Increasingly I am learning the importance of discussing resume privacy with my network of candidates, and I know I’m not alone, with this often being a topic of discussion in the Aspect office. Resumes are a highly confidential document belonging to the owner and it’s the responsibility of the Recruitment industry to treat it with respect.
Like many industries, the one I operate in (Environmental Health) is talent short and highly competitive amongst recruitment agencies. When I took over management of the portfolio in 2017, I knew one of my biggest challenges would be following best practice whilst remaining competitive. However, I’ve quickly learnt that best practice is sustainable and personally rewarding.
A Common Scenario
I recently formed an action plan with a valued candidate of mine who was ready for her next role. Not plucked out of thin air, this plan was consciously created through consultation and, as a result, we were able to identify a suitable list of employers to approach. The Candidate advised that, to her knowledge, no other agency had represented her to any of these employers within the last six months. I was enthusiastic to dedicate the balance of my day to securing her an opportunity.
During a phone conversation with a client, we discussed this candidate in detail and discovered a suitable opportunity. The client then realised this resume had been sent a couple of hours prior to our conversation with ‘a bunch of others’. Frustrated, the candidate advised this had been sent without her permission. Whilst some may argue she was still represented, the incorrect method can implicate your job search through the following:
The law is broken
Loss of privacy and control of your job search
Risk of your brand being devalued and loss of desirability
Your application doesn’t get the love it deserves – a good Consultant will advocate on the candidate’s behalf and will consult to the line manager on their value and suitability
The enthusiasm is lost, the employer becomes frustrated and puts your application in the ‘too hard basket’.
Tips to manage your job application
1. Set the expectations
State on your resume ‘not to be circulated without my permission’ or ‘strictly confidential’
Once you engage with a recruitment agency, make it very clear how you would like your resume and other personal information to be managed. A good Recruitment Consultant understands that permission must be granted prior to sending to a third party.
2. Try working with an agency exclusively
Working exclusively with an agency doesn’t mean they manage your job search forever. Rather, it allows you to work more closely with a recruiter to ensure your application is managed with full transparency and presented to potential employers with the thoroughness and professionalism it deserves.
3. Limit your agency numbers
Just because you’re signed up to multiple agencies doesn’t mean your probability of securing a role is any higher. Often employers will brief multiple recruitment agencies on the same role. Reduce the phone calls and minimise the risk by limiting numbers.
4. Put it in writing
Ensure each job that your details are put forward to is acknowledged, in writing, by the agency representing you. Ambiguous details about the employer are insufficient. The name of the position and the full details of the company should be disclosed prior to your resume being sent to them, and documented thereafter. This will make your application history a lot easier to manage, especially if you’re dealing with multiple agencies.
5. Expect professionalism and regular contact
The role of a Recruiter is not to act as a ‘resume flicker’. We’re here to offer a trusted, professional and valuable service. In my opinion, Recruitment is about being detailed, proactive, consistent, transparent and organised. My philosophy is that the relationship is only just starting once placed in a role.
With the GDPR now rolled out in Europe, expect the treatment of candidates’ personal information to receive much more publicity. While this level of regulation may not yet apply to all recruitment agencies operating in Australia, clear privacy laws exist with regards to how personal information is managed, let alone professionalism and common decency.
Q. Have you had a similar situation happen to you and if so, how did you manage this?
For a detailed discussion about the recruitment process and how to manage your job search, please contact us on (03) 9092 7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.