I’ve recruited for some of the top companies in the third party recruiting industry. And no matter what company it was upper management loved their buzzwords. “Forward Thinking”, “Deep Businessman With His Mouth Taped Shut And PointingDive”, “Manage Expectations”, “Synergy” and the list goes on and on. I don’t disagree with all of them that are out there, sometimes you really just can’t find a better phrase to describe your thought process.

However here is one we need to throw away right now: “Candidate Control”. In fact I petition that not only do we throw this term out, I think we need to start fining people for using it. First let’s look at the word. It’s pretty simple; the first word Candidate, the second Control. Meaning you have control over the candidate. Managers use this term to justify coming down on you the recruiter for a mistake the candidate made. I can’t recall exact situations where this has happened to me, but I do know how the conversation went anytime one of my candidates messed up. “You know Chadd, you really should have had better candidate control on this one.”

Candidate shows up late for an interview? Candidate Control

Candidate lies on their resume? Candidate Control

Candidate falsifies education experience? Candidate Control

Yes I agree that we should limit these issues because recruiting can be a pretty expensive service. However, to think you can control another human being is almost laughable. Ask any parent with a toddler. See how much “control” they have in the house. Same goes for candidates. They are going to act, think and handle situations how they see fit. If you assume you have control over your candidate you need to re-evaluate things, and fast. And if your manager uses this term to you, I think it is in your best interest to challenge them and their position in the company.

But this article is not written to complain. I always say if you have a problem with something you better come to the table with a solution. So I present the industry with a resolution to this issue.

I would like to officially coin the phrase: “Candidate Influence”.

Candidate showed up late for an interview? Did you send them the exact address and tell them to arrive 15 minutes early? If you did not, then yes that is your fault. If you did and they still showed up late, minus you physically driving them to the interview yourself, you did all you could.

Candidate lied on their resume? Did you check references and verify the information? If not, again shame on you. If so, shame on them.

And so on and so on.

It is our job as a recruiter to do our due diligence with our candidates. If you aren’t talking about money, job location or any other major factor that will ultimately play a role in a candidates decision making process from the first time you meet them than you are not doing your job. We compile all of this information so we can influence the candidate’s decision. At the end of the day a candidate will make the decision that is best for them and there isn’t much we can do about it if it doesn’t agree with what we want. But if you know your candidate wants 65K, a 15% Bonus and a 20 minute commute, than you should be able to play a major influencing role in the decision that the candidate makes. Hence, “Candidate Influence”


Written by: Chadd Balbi.  Chadd is a featured writer who has been in both the staffing and corporate recruiting fields.  Follow him regularly @CFBRecruiter and connect with him on Linkedin.