Revealing employer’s clients is going too far

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

There will be a tendency to use details of employer’s clients to bolster the 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 appears to be more of a problem in IT than in other sectors and is certainly an issue in IT security. Here are some non-IT examples for illustration:

  • Taxi Driver – if someone was a taxi driver for 5 years and they were applying for a new job, they would be expected to state the dates they were a taxi driver, the company they worked for or alternatively say they were a self-employed taxi driver. A taxi driver would obviously not be expected to list clients or journeys. Doing so would be neither practical nor appropriate. This is unlikely to ever happen but does illustrate the point.
  • Recruitment Agent – similar example, a recruitment agent would not be expected 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 work, such as specific domains of expertise. Willingness to disclose current employer’s clients illustrates the likelihood of disclosing 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 solicitors’ firm.

It is worth noting that a non-disclosure agreement or non-disclosure terms will be included in a contract of employment which prohibit discussion or disclosure of client details.