Exploring the Recruiter’s Bill of Rights (part 1)

Today is the day on which ItzBIG Blog usually posts their new article in the series exploring the Candidate’s Bill of Rights. I have decided that today I will start my series covering a parallel group of statements which threaded together create what I am calling the “Recruiter’s Bill of Rights.” It seems to me that it is totally in keeping with my purpose for this blog. Since one of the most important goals is to bring new understanding and clarity to job seekers so that they can work more productively with executive recruiters, what better way than to spell out how recruiters would like to be treated in the professional relationship that exists between candidate and recruiter.

The series will cover each ‘amendment’ in the Recruiter’s Bill of Rights, one per week, and this week’s topic will be “Confidentiality.”

Confidentiality – Recruiters are entitled to have confidentiality and security of the information shared with prospective candidates regarding the companies with whom the recruiter is working and the positions which he is trying to fill. Any sharing of information with colleagues or co-workers should only be done with express prior permission of the recruiter.

In the series exploring the Candidate’s Bill of Rights, we covered the candidate’s right to an expectation of confidentiality and some of the horrendous practices of (what I will loosely call) recruiting firms who run fax campaigns that indiscriminately spam companies using a fax number database. Some of the danger to candidates should be obvious – the current employer may find out that they are looking and take action to remove the employee from the company’s payroll. I just had a candidate contact me because he was terminated for “looking” for a new job. But there are other more subtle dangers. Dangers like cheapening your value in the industry because you become a ‘freely available commodity.’ You also hurt your position in terms of working with the top executive recruiters. Good recruiters will ask you where your resume has been submitted, and if the list is long, they won’t want to spend much effort on your behalf. If you lie about it, and they discover that when they submit to a hiring authority your resume is already on file… well a few occurrences of that and they won’t work with you at all. For my industry, the restaurant industry, I can tell you that the best restaurant recruiters will also have that information with their network for partners and affiliate offices.  It could make it difficult for you obtain restaurant jobs or hospitality jobs through any restaurant management recruiters.

So much for the candidate’s first amendment, how ’bout the first amendment of the Recruiter’s Bill of Rights and what does that mean to a candidate and how they should interact with their recruiter. “Confidentiality” is just as important to the recruiter as it is to the candidate. Recruiters share an awful lot of information with candidate’s regarding the positions that they are working on, the hiring process, the individuals involved in the interview process, and how the candidate can do well during the engagement. All of that information may have taken months if not years to collect. It is information that puts the recruiter at a definite advantage over his competitors in terms of providing candidates who are right for the job and who actually get hired. Candidates getting hired is what results in a recruiter actually getting a check and being able to feed his family. If a candidate shares the information with other recruiters with whom he or she is working, well then those recruiters are being given an unfair advantage, one for which they have not done any work, and that advantage may well end up in the original recruiting losing a placement or multiple placements. I cover several reasons for recruiters not sharing all the details of the jobs that they are working on in my post “Recruiting Myths – Candidate Resumes;” here is a good example:

Recruiters leave out the details for competitive reasons – Recruiters that work on a contingency basis work in a very competitive marketplace. They may not have an exclusive with a client company, and there can be many reasons for this. But because of it, they have to be smart about how they advertise their openings. Why? Well, that is easy to answer…. other recruiters. You see other recruiters out there who are industrious may be looking at the same job boards as candidates, in order to find open positions that need filling. The more information contained in a job posting, the easier it is to identify the client company. With a phone and a few minutes time, a really good recruiter could come up with the same assignment that it may have taken the person posting the ad months to secure.

So a ‘bad’ candidate can cause the same kind of damage as a badly worded job positing. Working with recruiters should be based upon mutual respect and mutual benefit. If you want to be treated well, have your information treated with confidentiality and as if it is valuable, then you must treat the recruiter’s information the same. A recruiter may never find out that you have shared information, but it is not the right thing to do. And if they do find out, you can bet that it will have a negative impact on your working relationship.

Next week we will be discussing “credibility.” I hope that you will come back and see what we have to say on that matter.

-author: Carl Chapman. Carl is the founder of
CEC Search – Executive Restaurant Recruiters.  He has 20+ years of restaurant industry experience, spent 5 awarding winning years as an executive recruiter with a top 25 MRI franchise office. Carl graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1980.  CEC Search specializes in executive restaurant search, restaurant jobs, hospitality jobs, food service jobs, and corporate support jobs in the restaurant industry.

About the author, Chief Executive Restaurant Recruiter

Born in Arkansas, moved to FL for 3 years as a youngster. Lived in GA most of my life. Married in 1985, 2 kids, one of each. Graduate of USNA Class of 1980. Love golf, computers, poker, photography, and gadgets.

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