August 2020

Successfully placed the role of HR Manager, UK for a media organisation in Singapore

August 2020

Closed the position of Leasing Manager, Singapore for a real estate asset management company

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2020 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Updated in October 2022


The rules of engagement when it comes to the firing and hiring of company executives can be perceived to be very “executive” in its execution as they are usually spared the ignominy of being informed of their soon-to-be-terminated contract status. Just like the hiring process, the firing process is most times shrouded in secrecy. This secrecy is carried out to, sometimes—outlandish heights, such as procuring an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure the executive scouting process is kept confidential.

That said, there is more to the intent behind outsourcing the recruitment process than embarking on a face-saving, and blushes-sparing exercise for a soon-to-be-fired executive. Most often, the process begins with a call from a recruiter or a recruiting firm with the recruiter electing to discuss an opportunity with the candidates in the most confidential terms. Usually, this implies a withholding of information such as the name of the company and other details of similar nature in terms of the candidate’s prospective employer.

The reasons for this are manifold. It may range from internal incumbency (as the soon-to-be-vacated role is still being occupied) to competitive reasons. While companies might from time to time, ply the unfamiliar routes of having to secure the services of a recruitment firm due to factors such as lack of time, improving the quality of the hire, and unavailability of in-house hiring expertise; when it comes to executive recruitment, strict confidentiality and an extensive network of candidates is needed, along with the right experience in negotiation.

Confidential executive search – Key steps

As with most goals, it all starts with a clear definition.  You commence your search by defining the scope of qualification you expect of the soon-to-be-hired executive. Concepts like the job role, the job description, and specification should be considered in the event that you want an employee with niche skills, or a one with a one-size-fits-all ability. You should also know the right recruitment agency to hire through a credible process.

Hiring a temporary staff would mean that you secure the services of a staff recruitment agency. For executives, you might want to look at the services of an executive recruitment agency. You also want to make sure they are affordable and competent. Competence for executive recruitment agencies can be measured by their testimonials, social media presence, and professional associations.

If the recruitment agency does not have such information on their company website, you may proceed to ask for a commendation letter or client reference to testify to the capabilities as a competent recruitment firm. The role of these validations cannot be over-emphasized, given that the executive role is one that could make or mar an organization. Thus, a wrong fit is too much of a risk that you don’t want to take.

Upon finding the right recruitment agency for your executive search, job details like performance expectations, job descriptions, remuneration, and other specifics associated with the job are communicated to the recruitment firm to begin its search.

Roadblocks and Hacks

With employers open to remote hiring job candidates from anywhere in the world, some first interviews are conducted online.  The initial first rounds of interviews are crucial for exchange of information between recruiter and job candidate.

With online interviews, it is more challenging for recruiters to draw out information during a confidential executive search

However, for the recruitment agency, one task that is a derivative of online interview is the task of making the candidate feel safe enough to divulge as much information about his or her qualification over the phone. This is because candidate information is deemed highly confidential and sensitive, especially for a high ranking role like that of an executive.

The key here is for the recruiter to secure the trust of the candidates through various tactics. One of them is to venture into an information trade-off where the recruiter relinquishes just about enough information to secure the confidence of the candidate who, in turn, gives back information about themselves in exchange until a compromise is reached.

Key Success Factors of Confidential Executive Search

Another rationale behind the requirement of secrecy is that it is the moment such an executive discovers that he/she is about to be laid off; this person may become disinterested at work. The person may try to put the company in an unfavorable spot out of a new-found animosity towards the company. Such an executive may try to influence the company’s commercial activities in a way that suits his/her personal agenda rather than that of the company.

This is why one key factor for attaining success with a confidential executive search boils down to skills that are demonstrated by the recruitment firm’s competence and experience. This factor is a non-negotiable one because securing executive talent means the company is vulnerable and that only recruiters with expertise can navigate such perilous waters with the company coming out unscathed.

Another touchpoint is the uncanny ability to negotiate. This is just as important for any recruiter, but most important for executive recruiters because form the get-go—the telephone/audio/video conversation, the recruiter’s negotiation skills would be put to the test. Clearly, the recruiter has the unenviable task of having to extract information from the candidate, most times with the candidate being understandably reluctant due to:

  1. The sensitive nature of the information being required of them
  2. The anonymity of the hiring company

Moving on, for executive recruitment hiring companies, the ability to leverage the synergy between the search consultant and the account manager from the beginning of the assignment to its end is of equal importance. This is to guarantee a uniformity of purpose and objectives while attempting to land these executive talents.

