Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Confidentiality and Protecting Your Professional Network

2013-03-27 18:52:26

In today’s highly connected digital landscape, people are giving up more and more of their personal information. We opt in to allow retailers to track our purchase history and credit card companies to sell our income information. If you aren’t aware of the implications of datamining and analytics, you might want to read up on them:

Data Mining: How Companies Now Know Everything About You

How Facebook Plans On Using Your Prescription Drug Purchase History, And How To Stop Them!

I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web!

There is a conversation going on over on LinkedIn. A gentleman was asking for recommendations and contact info for his adult son for a PT job at a specific type of restaurant. He also stated that he had already “gotten him a job” elsewhere and everyone “loved” his son as an employee.

I chimed in with a couple of recommendations for the places to look into, and then made the observation that from a recruiting perspective, I would rather see his son asking for what he needs, as he is the candidate and the “product”.

To make a long story short (I made some observations about the appearance of overparenting, a suggestion on using the LinkedIn mobile app, and how great a skill it would be for his son to learn to network himself for a job), I apparently touched a nerve. I was pretty much told that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and that all he was looking for was contact information for his kid for a job thankyouverymuch.

The reason I relay this information is because never, in a thousand years, would I *ever* give out the contact information of a business owner or CEO of a company of any size to a third party regarding a job, just as I would never give someone’s resume to another recruiter/company without the candidate’s express permission or request.

I have some very highly placed contacts in my professional network on a global scale. They have entrusted me with their business acquaintanceship and contact information with the understanding that I will not just give it away to anyone who might ask. From a human resources and legal perspective, it is a serious breach of ethics for me to just give someone’s resume and contact information away without the candidate’s express permission. I am happy to facilitate connections, but I’m not going to do it on a third-party basis. To be blunt, how do *I* know this guy was really looking to help his kid, or trying to drum up names for a sales pitch? Especially after taking such offense to my observations (he "doth protest too much, methinks".)

I am perfectly willing to take responsibility for my own information and how it is acquired and used, but I feel very strongly about my rights and responsibilities with *other* people’s information. If someone is looking for a job and I have information that might be beneficial in their search, I expect them to contact me directly to make the request.

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