Controlling your Control

I’m often asked in interviews what I love about recruiting, and what I hate about it. It’s easy to share the things I enjoy (my company culture, building relationships, money, etc…), but the second question is a little bit tougher. I’m sure most of you would agree that every job, industry, company, has it’s pros and cons. Mine far and away is the fact that I don’t have full control over outcomes. I’m not a control freak by any means, as a matter of fact I sometimes enjoy taking a backseat and allowing others to dictate things. But this one minor detail can be extremely frustrating…if you let it be…

frustrationAnytime you’re a “middle man”, there’s going to be extra pressure to come through for not only one of your clients, but the other one as well. For example in recruiting, you’re not only looking out for the best interest of your candidate, but the company you’re working with as well. It’s a fine line that you have to walk because once one of them feels like you’re not looking out for their best interest, nothing will get accomplished.

Which brings me back to the whole “control” aspect. You’re never going to be able to make your client hire a candidate they don’t want to (as bad as I’d like them to sometimes), and you’re never going to be able to convince a candidate to take a job they don’t want to (as bad as I’d like to sometimes). This isn’t your job as a recruiter though; your job is to bring all your knowledge and information to the table and consult as needed.

There’s plenty of things that can happen throughout this process (candidates back out of interviews, candidates no show interviews, clients change their minds on candidates, candidates take a counter offer, candidates start the position but leave shortly after, etc…). They key to overcoming this frustration is having the right mindset: control the things you can control, and don’t worry about the others. What are some things that you have control over?

  1. The types of candidates you’re bringing forward
  2. The relationship you’ve built with your clients and explaining your industry knowledge
  3. Your personal recruiting/sales activity and production



The other side of the coin is although all those things I mentioned above can happen, and will happen, there’s a certain amount of blame that can be put on you as well. Usually there’s subtle red flags that show up along the way before something like that happens, and you can either choose to ignore those or address them.

controlThis career frustration has actually seeped into my personal life as well. I’ve learned to let go of things that don’t concern me or things that I can’t do anything about. Things are going to happen in everyone’s lives, whether we want them to happen or not. But those people who are able to decipher what they can control and what they can’t release so much more tension and stress out of their lives.


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