The first meeting with the hiring manager is fundamental. Asking the right questions will give you the information needed to create a matrix for sourcing. In preparation for the face-to-face with the hiring manager, read the job description thoroughly. Make connections about how the requirements play a role into the primary responsibilities.
For example, you have been given the assignment to fill a Project Manager role. A general project manager requires attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to hold others accountable without being hostile. A strong understanding of the foundation of a project manager will allow you to ask “branch questions.” Meaning, there is the foundation/trunk that grounds all general job descriptions; learning how this Project Manager job differs from another Project Manager job is by asking branch questions.
During your informational interview with a hiring manager, you would begin describing general foundation skills of a Project Manager role: For example, I understand that this person will be putting together material for employees to meet milestones and ensure success through strong interpersonal skills; however, it is unclear to me which departments this employee will be engaging with in this role. The hiring manager may respond like this: We are seeking a Project Manager that has experience coding for front-end; has the ability to speak technical terms with the engineering team, design, product management, and high level executives.
Utilize open-ended questions to keep the conversation fluid, such as: “If you were to hire someone today for this role, what would success look like 3 months from now?” Once you have gathered as much information as possible in 15-30 minutes, it is highly recommended to implement a reflection process immediately after speaking with the hiring manager.
Post It Exercise: Take out Post-It notes and write 1-3 words on each note. The words will be derived notes taken with hiring manager; categorize these Post-Its. For example, you have “2-3 years experience,” “retail experience,” “digital background,” “graduated with a degree in Computer Science” on 4 separate Post-It notes. To simplify the details, create two categories including: “2-3 years experience in digital retail” & “Computer Science or related degree” This will be two of your “must haves” as you create a matrix for sourcing.
In sum, it is important to ask the right questions and have a lot of details to categorize, simplify, and include in your matrix. Streamlining information will give you control and comprehension of what the hiring manager is looking for on a clear and concise level.