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Do not let corporate recruiters use you, and put your confidentiality at risk, just to validate an internal candidate!

When a recruiter solicits an executive’s interest in a new career opportunity, the issue of confidentiality is immediately in play.  Most executives do not want their current employer to know they might consider another job.  Recruiters understand this dynamic and work diligently to protect the privacy of their applicants.

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That said, any time you decide to consider another position, there always is a risk word will leak out.

You do not want to be a window dressing candidate to validate an internal candidate.


When the recruiters come calling, here is a critical question combination you should ask, even before the issue of compensation:  does the prospective employer have an established succession planning process, and are there any internal candidates for this position? You do not want to risk exposure to your current employer or activate the industry rumor mill, especially if this is a window dressing search to validate the internal candidate. 

Be direct. Ask the recruiter.  If there are any doubts, be prepared to walk away.