Confidential Recruitment?

Is your recruitment really confidential?

Do you have confidential recruitment ahead?

We heard a ‘horror’ story recently which puts the below into perspective.

Our client had spoken to both ourselves and another reputable consultancy about a confidential campaign. When we informed him that we already knew he was recruiting he was amazed and extremely concerned. We showed him our competitor’s advert that we’d seen that morning. The advert had several distinguishing factors that identified them, including their sector, location and some very specific details. These details wouldn’t have caused more candidates to apply for the role, however it is indicative of a ‘typical’ agency/consultant approach and that clearly left the Client exposed.

There are numerous reasons why a company would want their recruitment to be confidential. Whatever that reason though, there are a number of factors to take into account.

Who knows?

People talk, so the less stakeholders involved the better.

Before you embark on this project make sure you consider who needs to be aware and that they are trusted employees or where necessary, external providers and then develop the plan in advance so your expectations are clear and mistakes are avoided. If you’re discussing the potential plans with more than one consultancy, ensure that responsibility is allocated to one stakeholder only. Be very careful who you talk to and only engage with proven and reliable contacts. Depending on the resources you have internally, you will almost certainly need some form of additional external support. Even then, don’t talk to more ‘outsiders’ than absolutely necessary. If there’s someone in the role, ensure you take HR advice aside from any legal, accounting and other advice. Again, ensure that your advisers are experienced in this field and are trusted, whether that’s from previous relationships or recommendation.

Always stress the confidential nature of the campaign to everyone involved and engaged. If the external contacts are unaware of the situation and reasons for it, honest mistakes happen.

When engaged on a confidential campaign, we take a different approach and as a general rule, we work on a retained basis. If a recruiter hasn’t worked on this basis previously, the concept may not be something that’s fully understood and some recruiters think that this is for the benefit of the consultancy.

The reality of the situation is that where you have a trusted partner, this is normally the best solution. This way we can really control the flow of information, dedicate the time required to research the market, interview, re-interview etc specifically for this position, head hunt and build rapport with ‘target’ candidates and generally represent our client in the best light, consult and advise effectively. Any adverts, whether to passive or active candidates are very carefully written and approved by the end Client. They have to be appealing to the target audience whilst remaining generic enough to maintain confidentiality. Any short-lists from search activity have to be checked by our Client for existing relationships/knowledge. Non-disclosure agreements need administering and reinforcing given how ‘challenging’ they are to enforce.

managing agency relationship

Agency interviews have to ‘sell’ the opportunity and create interest and excitement, whilst maintaining confidentiality and off-site initial meetings are an obvious way to avoid any awkward questions about a flurry of meetings that look suspiciously like interviews.

Realising the above, often means that everyone is aware of the challenges being dealt with by the other parties and as a result of this and strong communication, you will often get a more productive, stress free result.

If you want to use us as a sound board, talk about any recruitment or retention situations, get in touch and…all conversations are, of course, strictly confidential!

Would you like to arrange a meeting with us?

Transparent Fees

In line with our transparent approach, we are happy to have our charges and some key points visible
to all.

Free Advice

  • Everything we do for our clients is with the aim of building a long-term relationship and not simply about a one-off placement. To ensure that is the case, our advice and consultancy side is always free.

No upfront fees

  • If we are engaged on a contingency basis, we only charge once the successful candidate has actually started.

Flat rate fees

  • We charge a flat rate of 20% +VAT (of annualised remuneration) for permanent recruitment and offer highly competitive charges for interim assignments. Our introductory rate doesn’t increase with salary levels and whilst most agencies will do this, we have never felt this to be a fair approach. You should always receive the same, high quality service regardless of the seniority of the role.

Free replacements

  • We offer a FREE replacement service for all permanent recruitment.

Register a vacancy

To register a vacancy, either call us on 020 3519 0099, email your job specification to or use the form below.