DEV Community

Cover image for Why do recruiters hide the name of the company? πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ
Stephen Belovarich
Stephen Belovarich

Posted on

Why do recruiters hide the name of the company? πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Ugh, another recruiter just messaged me on LinkedIn about some opportunity at some undisclosed company. This is about the hundredth time this year.

I feel blessed that so many recruiters ping me, however the roles are hardly ever for positions I would be interested in. Then to top it off, the recruiter leaves off the name of the company. They all do it.

Today I worked up the gumption to actually ask one of them why. The recruiter replied "Unfortunately adding the name of my client would make my job pointless so that is why it is not there."

It's totally unreasonable to think your job is pointless if you put the name of the company on the initial communique. This seems sensible at first glance, but it's totally not.

Interviewing for a new job shouldn't be like a suspense movie.

The job of a recruiter is to forge relationships. Recruiting is largely about matchmaking. The recruiter has the relationship with the company. You don't. Without naming the company it's like going on a blind date. If you had the name of the company you could do a little research about them. Let's not waste both of our time.

It's not like you really have the option to cut and run once you see the name of the company. That is unless you know someone working at the company and that person will refer you internally. The odds of that happening are slim to none. Recruiters have much more experience selling your skills than you do. Once the recruiter has contacted you, it would be a fool's errand to contact the company directly just to get lost in their bureaucracy. It can also take dramatically longer going down this path.

Actually it can get much worse, but that's a topic of another post.

Good recruiters are hard to find. If you happen to work with one that treats you well, maintain an open line of communication. You will be rewarded.

What do you think?

Top comments (25)

daisp profile image
Danny Priymak

If you know the company's name - you can just contact them directly and ask about the opening you already know they have. Therefore, the recruiter is indeed useless in this case.

steveblue profile image
Stephen Belovarich • Edited

This is based on an incorrect assumption IMHO and the whole point of the post. Recruiters already have a relationship with the company. You don't. Odds of the recruiter getting you an interview are far greater than contacting the company yourself. Recruiters have much more experience selling your skills than you do most likely. It would be a fool's errand to contact the company directly and get lost in their bureaucracy. It can take dramatically longer going down this path. It's fine if you disagree and good luck submitting your resume to XYZ company!

You will find out the name of the company soon after talking to the recruiter. It's not like it's confidential during the entire interview process.

broderick profile image
Broderick Stadden

Truly depends on the recruiter/recruiting firm. Many are just doing the heavy lifting of posting to the various online boards and doing light screening at most. In these case, it makes sense for them to do it.

In the case where they are tied to the company in some way, your points make sense but most are just middlemen.

flamesoff profile image
Artem • Edited

I get two last jobs by contacting the HR departments of the companies directly. Without middlemen.

daisp profile image
Danny Priymak

Hmm, these are valid points. Wish they were written in the original post! ;)

Thread Thread
steveblue profile image
Stephen Belovarich


thefern profile image
Fernando B πŸš€

Many recruiters are actually doing bounty hunting, if you go straight to the company they're out of their commission. Most of the time companies pay them so they don't have to deal with it, and only get to the good candidates.

chrisrhymes profile image
C.S. Rhymes

Very true. A lot of agencies get more commission once the employee has been there for x number of months.

al_rose_ profile image
Alistair Rose

2 reasons.

  1. If you contact the company directly, you could deny the recruiter a large commission

  2. Sometimes the company doesn't exist. Once you enquire with your CV, the recruiter cold calls as many companies as possible with the 'great new' potential candidate looking for a role.

As a manager, I receive emails for number 2 on an almost daily basis despite having no terms agreed with the recruiter.

ramseslopez profile image
RamsΓ©s LΓ³pez

Huh, I didn't know this was a common practice! That actually explain some of the emails I have been receiving

leoat12 profile image
Leonardo Teteo

More astonishing than that is when companies post job descriptions in job sites and their name is hidden. Like, I have no idea to where I'm applying for, I cannot see what they do and apply with confidence. I never applied to such job posts because there is no bond, no relationship, indeed.
One funny experience was when a recruiter contacted me about a position and when I asked the company he/she described the company in a kind of generic way. Would I get extra points if I guessed right or something? hahaha

flamesoff profile image

If you want to apply to this kind of offers - don't share your personal information as well. Let it be fair for both sides.

duttaoindril profile image
Oindril Dutta • Edited

The best part for me is guessing the company name correctly and then rejecting πŸ˜‚

nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

I've done this! Turned out the role was for the company I'd just left :D Shows how much the recruiter vetted my CV before contacting me.

rossdrew profile image
Ross • Edited

They're worried that other recruiters will contact them, get the name then contact the company themselves. Stealing their clients

To be fair, you can usually tell which company it is from the description. My first contact with recruiters is always that I want the name of the company, it's location, it's size and sector. If they're not willing to provide it, I'm not willing to work with them. Recruiters are paid too much (sometimes up to 15% of your salary) for what they do (pass a CV from A to B) and I want to spend as little time with them as possible. They are unpleasant to deal with an unnecessary in tech.

nflamel profile image
Fran C.

You just made me remember a recruiter that came to me with almost no details on a position and that got really upset whe I asked for details like salary, business model, etc. The response was something like: "I've said enough and I'm not used to disclose my customers details over LinkedIn, if you want to know more, apply for an interview".

To be quite honest, I have the impression that having bounty hunter recruiters goes mainly against our interest as developers. I'm sure there are exceptions, I've found some, but not a lot of them.

turnerj profile image
James Turner • Edited

While I have quite often experienced what you've described, I have actually once had the opposite experience. The recruiter gave me a bunch of details after I added them on LinkedIn including:

  • Company
  • What I would be specifically working on at said company
  • Quite a bit about company culture etc

They didn't mention salary but I'm sure I could have asked and been given some approx figure. Honestly was blown away by that and have noted down the recruiter to contact in the future if the need arises - for both me to get a job and (if my company works out) to hire other people.

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I've absolutely thanked recruiters for being transparent even though I'm not interested. The ones playing coy tend to just get a kthxbai, but the ones who give all the info needed to make a decision at least get a well-crafted response from me.

ca55idy profile image

I've had 2 recruiters not disclose the name of the same company then complain at me the company has already seen my resume from the other recruiter, it shoots them in the foot too.
But the main reason is if another recruiter sees the communication then they can recruit for the same position and potentially userp the original recruiter. Seems pointless though as most companies now are so pissed off with recruiters that they only use approved ones and so this random recruiter intercepting the communication wouldn't be heard anyway

kataras profile image
Gerasimos (Makis) Maropoulos

Oh man I totally feel you, I am not even answering to most of the linkedin messages. Nowdays, I learn to be selective and answer back to those I can do a little research and find something interest online. Nice article by the way!

lucsan profile image

Its my experience recruiters do divulge the name of the company, though they don't advertise it with the job.

Having dealt with many recruiters over the years, I find, once I have established a ballpark exists (skill set and recompense) the recruiter must divulge the name of the company before they may submit my resume.

If they are reluctant to do so, I tell them, this is to prevent duplicate submissions by different agencies.πŸ‘

mcrowder65 profile image
Matt Crowder

It only happens with external recruiters in my experience. And in my opinion companies who use external recruiters tend to not be as established/good to work for

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ • Edited

Send your recruiters to me.
I have a honeypot for them

dr_sha profile image

Oh it's like that in the US as well? I thought it was a thing of recruiters down here in Argentina as well, I'm not sure why they do that :/

laurieontech profile image

I have a recruiter friend who told me that it’s in part so other third party recruiters can’t swoop in on the leads.