6

Strange situtation:

I'm in the process of leaving my company (company A) for a new role as a team leader (company B).

While helping interview for my replacement, I've just discovered that someone from my new team (company B) has applied for the job and is scheduled to be interviewed this week. My current line manager (company A) approved the interview before informing me.

My new boss (company B) doesn't know, and the person going for the interview doesn't know that I know. Should I tell my new boss?

If I don't tell my them, and the person is successful in their interview - it will be obvious that I was involved and didn't say anything.

If I do tell them, then my integrity may be compromised - even though I've not actually met the person in question.

Reading posts on this site imply that I should just keep my mouth shut - whichever decision I choose puts me in an awkward situation.

10

Do not tell your new boss. If your new boss is a good one, he will understand that you cannot tell this to him, because it is about your old employer. Which I assume he has nothing to do with.

You do not have the additional information, maybe his contract won't be extended, perhaps your boss already knows, maybe he isn't happy with the work environment.

You state that it was obvious that you were involved in the interview process for your current employer (if he succeeds), which pays you to do so. I think that's all there is to say about this. You were involved in hiring your replacement, nothing more, nothing less.

  • I am not entirely sure what happen. The answer I thought I made a comment against was saying something else entirely ( or I could have sworn it did ). – Donald Jun 2 '14 at 12:25
  • You were contradicting yourself, yes. – Kevin Jun 2 '14 at 12:30
5

The question is this: if someone applies to your current company and you are part of he interview process, do you call the candidate's current employer and tell the candidate's current employer that the candidate is interviewing with your company? The answer is a resounding "No" and if you actually get caught calling the candidate's current employer, I hope that your current employer fires you on the spot, because you just compromised the confidentiality of your current employer's hiring process and therefore your current employer's ability to hire and you just destroyed the implicit "safe harbor" provision that all job candidates who are interviewing with your current employer are entitled to, thereby undermining job candidates' trust and confidence in your current employer. How would you like it if someone from Company B called your boss at company A to tell your boss that you were interviewing with company B? I would interpret it as a stab in the back by company B and I would not want to deal with company B again. Not on my own volition. And whoever at company B informed my boss at company A not only stabbed me in the back but also back stabbed his own employer at company B because he undermined the confidentiality of their employer's hiring process and thus, their employer's ability to hire.

The fact is this: you're still getting a paycheck from company A and you have yet to start on the job at company B. So, for which company do you work for? The obvious answer is company A and until you start your first day at company B, you have NO responsibilities toward company B and you owe company B NOTHING. What's your logic again, in acting like an employee B when you are NOT an employee of company B and not acting like an employee of company A when you are still drawing a paycheck from company A? I don't get that logic.

When a prospective employer makes an offer to you, that prospective employer leaves it to you and you alone to tell your boss that you are leaving. Telling your boss that you are leaving is your responsibility and yours alone. No one else may step in and tell it for you. This procedure is time tested and all employers use it for a reason. Stick to the official path and to universally accepted, official procedures. Keep confidential information confidential. Nobody is paying you to be an informant, nobody is asking you to be an informant and if anyone is asking you to be an informant in this case, you should refuse. Point blank.

You are uncomfortable not rushing and telling anyone at company B what you know? Well, life is full of uncomfortable moments and we all have to keep our bearings and get through them. And we will get through them as long as we keep our bearings and know exactly what we are responsible for and what we are NOT responsible for.

2

You currently work for company A, correct? Then it is very unethical to reveal to company B information given to you by company A as part of its day-to-day business, including (you might say especially) regarding hiring or other HR matters. The fact that you have a job offer in hand from company B is completely irrelevant, it would be a failure of your duty to company A. This is the kind of behaviour that leads to companies escorting employees directly off the premises when they hand in their notice -- they've been burned by or heard stories of people doing things while working out their notice that they would never otherwise contemplate.

It may be that company B expects you to reveal to it any information you have about its employees that it would find interesting: especially once you have started work at company B. In particular, going for interviews might be seen as important information since it suggests that employee is planning to leave, and this is something the employer wants to take into account.

Personally I think it would be pretty shady to extend this to the level of expecting you to share information from your old employer. Hiring someone doesn't give you the right to all their inside information. Nevertheless, if company B is pretty shady (in my view) and you want to work for them anyway, then you'd have to take their expectations into account. If company B is not shady, and the thing you're worried about happens, then you say, "I received confidential information at company A and of course I could not pass it on to you". If you say that and company B holds it against you, well, you have a problem with your employer.

I think a closer call (and one that I don't know the answer to), is this: assuming the member of your new team doesn't get the job at company A and is still there when you start work, do you mention to them that you know they applied for the job, in order to ask them whether they're unsatisfied at company B and what would change that? In favour of it, you're honest and open in what you know about your team member. Against it, it might be seen by the employee as applying more pressure or suspicion than you want, and you might have to put on record for company B what you've discussed.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.