It's not show friends, it's show business."
--Bob Sugar in Jerry McGuire
There's an art to submitting candidates to hiring managers. You're an honest sort, and that can and will be held against you in the court of workplace psychology and momentum.
Let's get the obvious on the table. You could be submitting the Lebron James of whatever your search is, but the reality is this - one candidate is not going to be enough for most hiring managers. First, they aren't as good at evaluating talent for specific needs as you are in most cases. Second, why Lebron? Are we sure that Michael Jordan isn't out there? And wouldn't his durability be a better fit for us if we found him and got him interested in the job?
Sadly, that's the spirit of the questions you'll receive. So you need to put your marketing/influence hat on, people.
Here's some thoughts from the desk of KD after 15-20 years of hearing "we need Lebron" when they can only afford Craig Ehlo:
1. Never make your first submittal a single candidate without other candidates to contrast to. You're basically asking for it if you do that.
2. Initial submittal batches are best served in groups of three - the candidate you love, a fallback candidate or two - and of course, a dog with fleas designed to make the targeted candidate look like Jordan. Go to 5 if you must.
3. Ballers use words to compare and contrast the candidates they submit. Forwarding from your ATS without a submittal writeup is the equivalent of a caveman grunt. Mongo like candidate. Mongo want you to talk to candidate.
4. Once you get the submittal pack out, your job is to make the interviews happen in as close of proximity to each other as possible, giving you the best path to a call to action and offer possible.
5. Once you do your initial submittal of 3-5 candidates, you can submit other candidates one at a time. Caution - don't rush to do this before the hiring manager gives you feedback on your first round of submittals. You're just gumming up the works if you do that.
Be more of a marketer with submittals, and you'll get better results. Yes, this puts pressure on you to find at least 3 submittals in a reasonable timeframe. That's what the money is for. Or you can keep being a caveman/mongo and submitting one at a time. How's that working out for you?