Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Adventures In Recruiting: Why You Should Keep Your Job Hunt Confidential

There are many reasons why an executive should keep their job hunt confidential.  Among other things, the more people who know you are looking, the more likely it is that your boss will find out.  But there are many other reasons as well.  I thought I would write one such incident which gives food for thought.

This story occurred many years ago, but is a great example why, even your best friend should not know who you are talking to.

Two account executives, who met when they were AAE’s at the same agency, were now rooming with each other.  Seemingly, they were in non-competing roles at different agencies. They each had very different backgrounds. I introduced my candidate to FCB for a senior AE role (I did not know the roommate.).  His interviewing went well, it was moving quickly and he was excited about the job.  All of a sudden, FCB fell totally silent.  I couldn’t get the HR person to return my calls.  Finally, after a few days, she called back to tell me that they had filled the job with another candidate.  She would give me no further feedback or information.

I told my candidate and thought that was that.

But, guess what?  A day or so later, my candidate called me. I could tell he was upset.  It seems his roommate got the job. Naturally he was hurt and furious.

He had told the roommate about the job and his interviewing, which would be a natural thing to discuss with a trusted roommate.   It seems that the roommate liked what he heard so much he called the HR director and subsequently got the job. It, of course, ended the friendship.

Frankly, it is one of the worst stories I can remember.  I got the roommates name and, several years later, when that person called me, I refused to see him.

Another reason you should not discuss your interviewing is that your friends, no matter how well meaning, can give you bad advice. I learned early on in my recruiting career that there is someone for every job and I should not let my prejudices effect my practice.  I have known people who have hated their job and I have known others at the same company who just love it.  If you ask a hater and you ask a lover about the job, you will get different answers.  They only way you will find out is if you form your own opinion.
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