You’ve lost your job in banking. Do you have to make this clear when you’re looking for a new one? Banking recruiters in London say plenty of people aren’t.
“We’re getting a lot of junior candidates who are going from telling us they’re only interested in jobs on the buy-side to suddenly telling us they’ll take anything in an investment banking division (IBD),” says Andy Pringle, managing director at Circle Square Talent. “At that point, we know that they’ve either been given their notice period or been told that it’s time to start looking. Although they rarely make that clear.”
A recruiter at another M&A search boutique in London says he’s encountering something similar. “Most people are upfront about whether they’ve been let go – but at the junior end they often won’t mention it if they think it will affect their job search. In around 10% of cases we only find that they’re on their notice period when the client mentions it to us.”
This is a problem. At the very least, recruiters say you need to tell them when you’re on your notice period. “You need to be upfront with your recruiter,” says Pringle. “If the recruiter has a good relationship with the client, he can help overcome any doubts the client has about hiring someone who’s been let go.”
Another recruiter says there’s “nothing to be gained” from concealing an enforced exit. “There are zero advantages when people aren’t upfront with us,” he says. “We will find out, usually by speaking to our contacts in the market. It ruins trust and if we’re selling people on the grounds that they’re highly ranked and still employed and it becomes apparent halfway through the interview process that they’re not actually working, it’s very bad. The hiring bank will often pull out.”
Sometimes it can make sense to shut up about your situation though. “Some banks have got a thing about hiring people who’ve been laid off,” says one recruiter. “The ideal situation is that you manage to get a job before the end of your notice period without ever revealing that you were let go.”
Richard Hoar, director at recruitment firm Goodman Masson, says employment status isn’t the only thing candidates are circumspect about. Telling the truth about salaries can also be an issue. “We get a fair number of people who say they’re already on salary X when that’s the salary they will be on if they’re promoted in their current job in a few months time,” he says.