Turning Your Intake Meeting Into a Winning Service Level Agreement – Sample Included

The past few articles I have written have focused on relationships, trust, empowering, etc. I think we spend a lot of time sharing techniques, process, etc.; as these topics are essential to building professional relationships. Having a solid S.L.A (Service Level Agreement) will hold each party accountable and responsible for their part in the success of the candidate experience, and result in a hire for the team. After all, it’s the team who is hiring, and your part is an important one in helping them achieve that hire.

Doing an intake is an excellent opportunity to sit down with the recruiter and hiring manager to discuss what an ideal partnership looks like, to ensure what the candidate profile will look like, and map out responsibilities and accountabilities for everyone before launching a search.

Once the meeting is over, take your intake form and write a summary of what was discussed and email it to everyone who was at the meeting. This will give everyone an opportunity to clarify, add or correct any information and it will be in writing so that this could be revisited if there are any changes, which of course we all know is likely. It also serves as a written commitment that all agree upon. With a collaborative and solid plan set in place, you will be able to accomplish the hiring goals with a shared team effort.

The sourcer or recruiter may be the quarterback, but the hiring manager is the receiver who catches the winning touchdown!

So let’s cover the intake form, then turn it into an S.L.A.

Basic understanding of the skills of the candidate is required for the role and their impact that will have on the entire team. Taking information beyond the typical key search terms and understanding the role and responsibilities of your hiring manager when you have an excellent slate of talent. You will want to take this opportunity to start building the trust between you two by establishing how the process works, what will be needed to be successful, and how the hiring team (not just manager) will be participating, as well as addressing possible roadblocks that could cause delay. Having this discussion during the intake is important because let’s face it, life happens, but there should always be a plan B, right?

This is a time to set expectations and an opportunity to pick your hiring manager’s brain about the role and team. It’s important that is a discussion, not an opportunity for the hiring manager to dictate the basics because they are “busy” or “they have done this before.” Unfortunately, this happens in many cases, and most sourcers and recruiters have experienced this kind of intake meetings, which is unacceptable. We can, however, start changing this by and leading organized and efficient intake meetings. Go a step further and bring some sample profiles to show that you have some skin in the game. When we come in with poise, positive energy, knowledge about the team/hiring manager, we show that we want to be at the table, own it and build the ideal relationship with the hiring team.

Don’t be afraid to set expectations for everyone participating in the process. You’ll build your confidence while gaining trust. While each hiring manager will be slightly different, you should be consistent in sharing your skills, passion, honesty, and humility. You don’t have to be someone you aren’t- remember, they hired you for a reason and had invested their confidence in you to get the job done.

A more relaxing setting may help, ask the hiring manager out for coffee or meet outside. Start the relationship on a more human level, which can lead a long lasting professional relationship. Just like any colleague, the team you are partnering with knows how hard finding quality candidates is, which is why it takes work on all sides.

Once you have enough information from your conversations with the hiring manager and teams, hiring managers; take the information and summarize it in an email to send to everyone on the hiring team. This should include your intake details, outlining process including next steps, roadblocks, how you will handle the barriers, who will be managing what, how often communications will take place if there are any “office hours,” updating, timeline, etc. This summary should state S.L.A. and that it will be commitment form for all to be held accountable for the success of the search.

I’ve included a sample Intake form below. Happy sourcing!

<Sample Intake>????

Date:

Recruiter:

Hiring Manager:

Job Title:

Job level:

Sourcing Partner:

Current Status Of Role:

  • How many candidates are currently in play? (phone screens/onsite interviews)
  • How long has the role been open?
  • What external sourcing outside of ATS has been done?

Keywords & Phrases: (example: data algorithms, data structures)

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Similar Job Titles:

Years of experience (open to other levels?):

Diversity Efforts: (current talent landscape of the team. Has the recruiter had that discussion w/ the team / HM?)

Competitors to Target:

Sample Resumes/Profiles: (provided by the recruiter by agreed date)

Education Requirements:

Relocation: (yes/no)

Locations to target: (depending on tech stack in the area from competitors (target Austin or east coast)

Functional skill set to avoid: (example: no ruby developers or background in B2B business)

Misc: (anything else you’d like to add)

Next Steps: (option on how to summarize your intake)

S.L.A  Summary, sourcer will send a summary of the sourcing strategy, who is accountable for the strategy, expectations, and handoffs.

Kay Kelison is a respected social media strategist and a principal sourcer who has been in the recruiting industry over fourteen years. She currently works as a Principal Researcher / Trainer for Zillow Group where she partners with both business and recruiting functions to build candidate pipelines, develop targeted sourcing plans, build and manage successful sourcing initiatives, and manage customer/partner expectations. Additionally, she is involved in the developing and managing diversity recruiting efforts through social networking platforms on websites including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Kay is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her.

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