Just don't do it! Why this should not be the first question you ask recruiters - SEEK Career Advice

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Why this shouldn't be the first question you ask recruiters

Why this shouldn't be the first question you ask recruiters

When you get on the phone with a recruiter for the first time, you can be tempted to ask a number of questions – especially if you’re excited about the prospect of a new job. But you can do yourself a disservice if you ask a certain question first: What company is this job for?

You may find it frustrating when a job ad doesn’t mention where the role is located. But recruiters don’t keep this to themselves simply because recruitment is a competitive industry. They often withhold this information at the company’s request because the company wants to ensure that candidates have been screened first. But more importantly, recruiters also want to ensure that you are the best fit for the role itself, and aren’t just vying for a spot in a particular company.

Instead of immediately asking which company a role is at, you're better off asking questions that will tell you about the role, the culture and the values of the company you would be working for. This will tell you a lot more and help you figure out if the role would be a good fit for you.

Danielle Bennetto, a Sales Consultant at Six Degrees, recommends asking a recruiter the following questions to help you decide whether a role is right for you:

  • What is the size of the business? Is it global, national or local?
  • Could you tell me about the culture of the business?
  • Who would I be reporting to, and how many other direct reports does this person have?
  • What would the expectations of the successful candidate be after three months, six months and 12 months?

It could also be useful to ask where the office is located, how big the team is, and if the recruiter could talk you through the position description in detail, to ensure that you are fully across it.

Once you’ve discovered more about the role, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for the company name, particularly if you want to make sure you haven’t already applied for a role at the company, or to make sure you don’t have any moral or ethical concerns about the company.

Ultimately, finding the right job comes down to being open to opportunities of all kinds, says Jennifer Kenworthy, Manager of Sales and Marketing at Six Degrees. This means going beyond preconceived notions of a company to look closely at how a role could suit you.

“It’s important that candidates are open to businesses and their own discovery of culture and fit. Some candidates are quick to make assumptions about businesses and whether they would be interested based on what they have heard from peers and the company’s past employees.”

In other words, don’t fall into the brand name trap. Stay focused on the roles available to you instead, to find your best fit.