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How to Effectively Communicate Candidate Skills to Hiring Managers

presenting candidates

Navigating the labyrinthine process of recruitment is no small feat. Among the myriad tasks a recruiter juggles, one crucial element is effective communication between candidates and hiring managers. This liaison role is not merely an administrative function; it's an art form that requires precision, perception, and persuasion. In a saturated job market, where every candidate appears to be a Jack-of-all-trades, how do you ensure that the right talents don't get lost in translation? Below are practical approaches to hone this craft.

The Pre-Requisites: Deep Understanding and Accurate Assessment

Before you can effectively communicate a candidate's skills to a hiring manager, you need to have a deep understanding of two elements:

  1. What the Job Requires: Know the job description inside and out, not just in terms of hard skills but also soft skills and cultural fit.

  2. What the Candidate Offers: This requires comprehensive interviews, reference checks, and sometimes skill assessments. You're not just checking boxes here; you're seeking to understand what makes this candidate unique.

Once you've assessed this information, compile it into an easily digestible format. It's not enough to have this knowledge; it needs to be accessible and ready to deploy in your discussions with hiring managers.

Communication Techniques


Facts tell, but stories sell. Rather than presenting a laundry list of skills and qualifications, frame the candidate's skill set as a narrative. Discuss how they solved a particular problem at a previous job using a rare skill or unique approach. It's easier for hiring managers to grasp and remember stories, plus it gives life to the candidate’s capabilities, showing how they function in a real-world context.


Leverage comparative statements that align the candidate’s skills with those that the hiring manager finds valuable. For example, say, "Like your current top performer, Jane, this candidate also has a strong background in X and has achieved Y results in a similar environment."

Tailored Communication

Not all hiring managers are swayed by the same data points or presentation styles. Adapt your communication method to suit the individual you are working with. Some prefer detailed written reports, while others want a succinct verbal rundown. Get to know their preference and customize your message accordingly.

Data-Driven Insights

If possible, present measurable outcomes tied to the candidate’s skills. Instead of saying, "The candidate is good at sales," you might say, "This candidate exceeded their sales targets by 20% consistently over the past three years."

Emphasize Skills in Context

Skill in a vacuum is meaningless. Be sure to provide context. Instead of saying, "Excellent in Python programming," try "Used Python to develop a tool that optimized workflow, cutting down project timelines by 30%."

Real-World Scenarios

Scenario 1: The Overqualified Candidate

You have a candidate with ten years of experience applying for a role that requires only three. Instead of stating the years of experience, which might deter a hiring manager due to concerns about salary or fit, could you focus on the breadth of their expertise? They've been through cycles of change in the industry and can bring invaluable insights.

Scenario 2: The Career Changer

Your candidate has a background in hospitality but is applying for a customer service role. They don't have direct experience, but they have transferable skills. Here, storytelling can be very compelling. Narrate how the candidate managed demanding clients or hectic events, proving they can stay composed under pressure and provide excellent service, making them a fit for a customer service role.

Scenario 3: The Fresh Graduate

Inexperienced but talented, a fresh graduate is a blank canvas. Emphasize their adaptability, eagerness to learn, and any internships or projects that display relevant skills. Make a case for how they can grow into the role and become a long-term asset.

Effective communication between candidates and hiring managers goes beyond just relaying information. It's a nuanced practice that demands an in-depth understanding of both parties' needs and the tactical use of various communication strategies. It’s not just what you say; it’s also how you say it that can make or break a candidate's chances. Mastering this art can mean filling a position and truly enriching a team.

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