When to Let a Candidate Go

In the staffing industry, Recruiters and Account Managers often have a different perspective on a candidate’s commitment to a given open job they are trying to fill.  Understandably the Recruiter who has a lot of time invested with a candidate will be sympathetic to their candidate’s desires, requests and schedules.  Account Managers tend to be a bit less compassionate when a candidate under consideration becomes ambiguous, demanding or unresponsive. Recruiters and sales will forever debate this, but there should be some mutually acknowledged warning signs that should tell you it is time to move on and let go.  Below are a few cautionary behavioral traits to look out for.

Candidate is Unresponsive

If a candidate is slow to respond, not getting back to a Recruiter within a reasonable time, difficult to pin down days/times for interview requests or will only email a Recruiter, it is fair to say that the position is NOT a priority for them.  We should strive to work with candidates that want our positions and will make every effort to get the job.

Ambiguity as to Why They are Seeking a New Position

It is necessary to know exactly why a candidate is looking before they can be presented. Everyone’s valuable time will be wasted if the candidate is not upfront as to why they are pursuing a position.  If the candidate is not 100% committed to an opportunity, they should not be presented.

Impractical Expectations

Many times the candidate will have a ‘wish list” of what they want to accept a position.  Wanting to work remotely, have flexible hours, or asking for compensation higher than will be offered often will be a deal breaker if the client wants to move forward.


How many times has the candidate told the Recruiter that they are not interviewing for or considering any other positions only to find out that when the offer comes to them, they do have another job offer. Truthfulness is difficult to manage, but the closer a Recruiter is to their candidate, the better feel they will have for the situation.


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