|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
If you look at recruiting realistically, youll
recognize that you can no more control the actions of another person than you
can control a speeding vehicle thats 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 youve 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 candidates true
motivation for change.
Revealing the Source of Discontent
Ive found that people experience dissatisfaction with their employment situation due
to one or more of the following reasons:
Personal. The candidates relationships with
those at work are unfulfilling. Perhaps the peers and/or supervisors are incompatible with
the candidate, or they have different goals. Or maybe there are vast differences in
political, religious, socioeconomic or educational backgrounds. Or the overall corporate
culture seems out of synch to the candidate, or the feel or look
of the companys surroundings leaves something to be desired.
Professional. The candidates ability to
achieve career goals or technical fulfillment is stalled, or unattainable. As recruiters,
its on the professional aspects of a candidates employment equation that we
most often (and erroneously) focus our attention.
Situational. The candidates dissatisfaction
has nothing to do with the personal or professional aspects of the job; rather, the
dissatisfaction is tied to circumstances. For example, the candidates commuting
distance might be intolerable, or the air quality or school system in the candidates
city might have deteriorated; or the candidates spouse might have recently accepted
a job in a different city.
The point is, there may be a hundred different
value-related reasons behind a candidates apparent discontent. As recruiters,
its our job to develop an awareness of the factors that motivate a candidate to
explore his or her optionsand to offer viable career solutions.
Unless youve pinpointed the precise motivation behind
a candidates interest in interviewing for another position, youll have no
leverage in the job-changing process. And worst of allif the candidate has no real
motivation for making a changeyoull 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: Whos really
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