You know your company is a great place to work but when you’re trying to convince top talent to join the team, sometimes you need to become a sales person yourself. Pitching to candidates is a fine art. It requires you to be honest about the role while still pushing the position – and your company – as the place to be.
The very best candidates want to join workplaces that challenge them and encourage them to progress but that they can also innovate within along the way.
Here are some ways in which you can pitch your company to those individuals you want to work for you, to achieve the best result.
Don’t oversell it
It can be tempting to paint your workplace and business as the ultimate dream but it’s important you don’t oversell the position and promise too much. Talented individuals will quickly become disillusioned if aspects of the role you promoted aren’t actually true, or are only achievable after jumping through hoops. Be honest and avoid flowery, vague language when discussing the role with them – and definitely don’t describe the position as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’.
Talk about the benefits
Be honest about what you have to offer a candidate. Do you set out clear goals and pathways for people to follow to climb the ranks? Are there perks such as extra holidays or team building activities throughout the year? Understand what your current employees see as a benefit of working for your company and use this to your advantage. Conduct a temperature check, as this can help you uncover what they do and don’t enjoy.
Clarify salary expectations up front
Bear in mind that salary is perhaps one of the most important aspects for a candidate. After all, while we may enjoy the challenge and progression our jobs provide us, we do it to also pay our bills. Don’t be ambiguous when it comes to salary. When you’re approaching a candidate you understand how experienced they are and, therefore, how much you wish to pay them. Of course, you might want to be prepared with a lower figure as your first offer, as this allows you to discuss adjustments and come to an agreement if they do want more.
Tell them what the company’s goal is
Want to offer an incredible product while tackling environmental issues? Or perhaps you’re all about providing exceptional customer service that keeps people coming back? Ensure candidates understand what your business goal is – they want to work for a company that focuses on more than just revenue and profit margins. A good candidate wants to make a wider difference and have a positive impact on their community or even on a global scale. A business goal gives them something to believe in.
But don’t talk about company history too much
Some companies get carried away divulging the full history of how the business was set up and got to where it is now. While this is interesting, it’s not the right information to include in a pitch to a candidate. A quick summary and a round up of that overarching business goal noted above is all you need. The main focus should be on what the job role entails, why you think this candidate is a good fit and what you think they and the company could achieve together.
Big up big brands
People want to work for the bigger brands that their friends and family will recognise. If you’re an agency style business or a supplier, it’s worth highlighting the bigger names that you work with to encourage candidates to consider the role. In the world of job hunting and business, it’s like name dropping a celebrity! If you’re more of a local supplier or service, flag up the reputable companies you work with that those in the area will recognise.
Sell a career, not a job
Employee retention is important for any company. Those who remain with the same business for a long time contribute to its growth, build up lasting relationships with clients and suppliers and, in turn, develop their roles into something that benefits both themselves and the company. When pitching, sell it as a career that they can invest in – not just a job role that they can leave in a few months.
Don’t copy and paste emails
Candidates can easily spot a copied and pasted email – and this isn’t the best approach, even if it does save you time.
Look into what they’ve done in recent roles, comment on anything they’ve written or talks they’ve conducted and, ultimately, explain why you think they would be a good fit and why you’ve selected them out of everyone else (not just because they have a current job title that matches the one you’re hiring for). Candidates want to feel like they’re the main person in the running for a role – even if they understand you’re pitching to other people too.
Avoid pitching to candidates currently working for the same company
People talk and if they aren’t interested in your role they may discuss that you’ve approached them with a colleague. If you also approached this colleague, that could actually encourage them not to engage with you.
As noted above, candidates want to feel like they’ve been specially selected and sending out emails to those they work with can cheapen the deal. If there is more than one individual in another company that you feel are good fits, approach them individually and move to the next if you do not get a response. This may require some early decision making on who you’d prefer for the role first.
Ready to begin the recruitment process and find the perfect employee for your latest opening? Try these tips above to improve your pitch to candidates and encourage the very best talent to join your team.
With GDPR in place, it’s best to use a site such as LinkedIn to approach potential candidates. Connecting with them and sending a direct message is the best way of ensuring your contact is not unsolicited. Emails sent to their personal account or calls out of the blue are not the best approach now.