Recruiting 101: Why Don’t Recruiters Tell You What Company They’re Working For?

Recruiter phone call Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’ve ever received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter, the word “mysterious” might spring to mind. After all, they’re always so…read-between-the-lines. Here are two (very real) snippets recruiters sent from recruiters:

Hi,
I wanted to reach out because I am in search of a freelance copywriter to work for a well-known contemporary apparel brand based in the Southern California.

And then there was this:

Hope you’re having a great week! I’m working on filling an in-house Digital Marketing role at a cool beauty brand disrupting the industry. If you know anyone that may be interested in learning more, please send them my way.

Typically, even though they’re vaguely worded, these emails give you enough to go on. You can look at the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile to see what she specializes in and the name of her company to see if they specialize in an industry that’s right for you. Then you can Google the job recruitment agency to see if it’s actually near you—if so, chances are that the job opening will be, too. Often (though not always) the recruiter will also give you details about the scope of the role—e.g. whether they’re hiring part or full-time, freelance, contract, in-house, open to remote. But there’s one thing you’ll almost never find: the name of the company that’s hiring.

It seems strange that recruitment firms or job placement agencies won’t share company names. After all, if they’re reputable, they shouldn’t have anything to hide, right?

Not so fast. There are actually several good reasons why job recruitment agencies don’t provide company names—and why you may luck into a better position if you practice a little patience and say yes to a blind phone pre-screen.

3 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Tell You the Company Name

1. They’re on a tight deadline.

As flattering as it is to receive a LinkedIn message or an email from job placement agencies near me, I always remind myself of one thing: this is the very beginning.

Typically, recruiters do some initial research to find appealing candidates that fit the requirements they’re after. Then, they’ll email alllllllllll those candidates to see if they’re open to opportunities. Some will answer, some won’t. Of those that do, a recruiter will then typically suggest a 15-or-so-minute phone interview.

All of this—the lack of details, the fast turn-around on interview scheduling—is in the interest of finding and hiring the ideal candidate as quickly as possible. Rather than taking the time to go into detail in emails, recruiters rely on setting up quick phone calls to immediately determine whether a candidate is serious about the opportunity (and is seriously a good fit).

The result? Less time wasted for both them and, ultimately, for you. And the sooner the right candidate gets hired. After all, the companies they’re working for need that position filled, stat.

—Oh, and in most cases, the recruiter will give you more information about the company (including the company name) on that call. So, in the end, you’re won’t have to wait long for that information after all.

2. A company is expanding/changing and not ready to go public about what they’re up to.

Sometimes, it’s purely about strategic confidentiality. Often, the company has asked the recruiting agency to keep mum for reasons to do with expansion or a change in staffing.

This happened to me recently. A recruiter for a well-known media platform reached out to talk to me about a possible position because they were gearing up to release a completely new digital product. They didn’t want the world to know what they were up to until they announced it as a Big Launch complete with a massive PR push. Had they publicly hired a bunch of roles for the new team, word would have gotten out.

3. Job recruitment agencies get paid to free the company from the nitty-gritty.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received emails from overly enthusiastic candidates who looked me up on LinkedIn and guessed, based on my title, that I was the person overseeing the hiring process on a job at my company. Usually, they’re wrong. Always, it’s a disruption from my day-to-day.

Companies hire job recruitment agencies or job placement agencies to avoid those disruptions. They also often give recruiters a clear idea of the type of candidate they need sourced to avoid an onslaught of ill-qualified applicants filling their inboxes. They’re paying for privacy curation.

If a recruiter were to tell you that they’re hiring for, say, Outdoor Voices, and you decide to get a leg up on the competition by emailing the Director of Marketing there about the position—you’ve technically cut out the middleman, sure. But in all likelihood, you’re also not getting hired.

The point is: don’t assume that the mystery means a recruiter is up to something. It’s more likely that the company they’re working for is a big name than it is that you’ll be disappointed.

Instead, trust the process. And if you’re wondering why you’re not receiving emails from recruiters unannounced, you may just not be on their radar. Try searching for “job recruitment agencies near me” to find some options in your area (like Star Staffing if you’re Northern California!). On recruitment agency sites, there’s typically a Job Seekers section where you can sign-up for emails or contact the team to set up an informational phone call. Once they know you’re looking, they’ll likely come calling—without a company name—ASAP.

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