3

So I am doing a recruitment process in a great company - Company A - which is a competitor from a former job I had for 4 years - Company B.

Company A and B are direct competitors, both premium and low cost products, same customers, same principles, same product line, etc...

Recruiter (Company A CEO) knows I worked for Company B and he is OK with that BUT, my father also happens to be the owner of Company B and a very relevant and influent person in the market, being the Owner/Board Member/Director for Companies C, D, E, F, etc... also very relevants in the market as well.

  • My father is OK with me moving to Company A
  • The only thing stopping the recruiter is the relationship between me and my father
  • Me and my father are very ethnical at home, we usually do not talk about work
  • He admittedly said he is scared of me and my father exchanging important /strategic information

Recruiter said he would talk to the founder about this, because I would be in a marketing management position. He also talked about an experience he had with his father, both worked in competitors, he knows crosstalk happens.

He said he will think of a way or document which we both can agree on to keep everything confidential, even though its risky. We have been chatting over Whatsapp, changing information here and there between this whole process, so maybe I could send something to tranquilize him.

My question is:
Should I take any action and say something that could help them see this might not be as risky as it seems? Is there a way I can make them comfortable with this situation?

EDIT:
Why I want to move to Company A? Because I love this market, have been missing it since I left my father's company. The company is great, role is challenging, it just got a big investment. Today I work at a Hearing Aids company - Company A, B, C, D, E... produce dental products.

Is there a chance of coming back to Company B or any other that my father represents? Good question, I left Company B because I did not get along with the way one of the shareholders manages some situations, because I was very young at the time and did not understand how hard was it for him to make those decisions. My father asked me to leave so I could learn more. We have talked about coming back in the future, but 10 years or so, he wants me back as a shareholder or Director, not a marketing guy.

3
  • 3
    I don't think there is anything you can say that will make them comfortable with the situation. Like it or not, your dad is their direct competitor. But then again, people often move between competing firms, even at very senior positions, and loyalty to the employer is earned through performance-related bonuses. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 11:58
  • 2
    I don't understand the chatting over whatsapp? What does that have to do with the question? Also can you maybe explain a little why you would want to move to A? This could be relevant. What are the chances for instance that later on you move back to B?
    – user180146
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 12:03
  • @user180146 it means we have a quick platform to get in touch, it's not like I would have to say something to a HR assistant, that will pass the information to HR director, which will pass to the CEO. Will edit the post clarifying your needs
    – RA828
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 12:10

2 Answers 2

5

Should I take any action and say something that could help them see this might not be as risky as it seems? Is there a way I can make them comfortable with this situation?

This is a pretty unique situation. Moving between competitors is no big deal whatsoever, especially in a 4 year timeframe, but having your Dad as the boss of a competitor is a pretty big hurdle to overcome. There's no way a few words is ever going to make that comfortable, so to speak.

Many, even most places would have likely ruled you out as a knee-jerk reaction - so the fact they haven't done that and they're actively looking to see if they can get something to work is a great sign.

Trying to force some relaxing words into the conversation out of turn is more likely to hinder, rather than help the situation, as it could easily come across that you're not taking the situation seriously. All I'd suggest is to express appreciation and thank the recruiter when they say they're looking into it.

So at the point he says:

...he will think of a way or document which we both can agree on to keep everything confidential, even though its risky.

I probably would have replied with something akin to:

Thank you very much - I realise this is a rather difficult situation and appreciate the effort you're putting in to see if we can work something out. Let me know if there's anything you need from my end at all.

...and that's really all you can do, short of an exceptional event (such as your father leaving his company!)

2
  • Thank you! Since 24 hours passed since we had our last talk (video chat), may I still send this message?
    – RA828
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 12:25
  • 1
    @renanAlmeida828 That's up to you, it's a hard one to call. Given you had a video chat, not an email exchange, I'd probably leave it as following up a day later may come across as more forced than helpful.
    – berry120
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 15:23
2

Oof..That's going to be an extremely tough, I'd say nigh on impossible sell. You're asking Company A CEO to take an extremely big gamble that someone's loyalty to their father won't come in to play and that accidental infomation leaks won't happen when said father is not only the owner of a direct competitor but also a significant player in many other companies in the market.

I have no reason to doubt you when you say

Me and my father are very ethnical at home, we usually do not talk about work

but I'm not the one being asked to potentially put my business on the line if I take you at your word. Heck even your statement there qualifies it with "usually" so you do talk about work at home (which is likely inevitible).

he would talk to the founder about this

I guarantee you this conversation is going to be about whether they think they will get more benefit of information flowing their way than they will lose in leaks. Because even if they work on the presumption that you are intending on working with them in good faith they have to assume there will be some information flow between you and your father, they would be idiots not to.

One of the comments asked:

Is there a chance of coming back to Company B or any other that my father represents?

Which I think is a fair question you could reasonably expect Company A to ask as well. Now if they were to ask you the same and you gave your answer here:

Good question, I left Company B because I did not get along with the way one of the shareholders manages some situations, because I was very young at the time and did not understand how hard was it for him to make those decisions. My father asked me to leave so I could learn more. We have talked about coming back in the future, but 10 years or so, he wants me back as a shareholder or Director, not a marketing guy.

I have to say this would be, uncomfortable to hear, it would only underline that in the long term your loyalty lies with your Father and Company B. Realistically you don't generally expect that someone you hire in a commercially important role is never going to go to a competitor but here's someone who has already had discussions about a role there and (relatively) firm plans to do so. If Company A CEO were here asking the flipside of this question I'd be telling them to run away as fast as they could.

2
  • You made a very good point by saying my answer would be uncomfortable to hear, and I feel that. If he did ask this directly to me, I would say we have no plans of working back together, because we are not sure we will work back together, is more like a father and son life long-term plan
    – RA828
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 13:00
  • Thank you for you answer, it is very complete and i know I need to lower my expectations over this. I think all have to do is to understand I have this achille's heel and wait for their final answer
    – RA828
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 13:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .