job requirements, etc...

Some example questions to ask during the meeting:

  • What are the essential skills and qualifications required for the role?
  • Can you describe the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What are the key responsibilities and expectations for this role?
  • How does this role fit into the overall team and company structure?
  • Are there any specific challenges associated with this role?
  • What is the desired timeline for filling this position?
  • What has been the history or background of this role in the company?
  • How will the success of the new hire be measured?
  • What is the budget for this position, including salary and recruitment costs?
  • Are there any specific diversity or compliance considerations to keep in mind?

What is an intake conversation?

An intake conversation is a preliminary meeting or discussion, usually between a hiring manager and a recruiter or HR professional. The purpose of this conversation is to gather all necessary information about a job opening, including the requirements, expectations, and the specific attributes sought in potential candidates.

It helps in crafting a focused recruitment strategy and ensures that the recruitment process aligns with the organization’s goals and the specific needs of the department or team.

How long do intake meetings last?

There is no mandated timing for conducting an intake meeting, they are particularly beneficial when there is a vacant position in the company, as they provide a structured approach to filling the role efficiently and effectively.

But, in general, the duration of intake meetings can vary, but they typically last between 30 minutes to an hour. The length depends on various factors, including the complexity of the role, the clarity of the requirements, and the level of detail needed for the recruitment plan. In some cases, if the role is highly specialized or if there are many stakeholders involved, the meeting might take longer.

Why is an intake call important?

An intake call is crucial because it ensures that both the recruiter and the hiring manager are on the same page regarding the recruitment process. It helps in clearly understanding the role, the ideal candidate profile, and the expectations of the hiring manager.

This clarity is vital for targeting the right candidates and for efficient use of resources. An intake call also helps in building a rapport between the recruiter and the hiring manager, fostering better communication and collaboration throughout the hiring process.

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