An agency recruiter's guide to presenting a potential candidate to a client

Read on to learn how recruiters approach the process of presenting a potential candidate to a client, with top tips from experienced recruiters to consider.

Recruiters are valuable assets for companies, and the job involves more than simply identifying talent that would be a suitable fit for an organization's team. They're also tasked with effectively presenting these potential candidates to their clients.

We're taking a closer look at our recruiter's guide to successful candidate submissions, including tips from seasoned experts and what to avoid in the process.

Taking a closer look at the recruiter's role in the recruiting process

As agency recruiters begin a partnership with a client, the intake process is generally pretty similar across the board. A staffing professional will likely ask standard questions such as:

  • What is the title of the position?
  • How long has the role been open?
  • What channels, if any, have been used to reach candidates thus far?
  • What is the salary scope?
  • How flexible is the salary?
  • What are the timeline expectations? Or, is there a high degree of urgency to keep in mind?

Each unique hiring process is then clarified as conversations between a recruiter and client continue, emphasizing the importance of active listening to achieve the best results.

What information do recruiters need to gain a clear understanding of who a candidate is?

When a recruiter is getting to know a candidate, they likely already have their resume in hand. While this offers insights into their professional experience, it provides little information about who an applicant is or what they're looking for. An effective way to quickly understand an applicant is by asking a simple question: "Why are you looking for a job?" Recognizing the motivating factors behind a candidate's job search helps recruiters ensure that they're aligning with the client's intentions.

Staffing professionals need to bear in mind that in an increasingly complex labor market, most applicants won't check every box for a client. However, validating that motivations are complementary on both ends will lay a solid foundation for a strong long-term candidate-client relationship.

Strategies to present a candidate effectively

When a recruiter is ready to move a candidate forward, they can present them to the client via email with parameters about their characteristics and why they're a good fit for the role. However, some applicants who would be suitable for an open position might not look great on paper. In this case, a staffing professional should call the client and speak to why they feel the individual would add value to the team, despite a potentially weak resume.

The top tips for submitting candidates successfully include:

  1. Sharing your candid, overall impression of the applicant throughout the process so far.
  2. Underscoring how the holistic candidate profile meets the most important criteria for the position.
  3. Providing insight into the job seeker's experiences and career highlights with quantifiable metrics.
  4. Offering relevant references that support your pitch.
  5. Being transparent and disclosing a comprehensive overview of the applicant at hand.

Skilled recruiters have found that the most successful matches are generally personality-driven. In this vein, recent Gallup research suggests that the majority of employee turnover is preventable and often driven by factors unrelated to work product. Over half of exiting employees in Gallup's polling reported that their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving - however, only about a third of them said they had a conversation with their manager about leaving prior to them ultimately quitting.

Is there anything that can be lost in the process of communicating a candidate profile to a client?

Even an experienced recruiter can run into challenges that impact the process of presenting a candidate successfully. For example, some clients can be more difficult to get on the phone than others, which can lead a staffing professional to submit an applicant through email. This can be an issue because a resume and email generally aren't enough to communicate a holistic profile or explain why a recruiter thinks an individual is well-suited for the role.

To that point, recruiters can also lose a key element of a candidate's profile by focusing solely on their resume and hard skills. A significant part of the recruitment process requires professionals to dig deeper, uncovering an applicant's true motivations and how they would fit within the company culture. This is ultimately the most important aspect to convey to clients.

Furthermore, one of the key aspects of a successful recruitment process is obtaining client feedback. If a client is not forthcoming regarding the particulars of why a candidate was hired or rejected, it will leave the recruiter no choice but to "go back to the drawing board," essentially starting the recruitment process all over again. Lack of specific feedback also creates a negative candidate experience, leaving the candidate wondering what else they could have done to be considered. Recruiters must be persistent with clients who withhold details during the recruitment process, as that builds the foundation of what the client ultimately is looking for.

Other tips from seasoned recruiters to keep in mind

How can recruiters ensure they present a holistic candidate profile to clients?

Providing a comprehensive view of a job seeker's profile is key to the success of a candidate-client relationship, but finding the balance when accentuating the strengths and presenting the weaknesses of an applicant can be difficult.

Simply put, honesty is the best policy here. Recruiters should provide a genuine assessment of the applicant at hand, mentioning why they think the candidate meets the client's top criteria and the other boxes that the individual might not be able to check off — leaving the final decision in the hands of a fully informed client.

How can a recruiter help prepare a candidate for the client?

Although preparation can vary depending on the recruiter or staffing agency, professionals from Beacon Hill Staffing Group recommend trying not to over-prepare candidates or tell them exactly what to say in the interview beforehand. Instead, a staffing professional should be there to guide the applicant before meeting the client by:

  • Walking the individual through their resume so that they're prepared to discuss it naturally.
  • Discussing keywords that will be valuable to remember and include throughout the interview process.
  • Ensuring they have thoughtful questions to ask.

The future of the recruitment process: What do recruiters need to keep in mind?

With the proliferation of technology across industries, it's safe to say that the recruitment space will likely see an accelerated use of cutting-edge technologies to streamline and improve the hiring process. However, the value of a recruiter who actively listens to match candidates and clients effectively hasn't changed. People will always remain at the core of the recruitment process, which requires strong relationships and great communication to be successful.

Find your home at Beacon Hill

Recruiters ultimately want to be strong partners for all key parties in the hiring process, establishing strong communication with the client and helping candidates feel comfortable and confident along the way. However, staffing professionals need support, too — not to mention the resources to do their job efficiently and effectively.

At Beacon Hill Staffing Group, we're dedicated to making the right match between talent and talent-seekers, while ensuring our recruiters have everything they need to succeed. With uncapped commissions, multiple career paths and a supportive, collaborative, determined team surrounding you, you'll have valuable opportunities for your own career, too.

If you're ready to take on the staffing industry with confidence, learn more about career opportunities at Beacon Hill and contact us to get started.

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