Like any other professional service that deals with the public, recruiters continuously struggle with the issue of control. The same way doctors wrestle with "patient control" and lawyers boast about "client control," so recruiters agonize over "candidate control."
If you look at recruiting realistically, you'll recognize that you can no more "control" the actions of another person than you can control a speeding vehicle that's hydroplaning down the interstate at 70 miles an hour in a driving rainstorm. That is, the force of momentum will to a greater or lesser degree affect the direction your candidate takes, just like it will a 3,000-pound car.
The best you can hope for is that you've selected the right vehicle for the trip and that your preparation, training and reflexes will guide you safely towards your destination. Your degree of control, in other words, is relative to a variety of external factors, the most important of which is the candidate's true motivation for change.
Revealing the Source of Discontent
I've found that people experience dissatisfaction with their employment situation due to one or more of the following reasons:
The point is, there may be a hundred different value-related reasons behind a candidate's apparent discontent. As recruiters, it's our job to develop an awareness of the factors that motivate a candidate to explore his or her options---and to offer viable career solutions.
Unless you've pinpointed the precise motivation behind a candidate's interest in interviewing for another position, you'll have no leverage in the job-changing process. And worst of all---if the candidate has no real motivation for making a change---you'll find yourself as a mere facilitator in a tire-kicking exercise, in which your efforts will serve only to satisfy a candidate whose only interest is to extract a counteroffer.
At which point, you need to ask yourself: Who's really in control?
- Bill Radin, President