In today’s interconnected galaxy of information, the requirement of secrecy can be quite tasking to fulfill. However, the importance of keeping matters of executive recruitment as top secret cannot be whittled down.  For executive recruiters, it is the key element to protecting the integrity of the hiring company and the recruitment process while not compromising on whatever progress that may have been made on the recruitment front. That said, it is also worth mentioning that while there may be no foolproof plan for a successful executive confidential search, the key insights that we have shared with you are more than capable of keeping your executive confidential search from veering off course.


WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2020 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Are you worried about the direction of your life? Or the next steps to take? Or what the future holds? Are you confused about your career path? This worry is called ‘quarter-life crisis’ and affects 86% of millennials. In fact, it has been said that for millennials, it is not a question of ‘if’ it will happen but rather, ‘when’ it will happen.

Do you need an objective and honest opinion about your chances in the job market and your career field? Have you often set out to achieve goals but were unable to do so because of lack of motivation? Perhaps, you are not a millennial, you are just unsatisfied with your present career but do not know what to do to get your dream, desired job. We are here to help you get through this phase and walk with you till you get to your dream destination.

In a society like ours where a premium is rightly placed on respecting and obeying the wisdom of elders, this might be a source of concern to you because while the elderly people in your life are prudent, sagacious and perceptive in handling life matters, they might either be too busy or simply do not have modern skills and insights needed in today’s highly competitive working world.

WiseNet Asia Youth Career Coaching Location and Reach?

You can find us in Singapore and Chongqing. Subsequently, we shall expand our reach to include other countries that are part of the Association of South Eastern Nations (ASEAN) and other parts of China.

Why do you need Career Coaches?

Post covid-19, businesses that are badly affected have to resort to retrenchments or reducing working hours to cope with the damages.  For employees or for those who are looking for jobs, this has led to a lot of anxieties and uncertainties about the next steps to take. Career coaches are essential for this period and beyond to help position your dream job. Career coaching is not merely for the unemployed, it is also for those who are not satisfied with their present jobs. For both of these groups of people, career coaches help to bridge the gap between the current situation and their desired goals.

Here’s a look at how a professional career coach can make a difference in an individual’s career path:

  • A professional career coach gives practical advice that will enable a job seeker to make informed decisions. They will be able to do this by effectively studying the market, career trends and through working with top professionals who know the steps to a successful career and ensuring that the job seeker is the right fit. Some of our career coaches are retired professionals with years of experience behind them.
  • A professional career coach knows how to engage in the right conversations to explore a job seeker’s strengths and weaknesses, with the major aim being to help the individual consolidate their strengths whilst also working on their weaknesses. This helps to ensure that the job seeker is trained and prepared to fit into the demands of the market.
  • A professional career coach advises steps for job candidates to sell themselves in a captivating manner. Most employers get a lot of job applications daily. How can one stand out in the midst of such stiff competition?

Career coaches ensure that a job seeker is developed in such that they do not need to search for jobs but they will be needed. This might be done through mock interviews by the Coach or generally building their confidence or scouting out places where an internship may be done to gather skills and experience.

Career coaches, by training and experience often unearth problems to a successful career that clients, most of the time do not realize are hindrances to achieving their set goals. Career coaches help a person to leverage on their existing network as well as expand the scope of their connections. At the end of the training by a coach, clients are fitted with skills necessary to thrive in the competitive job market.

What is Included in a Career Coaching Package?

Generally, career coaching packages differ and it would depend on what the client seeks. The entire package is determined by:

  • The number of sessions that a client wants to have with a Career Coach
  • The services that a client wants (do you want your resume repackaged or your remuneration increased or a boost of your confidence?)
  • The level of accountability that a client would want through follow up calls

Does Career Coaching Works?

Certainly! Our career coaches have personal interactions with clients as such, when advice is given, it is given not just from the wealth of experience of the coach but will also contain advice suited to the particular circumstances and even temperament of our clients.

Additionally, private enterprise career coaches constantly have to keep in touch with the market and career trends and as such, they are up-to-date in every aspect of work. This is very important to note as the career coaching offered by Universities are restricted to either employment guidance or by dealing only with career planning’



July 2020

Closed the position of Senior Business Development Manager, Singapore for the business department of a China real estate company