The five essential elements of candidate control

We often hear talk about “candidate control” but what does it really mean? Obviously you can’t actually “control” candidates.  We’ll always have to work with irrational candidates and clients who refuse to allow a perfectly good match to take place. Nevertheless, if you want to get a successful placement these are the skills you will need:


1. Total clarity on your client’s requirements.

You need to ensure you understand the responsibilities and activities of the role, the context of the role within the organisation, the future business plans of the company that will impact the role and the decision maker(s) in the process. Not to mention the complexities of the benefits package (and what the maximum salary could be).


2. The full picture of what the candidate wants/needs/hopes to get from the move.

This takes more than a 30 minute phone interview. You need to know why they want to move job, what motivates them, how much money they’ll take, who else is involved in their decision making process, if they’ll consider a counter offer for instance.

3. Fabulous probing and listening skills to achieve the above.

Unless you ask the right questions and follow ups to get every piece of the puzzle from both parties, you’ll only have superficial information as a starting point.


4. The ability to ascertain which elements you need to be honest about during the process.

It’s not your job to just relay information from one party to the next.  The client doesn’t need to know about every motivation for every single move the candidate made – they just need you to understand what that means in this circumstance. You need to share the relevant information from both parties to help facilitate a match – whilst also keeping it honest!  No matter how much you want the fee do NOT lie to make it happen. These are two individuals who may end up working alongside for many years to come and the truth will come out. You’ll never work with either again if you get caught lying.


5. Tip top negotiation and communication skills.

Having understood your client and your candidate, you should be able to slot the pieces together easily.

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