10 steps to a successful role kick off meeting

Tips for making a role briefing as successful as possible, ultimately landing you the best talent in the shortest space of time


A better role briefing ensures a better result

Written by Daniel Ballinger, Client Solutions Consultant

When working as a recruiter I found I was most successful when both the Hiring Manager and I invested time in the role briefing. I wanted to share my top 10 tips for making a role briefing as successful as possible, ultimately landing you the best talent in the shortest space of time.

1.Be clear on the top 3 skills: Job Descriptions are normally packed with so many skills, asking for the 3 most important at the start can save time in searches, for example.

  • What skills can be taught in the role and what are must haves?
  • Is there a skill gap in the team that would be beneficial?
  • How many years’ experiences do they require in that skill?

Recent research shows that searching by skills alone increases the size of the talent pool by 11x!

2. Salary: Understanding where the candidate will sit in the team and the salary range is important for both candidates and the Hiring manager. Questions you can ask.

  • What is the Budget for this Role? / Is there a salary range?
  • Have you done an eternal benchmarking exercise against your team
  • Bonus’s/Shares and other benefits?

You should always come to this meeting prepared with salary insight, this will allow you to educate and provide value as a partner.

3. Expected start date: The most common answer will be ASAP but it’s always good to dig deeper to understand the real timeline.

  • Is this a new role or a replacement?
  • Are there any weeks/months that are not good for new starters?
  • Is this a business-critical role?

Do you know the common notice periods for this type of role – preparing this information will again allow you to add value to the conversation.

4. Hiring Manager team set up: With most companies adopting flexible working, understanding your HM’s working patterns is important:

  • Is your team in the office at all? If so, what are the preferred days?
  • How does your team collaborate? Tech/Tools
  • How do you run meetings and how often?

How teams collaborate throughout the business and the tech they use will be different from team to team so understanding this will help in qualification calls.

5. Organisational Chart: Understand where the new hire will sit within the company and team.

  • What does the reporting line look like?
  • Will they have direct reports?
  • Level will they sit across the wider business?

The same role/responsibility at your company could be different to the candidates last and if not fully explained could have a negative impact on retention.

6. Qualifications/Industry: Certain roles will require industry knowledge or qualifications.

  • Do they require any qualifications for the role?
  • Since qualified, how many years’ experience do you require?
  • Is there a particular industry or sector they need experience in?

The difference between nice to have’s and must haves with qualifications and industry experience will change from role to role.

7. Day to Day: What does a common day look like.

  • Can you give me a break down of their day-to-day responsibilities?
  • Is this an internal or external role?
  • Will there be SLA’s?

Understanding what is expected of the role will help with background fit, client facing roles will have a completely different candidate pool to internal facing roles.

8. Interview Process: Creating a slick interview process and knowing who else will need to be involved from the team at the start will help speed up the process.

  • How many interview stages? Keep this as short and efficient as possible without effecting the outcome.
  • In person or remote? First stage should always be remote, this will have a better turn out rate. Later stages might need to be in person due to the role but keeping as many stages as possible remote will open the candidate pool more.
  • Will the candidates be required to take a test or prepare a presentation at any stage?

First impressions count and creating a well organised recruitment process will help attract and retain the best candidates.

9. Hiring Managers feedback: Be proactive with your expectations on feedback.

  • While on the kick off meeting, agree at least a weekly feedback timeslot.
  • Do not be afraid to pull up the HM’s calendar and pre book interview slots and feedback meetings.
  • Make sure you explain the scoring or scorecard system if you are working with a new HM.

The first 4 weeks are crucial to a new role and hiring manager feedback can be one of the biggest blockers/causes of delay.

10. Market Research: As the recruiter you will need to understand the current market.

  • External Benchmark. Is the salary comparable to the market?
  • Role Titles: Make sure its searchable for candidates and makes sense for the salary/experience.
  • If you’re not an expert in a particular skill, ask for a quick overview.

In summary:

Getting the most out of a role kick off meeting and being proactive before the meeting will help it run smoothly and set the recruitment process up for success. If you’re using an external agency, make sure you also brief them or invite them to the role kick off.