Our philosophy is to network and build relationships, so it is always good to meet with potential candidates. It is important to hold an initial meeting and indicate that you look forward to getting to know their background and what they envision as their ideal next step. If their goal isn't available due to a hiring freeze or some other reason, you should let the candidate know that you will reach out to them once a position that meets his or her expectations becomes available.
During your initial meeting with the candidate, you should let them know about your company, culture, offerings, and benefits. This will create a comfort-able atmosphere and help keep the lines of communication open for future opportunities and/or referrals.
Remember: The key to meeting with potential candidates lies in the successful networking and the relationship-building that you do, whether it occurs in person, by e-mail, on a professional or social networking site, or through an in-house referral program.
Lisa Hutchins is the HR coordinator at Ruder Finn.
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