Sealed Lips Sink No Ships !
Sealed Lips Sink No Ships !

Confidentiality – The Recruiter’s View

Do these Scenarios sound familiar ?

A)  You call up a Recruiter for  position advertised. Express your interest and need to know the Company Details. But Recruiter says he cannot tell you that. Instead he asks you to mail in your profile.

B) A Recruiter calls you up. After some preliminary discussions, when you ask for the Company Name , he declines and says will revert if ” further interest ”

No doubt this is frustrating. Why does the Recruiter  do that? At the same time, in such a scenario, how does a Candidate ensure HIS interest and confidentiality ? This does take a certain ” finesse” on the part of  consultants and frankly not many have it, we know.

Or. does Confidentiality not matter at all ?

In our opinion – and experience – confidentiality in your Job Search as well as Recruitment is of utmost importance. Particularly for Senior Level positions. And there could be very sound reasons the Recruiter chooses to remain ” tight lipped”

This Post addresses some of them so that Candidates can appreciate the recruiter’s position better.  Here they are :

1) Competition : If you call a Recruiter you are just a voice on the Phone, unless you have developed a relationship with him/her. You could be a Competitor or, even the Client checking if the Recruiter is adhering to the Confidentiality clauses he has agreed to.

A good Recruiter in such a situation has ways to get past this barrier. But you will have to bear with him.

2) The Situation : There  could be a “ restructuring “ in the offing. Someone might be currently occupying the job and not even aware that a search for his replacement is on ! Or, he may be aware but both the Organization and he have decided- for various reasons – not to go “ public” with this information.

Many Senior level assignments fall under this category.

3) Influences : The Company wants to have a panel identified and maybe even a candidate selected without undue “ influences”. This happens more often than many would even like to acknowledge.

In one instance for a Senior level position one of our candidate was interviewed with a very well known Company. While his candidature was under consideration, he decided – unknown to us – to bring to bear some influence. Although it was difficult, the Company dropped him. Even we came to know the reasons later after an alternate candidate provided by us was selected and joined.

4) The Nature of the Company : It could be very well known- in which case the Company does not want “ influences” as above right from the Application Stage. On the other hand, if it is a start up – or an unknown factor – it still wants to have the opportunity of seeing strong candidates and try to sell them on its Career Opportunity.

5) Competitive Intelligence : Indeed a lot can be gleaned from a Recruitment Ad or from a Recruiter’s approach . If a Company openly advertises they are looking for a Merger and Acquisition Specialist, for example it is a clear indication that either they are planning to acquire a company , or are becoming an acquisition target. An Automobile Company asking for a Head Diesel Engine Development could be an indication of their increasing focus on the same. A Company asking for a Head HR with strong Union handling experience is foreseeing some gaps on that front.

The above then are some of the reasons why a Recruiter pleads Confidentiality.

By the way , this post is the result of my recent telecom with Mr. Rakesh, who raised this question.

What you do as a Candidate is a question of your interaction with the Recruiter. An experienced Recruiter will have ways to get past most of the above barriers without compromising on the Confidentiality aspect, and still get/maintain the interest of strong candidates. If your assessment is that the Recruiter has such competence, you can rest assured you are in good hands. Such a Recruiter would always decide in line with the positions requirements and/or the Client’s mandate . And it would be in your interest to co-operate with him.

In a separate post I will talk about the Candidate’s perspective – how to maintain confidentiality in your Job Search, to the extent possible.

What is YOUR experience and thinking ? Do comment in and let us and the World know !

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