Why I ask, "What company?".


The phone rings. It's my friendly neighborhood technical recruiter calling. He begins with the usual - "Are you satisfied in your current position? Would you be looking to make a change? I have a fantastic opportunity for you."

He continues. "They are looking for a .NET developer with 5 years of experience in the Southfield area. Great pay, great benefits."I've heard it many times. As a developer with experience in web, mobile, desktop, and system administration, I'm in high demand. 

"What's the company?" I ask.

"I can't tell you that." He replies.

"I'm sorry, I'm not interested. If you change you'remind, please feel free to call me back."

Why do I need to know what company he is hiring for?

Because I've worked for many of them. As a consultant, I've worked on six month projects for many of the area's IT firms. I ask about the company because I am in a comfortable position, and there are only a few select places I would give up this position to leave for.

If you don't want to tell me, that's fine. I understand confidentiality, and you're working for a commission, but understand, when I find that job on Monster.com, or Dice.com, 9 out of 10 times, Searching for a couple keywords in the listing on Google will land me on the employer's own website anyways.  

Most of the time, I've already received four other calls for the same position, and they freely gave up the position, so you're just singling yourself out as hard to work with.

In this economy, there are many people who are looking for work. They may or may not care who the employer is. Those of us who are in comfortable positions and aren't actively looking typically do care.

The moral of the story is, don't be suprised when we ask for these details. If you're looking to earn your comission from my change of employment, be prepared to answer that question.