Revealing employer’s clients is going too far

In previous blogs, ‘how much information is too much’ was discussed in detail along with how callers can compromise the supply chain with an inappropriate discussion which crosses lines. This article is a follow-up with more detailed examples for further clarity, and more within the context of how much information to include on professional profiles.

There will be a tendency to use details of employer’s clients to bolster your profile, but the message is clear, if you are willing to use your employer’s clients now to find a new job, you will most likely use your new employer’s clients in the future. This problem is significant in IT and is undoubtedly an issue in IT security. Here are some non-IT examples for illustration:  

  • Taxi Driver – if someone was a taxi driver for five years and they were applying for a new job, an employer would expect them to state the dates they were a taxi driver, and either the name of the taxi firm or that they were a self-employed taxi driver. Nobody would expect a taxi driver list clients or journeys. Doing so would neither be practical nor appropriate. A taxi driver is unlikely to do this, but it does illustrate the point.
  • Recruitment Agent – a similar example, an employer would not expect a recruiter to provide details of companies for which they recruit or people they have helped find work. Start date and end date is sufficient along with details of the job, such as specific domains of expertise. Willingness to disclose current employer’s clients illustrates the likelihood of revealing future employer’s clients.
  • A burglar alarm installer would not list where they installed specific types of alarm systems
  • Solicitors would not list their clients but would name the firm as their employer

Contracts of employment include confidentiality clauses, and separate non-disclosure agreements are often required.