I have seen this sort of thing so often during my time working in an office.
I believe its due to the fact that many HR are now just glorified admin assistants. HR roles and responsibilities and the recruitment of new staff is placed in the hands of admin / exec assistants that have no concept or respect of confidentiality who lack professionalism and work ethic.
One example of this was a lady I worked with who was an admin assistant was given the responsibility of hiring a fellow admin assistant with no guidance or supervision from the actual HR department, the guys she worked with in the office "rated" the girls as they walked in for their interviews and the "hottest" one got the job because they bullied her into saying she was her favourable candidate. Another admin assistant I worked with confided all personal details of each candidates CV to the other admins in the office and refused to interview one lady based on the fact that she knew she was aboriginal. I made a formal complaint about that one, but nothing was done about it.