Table of contents
  1. When are Meet-and-Greets Useful?
  2. Meet-and-Greet Benefits
  3. How To Prepare for a Meet-And-Greet with a Job Candidate
  4. Meet-And-Greet Best Practices 
  5. Ways HR Can Encourage Meet-And-Greets

A meet-and-greet is an informal meeting that allows job candidates or employees to network with other industry professionals in a casual setting. They can be used for different purposes in professional settings, including the hiring and onboarding processes. 

When are Meet-and-Greets Useful?

Meet-and-greets during the hiring process allow candidates to meet their potential colleagues and engage in more natural conversation than a formal interview provides. 

Once someone is hired, meet-and-greets should be included in the onboarding process to give new employees face time with colleagues and partners from the outset. This type of informal communication helps new employees feel comfortable in their new roles.

Beyond onboarding, some companies encourage employees at all levels to accept meet-and-greet requests from other employees to build relationships. For instance, the Head of Marketing might take a meet-and-greet with a public relations employee who wants to learn more about the company’s overall marketing strategy.

Meet-and-Greet Benefits

There are many different types of meet-and-greets, and they can be beneficial for job candidates, employees, and managers.

For job candidates

  • Clearer picture of role: Candidates get a better understanding of the role they are considering.
  • Informal setting: Encourages candidates to be more genuine rather than crafting rehearsed answers.
  • Comfort level: Allows potential colleagues to become comfortable with the candidate before they start.

For new employees

  • Putting faces to names: During onboarding, new employees can put faces to the names of people they’ll work with.
  • Relationship-building: The informal setting helps kickstart relationships in a more natural way and builds a positive team culture.
  • Employee satisfaction: Colleagues getting to know each other is an important part of employee engagement. When employees enjoy going to work, they’re more likely to stay in their jobs for longer.
  • Shared interests: There’s no pressure for conversation to stick to work topics, allowing for bonding over shared interests.

For managers:

  • Team-building: Employees get to know each other in a more natural setting, helping to create a more cohesive team.
  • Approachability: Helps managers build a reputation for being accessible and approachable.
  • Fresh perspective: Managers can gain new perspectives by speaking with their employees.

💡 Pro Tip:

Take advantage of a communication app, like Connecteam, to help your new employees integrate into your team. With in-app chat and a company newsfeed, all your employees can get to know each other and stay in touch no matter where they are.

How To Prepare for a Meet-And-Greet with a Job Candidate

A meet-and-greet should not replace the interview process but can be prepared as an effective supplement. Keep these tips in mind to prepare a meet-and-greet with real value.

Consider the timing

Meet-and-greets with job candidates often involve coordinating multiple schedules. For this reason, consider limiting a meet-and-greet to job candidates who have already completed formal interviews and appear to be a likely hire. 

Because it can be difficult to create an informal environment when first meeting a job candidate, save the meet-and-greet for later in the hiring process. It will help the candidates be more relaxed and comfortable.

Select participants

Meet-and-greets are the most beneficial when they introduce employees to the candidates they’re likely to directly work with directly. That way, candidates can get to know their potential new colleagues, and vice versa. 

Set expectations

To make job candidates comfortable, ensure they know what the meet-and-greet will involve and who they will be meeting in advance. It can also be helpful to provide participating employees with a copy of a candidate’s resume so they can learn a bit about them ahead of time.  

Put your best foot forward

You’ll want to impress potential candidates, so make sure that you put in some effort to show off the things you’re proud of at your company. This might include a walking tour to introduce them to break rooms or other amenities. It can also include lunch or a coffee.  

Don’t leave candidates guessing about where to go if this is their first in-person visit to your central office or job site. Make sure they have clear instructions as to where to arrive, where they can park, and how to access the building and find you on arrival. 

Follow up

Even if the job candidate is not having their meet-and-greet with the hiring manager, make sure that they leave knowing what the next steps will be in the process. This can be as simple as reminding one of the participants to share this information or having the recruiter make a quick follow-up call after the meet-and-greet.

Meet-And-Greet Best Practices 

Here are some best practices and expectations for meet-and-greets:

Keep it informal

Meet-and-greets should typically be informal events. There’s no need to provide too much structure or set high expectations. The idea is for employees and/or job candidates to mingle and get to know each other in a comfortable and relaxed setting.

Set reasonable time constraints

A meet-and-greet between current employees should not generally be a long event. It is perfectly acceptable to have a short meeting between current employees that only lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Regardless of how long the meet-and-greet is planned to last, it is important to be fully present during the meeting. Similarly, don’t attempt to drag out a meet-and-greet beyond the agreed amount of time. Topics requiring further discussion should be saved for a later occasion. 

Follow up

After a meet-and-greet, it’s a good idea to follow up and thank the person you met with if you requested the meet-and-greet. If anything comes up during the meet-and-greet that requires you to take action, make sure you follow up.

Ways HR Can Encourage Meet-And-Greets

Meet-and-greets provide an important opportunity to have genuine conversations in situations that might otherwise become formal and stilted. This is particularly true in the hiring process, but can also be valuable for new and current employees.

HR can help encourage meet-and-greets by suggesting them as part of the standard hiring and onboarding processes. HR can also publish employee communications encouraging meet-and-greet requests and make themselves available when requests come their way.