A confidential search is conducted by a company seeking to fill important positions without publicly advertising or broadcasting it, keeping the process discreet without alerting employees, competitors, and clients.

A confidential search is one where the hiring organization can choose to be anonymous until a chosen time. According to statistics, 70% of jobs are never published publicly – these jobs are often filled through a confidential search.

A process that guaranteed a successful hiring of a suitable c-suite executive.



Below are common reasons that tend to warrant a confidential approach and the reason why the hiring company may require anonymity, or an executive recruiting firm may recommend the client having a confidential search.

Replacing an Employee
If the organization’s reasoning for a confidential search is based on a low performing incumbent to improve an area of business by simply replacing stagnant or unmotivated employees. This is where the incumbent has performance issues or interpersonal conflicts, and the organization plans to terminate them once a successor is identified. The individual a company is seeking to replace may not even be aware that a confidential search for their replacement is underway until it’s finished.

Risk of loss of intellectual property
Organizations may want to provide notice to individuals facing termination, but this could mean IP is unintentionally walked to the door too. Removing the window and exiting someone on the spot may preserve more IP.

Replacing Leadership
In most cases of confidential recruiting, the search is done for a replacement in leadership or an executive position. To avoid leadership gaps, it’s best to replace an outgoing employee without tipping them off, and having a replacement lined up ensures a smooth transition.

Maintain control of the narrative
The organization needs to maintain control of the narrative. If there’s a risk of gossip and half-truths or information needs to be protected.

New Branches & Product Launches

Another reason hiring managers often opt for confidential searches is when there are impending product launches or business changes.

Internal Changes
Additionally, during significant internal changes, such as upcoming acquisition and mergers or restructuring, certain job titles may give away sensitive information to staff before you’re ready to make an announcement.

Fear of a walkout
This may be a leader who is well adored who may “take” individuals with them.

Avoiding High Volume of Unqualified Applicants
For larger or globally recognized companies, it is incredibly important to hire confidentially. Doing this avoids having to sort through an overwhelming amount of unqualified applicants, ultimately leading to better hiring outcomes.

Internal Recruiters gives away the identity of the company
It is nearly impossible for an internal recruiter to conduct a confidential search without immediately giving away the company’s identity, thus it is imperative that a third party recruiting firm is utilized.



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