There is always a possibility that your client may reject your potential candidate even if they meet the client’s requirements perfectly. This may happen when recruiters aren’t able to successfully ‘sell’ their candidate. Selling here means pitching a candidate for a job role before a client.
Pitching a candidate to the client helps transform a candidate’s profile on paper into a persona client wants to meet in the flesh. It is a critical trait that every recruiter must possess to establish long-term relationships with clients and candidates both.
When done right, a candidate pitch can help a candidate nail down great opportunities while firms get to have the right fit onboard.
A great candidate pitch has to grab the client’s attention in the limited window a recruiter gets. This limited window should be optimally used and filled with relevant candidate information to transform the introduction into an interview and, finally, the job offer.
7 steps to successfully pitch a candidate to a client
Pitching a candidate to the client is the ‘last mile’ effort a recruiter needs to make to cover the final stretch of the recruitment process. Most recruiters assume their job is complete after screening and interviewing the candidate. But pitching the candidate is the last critical effort that a recruiter needs to make to make all the effort and time spent in recruitment worth it.
Going beyond conventional wisdom, recruiters need to ‘influence’ the choice of the clients and how they think and perceive the suitability of the candidate for the job role. It is this influence that marks an effective candidate pitch.
Here are seven essential steps to a great candidate pitch.
#1 Do your homework
Once you shortlist a suitable candidate for an open role with your client, it’s time to introduce the candidate or pitch them to the client. A successful pitch requires recruiters to be active listeners first.
While most of us spend a lot of time hearing, people spend only 25-50% of this time listening.
The recruiters must practice actively listening to the client’s requirements and the candidate’s expectations. So that when the recruiter matches the client with the aspirant with the right candidate experience, the pitch converts into an interview.
Discuss with the candidate their ideal role, the types of positions, and the companies they are interested in joining. While pitching the job role to the candidate, you must also keep their goals and expectations in mind. You win their trust and confidence when you listen to them during the assessment interview.
Also, don’t forget to note changes in the opinion and personal circumstances of the candidate.
The listener in you should be equally awake while talking to your clients about the job requirements. Use the ‘remember and reflect’ formula when dealing with clients. Remember the details and specifications the client mentioned in the previous conversations, make notes about the type of candidate they want, and ask queries before you begin the candidate search.
Once you find the right candidate, reflect on these pointers to frame the right narrative for the pitch that will appease the clients.
#2 Make the right first impression
You have a limited window to pitch your candidate, and you need to make the best use of it. For that, use notes and ideas from previous conversations and paraphrase them while pitching the candidate.
Repeating what has been said to you, recalling the buzzwords used, and presenting the candidate information in the same frame would help create a favorable impression on the client. Don’t mention every single trait of the candidate to oversaturate the pitch.
Austin Blackburne, Regional Director at Hays Victoria, says, “Instead, focus on what the organization needs and communicate the parallels with the candidate’s skills and experience.”
As an introduction, present an overall impression of the candidate from the lens of the client’s ideas and requirements. Your pitch may answer why the candidate stands out and what makes them a better choice, their communication and style of presenting, and other variables.
#3 Don’t oversell your candidate
If you seek to pitch your candidate effectively, try not to oversell the candidate.
This means recruiters should give all the necessary information about the candidate’s qualifications, capabilities, and background. While doing so, they must highlight areas that match well with the client’s specifications and requirements.
The focus can be on the technical or personal skills of the candidate, according to the role. For instance, a content strategist role won’t require the mention of teaching skills or a coding background.
The skillset can further be broadened to include parameters such as how well the candidate can adapt to new tasks, handle challenges, or fit in the work culture at the client’s office.
#4 Pitch the candidate verbally
Always pitch your candidate verbally over a call or face-to-face video instead of emailing it.
Emails are a passive approach to pitching in recruitment as you would miss the opportunity to pitch your candidate exclusively and will have no way of knowing the client’s immediate reaction.
When you spend a considerable amount of time screening and interviewing a candidate, it is pertinent that you discuss the candidate’s pitch over the phone or via video call.
Pitching via email shows a lack of conviction and confidence in the candidate. In such passive pitches, the client may not be able to ask queries or reach out to you, making the overall impact of the pitch ineffective.
#5 Demonstrate with metrics and examples
Try to accommodate the professional achievements of your candidate in the pitch. The achievements should sync with the job objectives. State the exact facts and stats instead of a generalized overview of an achievement or project success.
For instance, instead of saying that ‘candidate helped secure crucial client partnerships in their previous role,’ your pitch should say, ‘ the candidate helped increase the number of client partnerships by 45%.
Quantifiable metrics can help catch the clients’ attention without overwhelming or overloading them with a list of candidate achievements.
In times when social media is causing our attention span to become shorter by the day, presenting short, succinct, and relevant pitches can interest the client more.
Examples can also be a good way to demonstrate and quantify a candidate’s experience instead of unverified claim statements to meet the selection criteria.
#6 Share references with the client
References can be add-on proof to highlight the candidate’s professional ethics and conduct. When a previous employer gives a favorable opinion of a prospective candidate, the pitch can be delivered better.
References are generally completed after the interview stage is over. But if a few references are shared along with the pitch, the client gets authentic feedback and review from the past.
These references verify that the candidate’s profile perfectly matches the client’s needs.
#7 Be transparent
Besides the positives, if your candidate has some shortcomings or negatives, you should take the opportunity to reveal them during the pitch. The revelation, however, shouldn’t have negative connotations.
For instance, when you state that the candidate has intermediate knowledge of MS Excel, avoid leaving it at that. Instead, add that the candidate can address their weakness and takes the initiative to upskill themselves continuously.
Also, if any additional information that needs to be shared, such as background info, interests, mutual acquaintances, hobbies, etc., would better help connect the client with the candidate, you must convey them to the client.
The recruiter must be open about if the candidate can join immediately or needs to serve the notice period elsewhere, their salary expectations, etc.
When you pitch a candidate, try to wait for the client to make a decision instead of pushing them to make a decision. Post the pitch, try to set up an interview between the client and the candidate to get things stoked up.
Pitching doesn’t just involve plating down a candidate profile before a client. It requires extensive research, the ability to go beyond match-making, and excellent communication skills for a recruiter to bridge the distance between the client and the candidate.
Familiarizing the client with a prospective candidate even before they meet face-to-face requires skill and talent, and only a good recruiter can become successful at that.
FAQs on Pitching Candidates to Clients
How do you pitch a candidate to a client?
Pitch your candidate verbally to the client along with the resume. Share your impression of the candidate through the lens of the needs and wants of the client. Deliver proof of the candidate’s performance and share references to verify that the candidate matches the client’s needs.
What are the 4 major elements while pitching a client?
Four major elements while pitching a client include reaching out with a personal message, offering a compelling solution, showing value with proof, and following up to strengthen first impressions.
What makes a good client pitch?
A good client pitch should be clear and concise, address the target audience, identify the problem and explain how the product can solve it, and back the same with facts and data along with a well-directed CTA.
What is the best way to attract candidates?
The best way to attract the top candidates is to develop an effective value proposition or EVP, advertise promotional opportunities, promote organizational values, and use employee testimonials in the job advert and marketing.
How do you match a client to a candidate?
To match the right candidate to a specific client, the recruiting agency first needs to assess the desired skills and qualities required in the candidate, write a job description with the right EVP while promoting the values and culture of your organization, conduct interviews based on competency, employ behavioral testing, and include key members of the company to give inputs in the hiring process.