The Art of Pitching Candidates: Recruiters’ Guide
Recruitment is more than just finding the right talent. It’s about communicating and connecting the dots between candidates and clients seamlessly. Your pitch can either make or break the deal. In this post, I share my thoughts on how recruiters can ace this crucial responsibility.
1. Do Your Homework:
It all starts with thorough research. Gather relevant market data, competitor insights, and estimates of the active and accessible talent pool before you meet with your client. When you go in equipped with this knowledge, it builds credibility with clients and lets you respond to their queries and concerns with confidence.
Utilize industry-specific reports and publications to understand hiring trends, salary benchmarks, and skill demand. Recruiters can also leverage job market platforms, such as LinkedIn, Naukri, Indeed and Glassdoor. These platforms help you gather candidate insights, study market data, spot trends, and predict future talent needs.
Research skills also come in handy during the screening process when you need to gather relevant information, verify candidate claims and identify potential issues, ensuring better placements.
2. Understand Client Needs:
Understanding client expectations is essential to create a convincing recruitment pitch. Sometimes, job descriptions list everything but the kitchen sink. So, you need to get to the heart of what your client truly needs.
Ask questions that help the hiring manager clarify their requirements:
What are the problems an ideal candidate will solve?
How can you tell that you made the right choice in hiring the candidate after a year?
It’s also important to get their commitment on timelines and preferred communication. For sought-after candidates, discuss what incentives we can offer. Would they consider easing up on some must-haves – what can candidates learn on the job?
The answers to these questions will help you understand your client’s true needs. It would also streamline the search and widen the talent pool, saving time and reducing the chances of mismatched candidates.
3. Screening Process Matters:
Intensive candidate screening sets the stage for a confident and compelling pitch. And it goes beyond just reviewing resumes. Have conversations with promising candidates and identify their gaps and achievements that align with the client’s needs.
In a competitive talent market, you might have to consider coachable near-fit candidates. We focus on what the client values in candidates; what are the transferable skills and distinctive qualities that the candidate offers that the client is seeking?
Most importantly, gather examples and proofs from the candidate’s work experience to back up their skills and potential. You might ask for technical skill assessment scores to evaluate candidate’s technical abilities.
It is also important to know candidate’s career goals, aspirations, and motivations to confirm that the role aligns with the candidate’s long-term objectives.
4. Presenting and Pitching Candidates:
Once you have a set of high-quality candidates, it’s time to present their profile to the client. As recruiters our job is to tailor and finetune the candidate’s profile based on the client’s requirements.
A common mistake is to try to communicate every single positive thing about a candidate. Hiring Managers don’t like to be overwhelmed with every detail. So focus on what’s essential for the client and provide proof of how the candidate fits those needs.
A phone call is often the best way to deliver your pitch. While some employers may have submission portals, talking directly with the hiring manager adds a personal touch that emails lack. You can start with an email, but follow up with a call.
Use this conversation to highlight any untold aspects that are harder to convey in the CV, like their soft skills and transferable skills you discovered from the conversations you had with the candidate. Additionally, you can clarify the reasons, if any inconsistencies, employment gaps or career changes reflect in the profile.
5. Transparency is Key:
Transparency is crucial for building strong client relationships. And strong client relationships lead to long-term partnerships and referrals, enhancing a recruiter’s reputation and success in the industry. So, be transparent with your client. If you’re not sure about something, don’t hesitate to say, “Let me check and get back to you.”
It might feel counter-intuitive but it’s important to share any potential downsides of the candidate in your pitch as well. In the long run, it helps you build trust and rapport with the client leading to a more positive experience overall.
6. The Aftermath of Pitching:
Once you have delivered your pitch, allow clients with the extra time and information they need to make informed decisions.
Make sure to get their valuable feedback to know if there’s anything missing in the candidate presentations. If necessary, suggest a conversation with the candidate or sourcing other candidates for comparison.
In the end, your success depends on the relationships you build with clients, your understanding of their needs, and your candidates’ experiences and motivations.
Pitching candidates effectively is an art that combines research, communication, and trust-building. Mastering it can be a game-changer for recruiters navigating through a competitive talent market.