Would firm I’m interviewing at contact my current boss?

CRE / PE / DEV - submitted a resume for an opening at a firm I've talked with for a while now, a college alum is an MD there and is friends/knows my boss well, he introduced me to his team mate for a second call and this guy, another MD also knows my boss and had met him recently to discuss deals.

How likely is it that I came up during the conversation? Really would hate if they talked as I'm a big believer in discretion.

Obviously it's a small world, just not sure what's typical/reasonable for this sorta thing?

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Comments (8)

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Nov 20, 2021 - 12:46am

Doubt he would bring it up. They understand these things are delicate. But if they're extremely close he might mention it.

Nov 20, 2021 - 9:53pm

Commercial real estate is such a small industry that this is not an uncommon occurrence at all. Unless they're absolute best friends I wouldn't expect him to say anything. It's understood that people leave companies, and that it's a delicate situation when they're recruiting. Most people are going to be aware of this and not go out of their way to potentially put someone out of a job, even if they don't hire you themselves (although they may take a pass on you to avoid stealing you from a friendly).

Nov 21, 2021 - 12:54am

What others have said is correct.  It is an unwritten rule to maintain confidentiality in these types of situations.  And it would be seriously fucked up and frowned upon (although not completely unheard of) for someone to do that to you. 

Most Helpful
Nov 21, 2021 - 4:55pm

If this MD outted the fact that you were applying to your current boss (or really anyone outside of their own firm), it is a major violation of trust and ethics. One that would totally fuck over that firm's ability to hire (and even retain), so I doubt it would happen. 

The MD may ask more "intentional" questions of his friend (your boss) to assess what's going on at your firm, in order to see how accurate any representations you have made are, but still, I'd expect that to be rare and not at all to "out" you. 

As others have said, real estate is small world, everyone really does come to know everyone, so these linkages are common and this is just how the game is played.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Nov 21, 2021 - 5:37pm

Not really. Sure, it's a violation of ethics if it was found out he spoke bad about you, but you're kidding yourself if the two are good friends and he's not asking input on a potential hire. Doesn't have to be formal or anything and can be over drinks or something with no trace back to HR. This stuff happens say in and day out and is definitely going to happen if both firms are small private firms with no HR department.

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Nov 22, 2021 - 9:08am

Contacting your CURRENT boss without permission could harm your employment, and would be very poor taste at best. If you give permission for a reference check, or it is a mutual 'third party' different deal. 

BTW if they were to do this, I'd say they better be 100% making you a better offer to join their firm. But seriously, I've never heard of this happening or seen this happen. Contacting prior employers, or people associated with, sure... but current is a whole other thing (plus it could allow the current to better compete and raise the bid, so its not even a smart hiring strategy). 

Nov 22, 2021 - 10:49am

Yeah I agree with redever here. If a prospective future employer ever actually called my current boss while I still worked there I would be furious. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Nov 22, 2021 - 11:14am

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