Selling Your Candidate

interviewThere are unique challenges associated with convincing a hiring manager that a candidate is the right one. Recruiters must achieve a balancing act of supporting both client and candidate needs, matching their client’s wish list of a candidate, while also directing candidates toward the right role. This nuanced process also is shaped by time constraints and a competitive staffing industry that places added pressure on recruiters.

For recruiters, relationship- and trust-building are crucial components to success. Open communication is something that seems basic in a service industry, and yet candid communication with both the client and candidate is how recruiters can be most successful in the placement process. A recruiter who can effectively communicate will be able to clearly interpret the client’s needs, while also keeping candidates engaged in the process. As a result, when it comes time for a hiring manager to make a decision, the recruiter will have the tools to highlight why their candidate is the best fit for the job.

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Selling a candidate is a task that requires recruiters to manage multiple relationships and expectations. In an ideal world, you aspire to have such strong relationships that you can secure a connection between a hiring manager and candidate without even presenting a resume, here are a few tips to help you get closer to that goal:

Connect directly with the hiring manager. After the initial intake call, schedule a follow-up discussion with the hiring manager, in person if possible, to best understand the most important details you need to know for the candidate search. Dig into intangible qualities that might be a deciding factor in candidate selection, such as what the company culture is like and the type of person the specific team needs. These traits can’t be conveyed in a job description, and will give perspective on who might be an eventual fit. Use this process to know and understand the hiring manager’s “must haves,” not just the “nice to haves.” The eventual candidate you present is much more than a piece of paper with skills and experiences that fit the role, they need to be the right kind of person for the company.

Set expectations. As a recruiter, you need to be deeply knowledgeable about what type of candidate is realistic and best for each role based on job description, company culture, salary and the industry. Clients may first come to you with a wish list, but at the heart of it, they are really looking for a standout employee to help achieve business goals. When presenting a candidate, use hypotheticals to show how the candidate will be a part of accomplishing those goals,ultimately increasing the manager’s comfort level surrounding how they view the candidate in the actual position. In addition, make sure the client understands the type of candidate they’re likely to attract based on the salary they plan to offer, the state of the industry and even the company’s reputation. Conversely, ensure you’re setting expectations on the candidate side in terms of the offer they are might receive, benefits, workplace culture and job expectations. Setting these expectations ensures neither party will discover things aren’t exactly what was promised later in the process.

Actively Listen. At its most basic level, a recruiter’s role can be boiled down to 80 percent listening, 20 percent counseling. If you don’t fully understand what you’re looking for, it’s going to be hard to find – that goes for both candidates and clients.Creating a habit of active listening – taking the time to process and understand what is being said – allows you to fully understand the goals of both the hiring manager and candidate. Ensure your team regularly practices this with each other. It may sound easy, but being able to sit for 5 minutes without interrupting the person talking is an essential piece to a recruiter’s day-to-day life. Building on this, effective note-taking skills is another core aspect of active listening. Recruiting is a fast-paced business,and note-taking is a time-saving practice that allows you to easily refer back to important information quickly.

It can often be the case that recruiters are moving as quickly as possible to identify a candidate and move on to the next one. However, to be a trusted partner and to consistently succeed at selling in your candidate, it’s necessary to take the time to establish a strong relationship between the parties you work with for an effective placement. Both clients and candidates are under their own pressures to find the right fit for their organization and want a recruiter who is truly invested in a partnership.

MORE: How to make your company attractive to skilled workers

Darchelle Nass

Darchelle Nass
Darchelle Nass is senior VP of HR and administrative at Addison Group.

Darchelle Nass

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2 Responses to “Selling Your Candidate”

  1. techhiringjobs says:

    listening is critical and selling the candidate has got more challenging. This is the most important part of closing the deal. Nice

  2. techhiringjobs says:

    great information, very true too

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