Who Cares About Candidate Control?

Ever since I started in this business 15 years ago (yes, I am one of the few who found value – and still do – in a recruitment career thanks to Xelerate) I’ve been preached to about “candidate control.”  Who cares about candidate control and why would you want to control someone (besides your spouse and your kids – but that’s another subject for another blog)?


Contingency recruiters – I may be losing you here, but that makes perfect sense since that’s all you’ve heard since day one (they tried to brainwash me, too).  Give it a shot, it’s a two minute read.


Who cares about candidate control?


Those who do not value relationships, reputation and repeat business!  Think about it, controlling your candidate basically means getting them to do what YOU want them to do.


Why would you want to control someone?


Why would you want to get someone to do what YOU want them to do?


Doesn’t this person have a career, a family, a greater intent for working outside of just taking a job for YOU?  People work for many different reasons – contribution to society, to take care of their family, for retirement, to buy a home, etc.  All great reasons, but one I am certain they don’t work for is YOU or your commission.  So, when you push someone into that job to make the hire or a great commission or hope for more business from that client – you better make sure they are not accepting that job for YOU.


Those of us that have stuck this out and have been successful have learned the hard way.  The cost of turnover is your commission, your reputation, loss of business and it’s not getting you anywhere in your career.  It could also be at the cost of your job.


So, if controlling someone is bad to fill your positions, what can you do?


How about listening? Try understanding the whole story about why that candidate is looking, practice patience (like I tell my three-year-old), know what the client wants (really partner with them and if you can’t, don’t waste your time), know what that job can offer, understand the culture and make the right match.  If you don’t feel confident saying to your client, “this is the right person for your role and I recommend that you make the offer,” then you are not doing your job and you are doing a disservice to the candidate, the client, yourself, your company and your career.


Pride yourself on doing the right thing and not controlling people.  It’s your reputation, your business, your career.