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Would you sign a NDA with a Recruiter?

Is it only me that finds being given a NDA from a Recruiter just a little bizarre. By the way, not only is the NDA poorly written, but they also are asking questions about spouse's name, occupation, children names and ages under the guise of transition/relocation needs.


Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Spouse's and children's names aren't important. If they are going to provide assistance with obtaining a job for the spouse, looking for great schools for the children, then perhaps it could be beneficial. I would think this would be the last step in that process though. As in, you have the job and are starting within a couple of months.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

It seems a bit unorthodox for sure. What are you agreeing not to disclose? Is it possibly a company that has posted the job privately and doesn't want the person in the position to know they are looking for a replacement? If it is for a consulting position possibly during the interview they want to give specific examples and see what you think about it? Guessing here, but the only reason I would imagine them wanting family members if it is a publicly traded company to ensure they don't work for the same company?

Jim Schwartz
Title: Corporate financial advisor
Company: Wabash Financial Strategies
(Corporate financial advisor, Wabash Financial Strategies) |

Chris and Christie have offered sound advice. I have obtained jobs through recruiters that required family relocation but no spousal job arrangement. I have not seen anything like this. You are right to be wary, especially because it is from the recruiter and not the employer.

The key is to understand what's behind the request and, as Christie says, what you are agreeing not to disclose (and for how long). Then either create your own very specific NDA or edit the offered document so that it is precisely focused and no longer poorly written. It is reasonable that you should protect the name of the company, the position being filled, the fact that the company is looking and, possibly, the location.

Topic Expert
Dana Price
Title: Vice President, M&A
Company: McGraw Hill Education
(Vice President, M&A, McGraw Hill Education) |

Wayne, are they a reputable recruiter, or a well-known one, and is the NDA a 2-way NDA? I would run the other way and if in fact they are not able to articulate why they need this information (as the folks above mention), I would report them to the Better Business Bureau. This is highly unusual and in this day and age, never sign anything. I don't want to see you on Page 6.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Actually I may end up on page 6, but that's a horse of a different color.

I don't see a need to sign an NDA w/ any recruiter. I, given our potential level in future organization understand the need to possibly sign with a potential employer, but document needs to be well defined (and this one was not).

The answer I got was "this is what corporate wants". My answer was "good bye and good luck".

As far as the other questions, I see no need for a recruiter to ask that info (if I volunteer it, that's my business). It has no bearing on whether a candidate can or can't do a job and it isn't the recruiter who will be assisting with relocation (normally) and if they are, then I have the job and then those questions become moot (as far as a candidates viability).

Anonymous Anonymous
Title: CFO
Company: Anonymous
(CFO, Anonymous) |

Great question. I have recently been asked about AGE, if I am MARRIED, and have any CHILDREN. WHen I confront the interviewer(s) - yes, more than one - their answer is "those laws only apply to firms with 50 or more employees."


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