Its not unusual – getting meetings and getting interviews to happen on time, and also for people to be IN the meeting. Our schedules change everyday, and its easy to reschedule this or that. Of course when the this or that is the scheduled intake session, interview, debrief or whatever – it hurts recruiting. Its even worse when meetings happen but meeting members are not prepared.
So how do you avoid this problem? Some say technology. Technology is a wonderful thing, and can save time. But once its on the calendar, its easy to delete (not to many people using paper based schedules anymore). I miss the days when using a paper calendar was in vogue. You would use ink, and once its in the calendar – its in the calendar.
Changing commitments is a behavior that is either positively or negatively reinforced. But recruiters don’t always have the influence to change behavior – but they can anticipate for sure. Remember – calendaring is not just about getting the meeting – its really about getting work done. Its about being productive. When you meet, you should have prepped, and so should they. Having a manager arrive at a pre-scheduled meeting and tell you they have not done their assignment, prepared, reviewed the job, or they have to be educated on the fly is YOUR fault, as much as its theirs.
Try these tips to help get meetings to be kept and more productive:
- Know who really manages the calendar. Some executives really allow their administrators to dictate their calendars, others do it part of the time. If its part of the time – that spells trouble.
- Ask for Work, Not a Meeting. Ask for committed planning time, execution, and post time – not “when are you available?” Ask “when can you work on this?” You are never asking for just a few minutes or to be squeezed in – you are asking for their committed work. That actually means asking for 1) time they have to work on their own and 2) time to then review that work with you
- Target Highly Productive Times. Try understanding the work habits of your managers. There are likely times that are not good for meetings because they won’t be as engaged. Are you really going to schedule an intake call right before or after the one on one they have with their manager? Find out what they have those days, and respect their calendar such it makes them productive for you and themselves. It will make for a much more engaging meeting.