A common candidate complaint is that recruitment consultants refuse to tell them who the client company is for whom they are recruiting. We discusses why this can happen and equally explains how we are always open to candidates and will answer their questions and tell them the company name.

Why don’t recruitment consultants tell me the name of the company they’re recruiting for?

First a little story. One of our consultants was ranted at in a pub recently by an obviously disgruntled member of the tech industry about this topic.  They were out with a few friends for dinner and we guess he must have overheard them talking about “the biz”. We realised it’s a bigger issue than we thought.

We’ve always been open about the companies we are recruiting for. We’ve always told people on the first phone call unless the client explicitly told us that they wanted us to withhold this information.

The reasons behind this apparent reticence to provide information comes back to the recruitment industry being highly competitive and fee driven. For most of us, the bulk of our wages comes from making placements so the unscrupulous will do what they can to protect their “investment” – aka, clients/candidates/roles. As you will see below this often means keeping as much information as possible for as long as possible.

The logic from the Upside Down is thus:

 If we tell the candidate who the client is upfront, they’ll just go off and apply directly themselves. We’ll lose out on the fee!

Well, sure – the candidate might do this. People might do anything. We prefer to focus on our relationship with the candidate and hope for the best. We’re absolutely positive that a few candidates we have contacted saying “hey, would you like to work for CodeyCorp” have just gone directly to the company website.

We’re not too worried though, a person who isn’t willing to engage with us at that very early stage of the process probably would be unlikely to continue through to the end of the process. Recruiting is a two-way street, we will try move mountains for our candidates but we need a bit of participation from the candidate to make the whole thing work.

Other recruiters interrogate their candidates for the companies to which they are applying so they can go get that business on for themselves and so we’re afraid some other recruiter/agency will steal our client!

If the client is approached and wants to work with another consultancy, they’re going to do it. Our job is to be the best recruitment consultancy we can be – provide good candidates who meet their requirements and fit their culture. If our relationship with the client is good and we’re providing a good service, the client will want to work with us.  Our belief is to be the best and you’ll get the placements.

The client told us not to reveal their name!

This happens too. We’ve had clients who didn’t want us to reveal they were recruiting for certain skillsets. Usually, this happens in sectors oriented around research, they don’t want it getting out into the market that they’re working on something new. We guess it’s a bit like if Elon Musk started hiring geneticists, he might not want everyone knowing about his new race of cyborg soldiers right away. However, the recruitment consultant should be able to tell you why they can’t tell you. There’s a difference between “I can’t tell you because the client said” and “I can’t tell you right now because the client asked me not to for … reason but  here is (some info about location and culture) and I can inform you (at this time in the process)”.


As a candidate reading this, you might be thinking “I don’t care about your life, Recruiter. What about me?”

Well, we strongly feel that the recruitment process should be as transparent as possible. If you want to know who the client is – ask. If the recruitment consultant won’t tell you, ask why they won’t tell you. Play it by ear and let your relationship with the consultant decide if you want to proceed.

At Verify, we usually give the client name in our first outbound message, so candidates can decide if they’re even interested in the company. It’s a time saver overall, as you might love the job spec but hate the company.

Additionally, we’re a big fan of questions, so ask lots of them. If the recruitment consultant truly can’t tell you the client name, they can probably give you enough information about the client for you to decide if it’s somewhere you want to work. You know what you like in a job. Is it the location? The team size? The types of fruit available in the kitchen? Ask the questions relevant to your specific set of deal-breakers and decide if you want to take the next step.

There are concerns attached to giving out too much information as in all areas of business but we feel if we are to build a relationship with candidates we should trust them. If we can’t give you the exact details you want we will always try to give you as much information as we can and answer your questions. Don’t accept being kept in the dark by a consultant but try to be aware that we are not always given all the information you require or are told that we cannot answer some questions.

 If you have any career or recruitment questions for Verify to answer, comment on our page on LinkedIn, tweet @VerifyCommunity or send them over to candidate@verifyrecruitment.com