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Okay so I've been putting out feelers recently to see what opportunities are out there due to things I'm not happy about with the current employer. (IE it's not time to move on yet, but it's probably coming soon so preparing)

I received a phone call from my boss this past Friday saying "Hey, I just got called by one of my buddies saying he had received your resume..." I managed to mostly diffuse things as I wasn't actively applying to places, but that I always keep my resume out there (Which is mostly true).

At this point there were two recruiting agencies and two listings they were looking into. At this point there are really three plausible scenarios.

  • The boss is bluffing to see if I'm looking as we just had someone quit
  • Company A or B had someone who knows him and they contacted him since they are friends
  • Agency B may have had someone on their staff who was his friend and contacted him.

(I am excluding Agency A, it's just extremely unlikely for a variety of reasons.)

At this point though I'm concerned, I can't tell who was responsible to ensure I don't continue business with them in any manner as I feel this is HIGHLY unprofessional behavior.

At this point I'm conflicted, I feel I should drop all outstanding items (since honestly while the startup is intriguing neither company was a dream job of sorts) I already dropped the second agency since this happened.

At this point though did I act appropriately, is there something else I should have done or considered? Is this something I should be reporting so someone if the culprit is identified?

  • Fire both of the agencies – Pepone Aug 10 '14 at 18:20
  • @Pepone I fired Agency B, Agency A is doesn't work with my company and has helped two others from my company move on (same recruiter even) Agency A also is very professional and have gone way above and beyond for me in the past. So really I'm certain they didn't do anything wrong here. I did fire Agency B, and withdrew consideration from the two companies. – RualStorge Aug 11 '14 at 15:27
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Recruiters work for the prospective employers i.e. they get paid by them. On the other hand, confidentiality is recruiters' bread and butter, and a breach of confidentiality on the part of a recruiter can have serious repercussion on the candidates who use them.

It is unlikely that a recruiter would spill the beans, unless that individual recruiter is clueless about what their job entails or what particularly careless i.e. calling your boss to introduce you to the boss as an applicant. The leak is more likely to come from one of the prospective employers that a recruiter contacted.

You should contact both A and B and tell them what happened, and that you expect them to redouble their efforts to keep confidential any business you do with them. And that both A and B should remind their clients at some point that breaches of confidentiality will make it very difficult to recruit talent from the competition.

Whether you want to have anything further to do with A or B - that's your call.

In the meantime, keep floating the resume.

  • Ultimately I discontinued utilizing agency B (because agency A is simply the better of the two and very well known by comparison) I also withdrew consideration from both companies. While they looked "good" neither felt good enough to justify additional risk. Still going to keep the resume out there can't make progress if you don't try. Thanks Vietnhi – RualStorge Aug 11 '14 at 15:23

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