March 26, 2024
April 2, 2024

The Power of Persuasion: Crafting Your Recruitment Pitch

Paul Power

A good recruiter understands that their ability to create and deliver a strong pitch isn’t merely a useful skill to have — it’s a craft that can make or break a recruitment process.

Some recruiters may scoff at the thought of pitching to candidates, declaring it to be “too salesy”. Others may believe they don’t need to pitch, and a well-known brand will do any necessary selling itself. This is what separates the storytellers from the script readers. When delivered properly, a strong pitch will not only attract the right talent, but also kickstart a commitment from the candidate to invest their time in your process.

In order for a pitch to be strong, it needs to be informative, compelling and personalised. To do that, keep the following in mind:

Research, research, research

Before you even start speaking with candidates, you need to get your facts straight. A good pitch is honest and accurate, so make sure to sit down with your hiring manager and have a proper kick-off call. Get the run-down on things like:

  • Why has the role been opened (is it a brand new role due to growth, or a replacement? If replacement, why?)
  • Who is on the team they’ll be joining, where are they based and what are their roles?
  • What is going well so far in the team/company and what needs improvement?
  • What challenge will hiring this person address?
  • How will their performance be measured?
  • What does career growth look like for this role?
  • What is the company culture like? How often does the team meet, how would the manager describe their management style?
  • Can they work remotely, in-person or hybrid?
  • What tools will they use on a regular basis?

Once you’ve had your kick-off call, you should then write down the above information and embellish it with details around company benefits and any public financial information i.e. investors and partnerships (this is very important in our current climate, and helps calm down anxiety around layoffs).

Sales candidates usually like to hear about current customers (make sure you are allowed to share this knowledge externally!), while candidates in the People space may be particularly interested in values, company culture and ways of working. Additionally, engineering talent will be curious to learn about the tech stack used, and their direct impact on the product.

Check their motivation:

The first question you ask before you pitch anything, is why the candidate has expressed an interest in the role & company they are interviewing for. If you skip this step and go straight into a generic pitch, then you’re setting the call up for failure.

By asking this question, you can decide how to begin your pitch and which information you think will best help to capture your candidate’s interest.

For example, a candidate may reveal that they don’t feel aligned with their current company culture. Use this as an opportunity to ask clarifying questions around what they don’t feel aligned with, and uncover what a good company culture looks like from their perspective. Feel free to share aspects of your own culture such as ways or working, team meet-ups, values and benefits and ask them how they feel about this.

Another common motivation for application is that candidates may share that they have hit a wall in their current role and don’t feel challenged anymore. Use this opportunity to learn about what skills they feel they have developed and what they want to learn next. Incorporate elements such as a discussions around L&D benefits, and career progression into your pitch, and check to see if this resonates with them.

Be honest & upfront:

While pitching is a form of storytelling, you don’t want your story to end up in the fiction section of the bookshop. ;)

The goal will be to paint your company and role in a good light, but you should never bend the truth or straight up lie about what opportunities await those who accept this position. There is nothing worse than accepting a job after being misled.

For example, it’s quite common that an IC role may eventually evolve into a team lead position. This is fine to share (once you get approval from the hiring manager), but never promise certain timeframes or promotions if they are simply not there. It will come back to haunt you and your employer brand.

It’s a two-way street

A pitch should also be used to invite your candidates to add to the conversation and promote engagement. While pitching, invite them to ask questions and share their own experiences. Interviewing is a two-way street. You are exchanging information for more information, and your pitch is the currency at hand.

At the end of the day, if someone is clearly not the right fit for the role then it’s more than okay to not proceed. In this case, you can #DitchThePitch and keep in touch for other opportunities.

If the candidate is indeed a good fit, then your pitch should have secured you their commitment to invest more time in the rest of the process and cement your position as a trusted Talent Partner.

Thank you!

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