To Get Good Feedback, Know When to Keep Your Mouth Shut
March 16, 2015
By Carol Schultz
Our reputation and success as recruiters are closely tied to confidentiality. We need to keep the confidentiality of both our candidates and clients.
When I reach out for G2 (a government term meaning intelligence) on a candidate or client, the individual giving me information has to trust that I will keep his comments to myself and that I will use this information judiciously and never put him in jeopardy. I always tell people that conversations with recruiters are like conversations with your attorney, physician, or religious leader. We need to know when to keep our mouths shut because breaching confidentiality may cause your client or candidate (or both) never to trust, or work with, you again.
I was glued to Matt Lowney’s article (“Why You Don’t Get Better Client Feedback”). He told the story of a candidate he’d interviewed who didn’t seem interested in the opportunity, and even seemed “annoyed” with some of the questions Matt asked in the meeting. He explained that he gave specific feedback to the recruiter about the candidate, but that he “asked the recruiter to cushion the feedback” to the candidate, which the recruiter didn’t do. Because this recruiter doesn’t understand confidentiality, and provided “almost verbatim” feedback to the candidate, the candidate sent an inappropriate follow-up email to Matt and the leadership team.