Why Placement firms don’t share Client names with Candidates?

Did you know that over 70% of placement firms do not share the Client name with the Candidates during initial interactions? Its always something like “for one our large telecom customers in Mumbai”…

Having interacted with over 500 Placement firm owners and CEOs, I gathered that there are three key reasons why they don’t prefer to share client names and restrict their Recruitment teams to follow the rule strictly…These are:

  1. Fear of Candidate approaching the client directly
  2. Fear of other firms getting to know and hence breeding competition
  3. Client has restricted the firm not to share the name with the candidates

Barring point#3, which we will come to later, point#1 and 2 don’t justify not sharing of the client names.

Lets take point #1. After all if the Candidates won’t know the name of the company, then how are they to take an informed decision about their interest to move ahead? It is almost similar to a real-estate broker trying to ask your interest without stating the name of the building where the apartment is! Infact in the real-estate business it becomes difficult to share the property name upfront and hence the broker’s try and take you to the site to see the property. This way they ensure that you become morally obligated to deal with them, even if you have the choice to approach the apartment owner directly.

In case of Jobs, it is very difficult difficult for the Candidate to connect directly with the Talent team of the Client, especially by just knowing the name of the company.  Candidates wouldn’t know whom to call within the Talent team. If they call the company board-line, they will be asked to visit the career section and apply from there. So fear of Candidate contacting directly has no basis at all.

Lets take point#2. To some extent answer to this is also similar to the one above. Even if the competition finds out whom to get in touch, it is not that easy to build overnight trust and credibility with the company. Plus for larger size Clients, there are stringent vendor empanelment processes that takesatleast 30-45 days. In such situations, it is a very feeble chance that the competition can steal away the mandate mid-way.

As regards point#3, there is nothing one can do, since one will have to comply with the Client’s request. But beware; you can only handle such mandates if you are highly trained in executing such mandates. Typically large search firms are good at it and even have dedicated teams specializing in such planned coups and hostile replacement mandates.

Having said all of the above, Placement firms may have their own reasons on holding back Client information. Maybe it is the type of the company or maybe it is the type of client that inhibits them from sharing such information.


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