The Most Valuable Hour for Your Business (That You’re Probably Overlooking)

There’s a single hour that you can choose to spend in a way that’s incredibly powerful for your business… yet many organizations neglect it.

The hour that I’m talking about is the time that you spend to plan the recruiting process for a new job opening. And it’s not just me—a recent study by Bersin by Deloitte found that this meeting is the single best predictor of talent acquisition performance.

Think about it: When you set your sights on making a new hire, you’re about to sign up 10+ people on your team to spend a combined 40+ hours in order to achieve that goal. In addition to all of the time it will take up, you’re going to spend money on job ads, staffing agencies, travel, etc.… And with any luck, if you make the hire, this person is going to come in and work with you for years. The difference between someone who’s great or mediocre in most any role is astronomical—we’re talking about millions of dollars here. And, it all comes from a process that most companies jump into without first making a plan.


Ready to jump in and organize your kick-off meeting with a hiring manager? Download the Structured Hiring 101 eBook for actionable tips and tricks to guide the process.



How to organize—and make the case for—your “power hour” of planning:

To start your planning session, ask the following questions: What’s this person going to do? Which skills, experience, and traits are required for success? Where are you likely to find this person? How will you interview them? Which questions will you ask? How will you convince them to quit their current job and take this one?

Even though these questions are necessary, we routinely hear from recruiters that their hiring managers “don’t have time” to answer them. But what often ends up happening—especially in the cases where the hiring manager hasn’t put in any initial time towards answering these questions—is that they make a hire that ultimately turns out to be a mistake. The hiring manager learns that what they needed in this role was fundamentally different from what they thought they needed. Usually in this case, some of the things they thought they needed in the role turned out to be irrelevant.

The hour you spend at the beginning of the process really does impact everything—who you’re looking for, how you assess them, and how you define their success in the role. So when a hiring manager says they don’t have one hour to do that, but they are ready to spend 40 hours of their coworkers’ time to make the hire anyway, there’s an obvious disconnect. And, not to mention, it’s disrespectful to send everyone to interviews, spend time with candidates, and do all the other work involved in the recruiting process without taking the time to approach this work strategically.

If you haven’t already, I suggest taking a look at our Structured Interview Workbook. In this resource, we present a framework to help you guide the initial conversation with hiring managers.

But even if you put these efforts in, some hiring managers will still be resistant. This is your chance to remind them that they can either do that hard thinking work at the beginning and have it inform the whole process… or do the process without thinking it through and figure it out later. If they do it now, they’ll have a much better shot at success.

What happens when you don’t plan—and how to fix it

I’ve heard from numerous customers that when they’ve neglected the initial planning and thinking stages, they get to the end of the hiring process and find that they’re not debating the merits of the candidates but rather the very purpose of the job itself. They’ve wasted the time of the recruiters, interviewers, and candidates, and certainly didn’t save themselves any time in the long run.

You may be wondering about the scenario where you spend the initial hour to do the planning but then realize you were wrong about something. It’s okay—that’ll happen sometimes, especially with new roles. In the case where you’ve already met with a few candidates but realize that you need to tweak something, it’s worth taking another hour to redo your kick-off meeting. Revisit your business goals, the traits and characteristics you’re hiring for, or whatever was causing the misalignment. It’s okay to take a step back and say, “Actually, we’re looking for something different from what we initially thought.” And it’s much better to do this in the middle of the process than at the end!

So next time you find yourself up against a hiring manager who says they can’t do the kick-off meeting because they don’t have the time, send them to this post. This is my message to all those reluctant hiring managers out there: If you’re serious about making a hire, then making the time for the kick-off is non-negotiable. It’s as simple as that.


Use the Structured Hiring 101 eBook to support and guide your conversations with your hiring manager. Download your copy be clicking the button below.

Structured Hiring 101 eBook

Jon Stross

Jon Stross is President and Co-Founder of Greenhouse. At Greenhouse, Jon drives the product strategy and works closely with customers and partners to build a platform that improves recruiting performance. Before founding Greenhouse, Jon served as the GM for BabyCenter.com and was responsible for the global rollout of the business.

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