Thursday, May 9, 2013

Beware the Blind Box Ad

Are you a successful wine industry professional who is gainfully employed but maybe just a smidge unhappy?  Are you passively looking for a new job, needing to keep your interest in changing jobs very, very confidential?  Well, BEWARE the blind box ad.

Yes, it looks innocent enough.  Calls out all of your strengths and says all of your weaknesses are personality characteristics that they crave on their team.  It is located 5 miles from your front door, and allows you to travel as much or as little as you desire.  It spells out the company's commitment to making hand-crafted, magical wines that are accessible to all, fly off the shelves and provide you with a handsome bonus.   And the pay is more than you thought possible.

So apply already.  What's stopping you?  Oh, yeah, maybe that blind box ad is really posted by your current employer.  It might be a bit awkward to explain why you were looking at the job boards when you should be  working diligently for your boss.  Well, mistakes can be made and your boss will slap you on the back and say "We can always laugh about this later."  On the flip side, she may see your resume come across her desk and not tell you she knows you are looking--and quietly plan on replacing you.

Well, that would be bad.  So beware job seekers, and think before you hit send to a blind box ad.  I would recommend not submitting your resume to the position and instead see if you can find out who is looking for a new employee.   Talk to your trusted friends in the industry to see if they have heard about any new jobs out there.  Look on the websites of the companies you think it might be.  Although they posted a blink box ad, they may have the same opening on their job board.  Job postings on and other sites are very public postings, so sometimes companies put a blind box out there so they can quietly screen through candidates without any direct phone calls or other distractions during the hiring process.  While hundreds of people look at daily, probably a handful of job seekers will go to each individual winery's website job listings.

Employer Anonymity:  For the employer a blind box does offer a lot of anonymity.   But is that really what you want.  Haven't you built up your reputation over time and made your company a place people want to work.  So how will someone know that when they see a blind box ad.  You may be missing a lot of great talent who won't consider applying to a company they don't know.  If you can handle the publicity, list your company in the ad.

My Circumstances:  Ironically, when I post an ad WineTalent gets top billing, but my client's information is kept confidential.  As a recruiter, a service I provide to my client is to handle all of the candidate communications at the beginning of the search process.  I want to talk to as many people as possible for each job, and that's what my clients expect.  But all too often, when I have permission to list my client's name on a public job posting, a sly job seeker will  have the brilliant idea of contacting the client directly.  Unfortunately, this never moves that brilliant candidate to the top of the list, but instead to the bottom of the wastebasket.

Double Agent, But Not Doublecrossing:  You might ask, "If WineTalent is keeping the client confidential, what happens if I apply to a job with WineTalent that is actually for my current employer?"  All communications between WineTalent and either my candidates or my clients are confidential between the two of us.  I put my pledge of confidentiality on my website, and stand behind it.  I want your interactions with WineTalent to benefit your career, not adversely affect it.  And I want my clients to feel comfortable discussing their unique situations without fear of others finding out about them.   It can be a delicate balancing act, but an act that provides the best outcome for everyone.

This post could become a plug for recruiters.  We help job seekers keep their search confidential, and we provide confidentiality to our clients who are needing to bring in new talent.  Maybe that's why we recruiters are still needed in today's world, and most likely tomorrow's as well.  Happy Searching Everyone!

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