Confidential job postings??

what’s the right way of dealing with companies who don’t say who they are in a posting?

If I find out who they really are, is it wrong to contact them directly? Or is it job-stalking?

Help! I’m in a quandry

i’ve run into this alot, especially with recruiters. i dont really see the point of the undisclosed company, given that the company itself is a large selling point of any job.

i usually push the recruiter for the company and more details, and if they dont provide it, i tell them im not interested, and move on.

usually, im able to get the info on the company and position, and move forward from there.

as for contacting them directly, i generally find that a posting or a job through a recruiter is easier to actually get in the door as opposed to a cold call. while the recruiter does take some % of the salary as fees (from the client/company, not you), their experience and connections normally help, and there’s no reason really to go direct.


I actually had this happen this week, the recruiter wanted me to tell him how much I wanted a year without telling me who the company was or much about the position. I usually try to be nice because I would like a better position, but I couldn’t help laughing into the phone. How the heck am I supposed to know how much money I want. If i love the job or know it will help my career Ill take less, If I hate it or know that its one of those CAD jockey “designer” positions, which is usually the case with recruiters, I want way more money to sit there and be bored out of my gourd secretly practicing my sketching all day long wishing I was in some cool studio sketching and brainstorming with other designers.

If you don’t have a good (enough) job right now you have to put up with that kind of baloney. I’ve had people tell me “dude, just quit!” Well that easy for you to say your the design director at a consultancy. You’ll find out where it is the day or two before the interview, do your research then, and even if you don’t want the job, go to the interview, you might learn some things that make you interested, (this happened a few weeks ago) or if nothing else you’ll practice interviewing and possibly get an off which tells you how much some employers may think your skills and experience are worth.

I never really see this as a problem. It’s just due process for the recruiter. They do this because they’re trying to protect their “claim” or inside info from other recruiters. Typically after the first phone conversation with the recruiter I find out who it is. More often than not, it’s better to go through the recruiter because they already have some sort of relationship with the hiring manager.

Regardless of if I know the company or not. I ask for a salary based on what my new job role is. By doing so, it’s typically understood by the hiring company and not a big deal. I have had a recruiter try to keep me within a “range” dictated by the hiring company. At that time I bypassed her as she was no longer representing my interests. She then back peddled and try to get in on the action when she found out the company was willing to pay that amount for me.

So the actual company itself doesn’t matter to me early in the hiring process. I mainly focus on where I woud be located, new job functions, salary and job security. All of which I can get from the recruiter without knowing who the company is.

Many designers like to ride on “who” they work for as opposed to the actual quality of their own creditials.

To which I say… Weaksauce.

The instance you described is exactly the reason they don’t tell you who it is, if you know why should you let them take part of your paycheck. Does anyone know about how much recruiters and staffing agencies take (a percentage) on average?

The average take is 10%-15% of the agreed upon salary after 6 months of gainful employement (paid by the employer). So if you don’t work out, they don’t get paid. The thing that sucks is that when negotiating your salary. The employers try to lowball you in order to reduce this “fee”. Obviously they would go for someone that doesn’t have this “fee”. But at the same time they don’t want to go through the legwork of sorting through canidates. That’s how the recruiter is in the picture to begin with.

Some recuiters will take what they can get an run. While others will fight for you since the more you make the more money goes in their pocket.

Hi all,

I am a recruiter and would love to correct some of these misconceptions. Although I usually disclose the company, most recruiters will not because they don’t want you going behind their back and applying for that position. This actually hurts the candidate and the recruiter. The recruiter has been hired by the company either because they don’t want it known to the public they are looking to fill a position or just can’t find the right person and don’t have the resources to sift through thousands of resumes. If you are working with a recruiter and you decide to go behind their back, then you are essentially hurting yourself. If the recruiter gets the employer to look at you and then they find you in their database they will bypass you because they have a contract with the recruiter and don’t feel they should pay a fee for someone that applied directly to them.

I will also explain how the fee works. The fee is not being taken out of your salary. Typically, an employer will want to know what you are making and it is customary to give a 10% bump plus whatever bonus program they have. The recruiter’s firm charges anywhere from 20%-30% of your salary. This has no effect on your income and is considered an entirely different expense. I tend to disclose way too much information to my candidates, but it is because I am in a unique industry and the company I am working for does influence my candidate’s interest. If you are dealing with a good recruiter, then they will be extremely confidential on your side as well as the company’s side. They should and will always disclose the company once they submit your information and there is interest.

I admit that there are good recruiters and terrible ones. Before becoming one I dealt with some really terrible people and did have one that got me a great job. I am not promoting myself because I deal in a very specific industry, but I definitely recommend recruiters if they are dialed in with companies. I work in action sports and can literally have someone’s portfolio looked at the same day. If that person submitted their resume on their own, they would never be looked at or it would take a long time. I actually am working with an amazing designer with a terrible resume. I have gotten him interviews with two different companies just because of my contacts and getting them to check out his portfolio.

I will add this because it could help. Find out the companies the recruiter has contracts with and the ones they are just trying to market you to. I may not have a contract with a company, but I can usually get the right person in the door. But, if the company does not want to work with me because of my fees, I will hook my candidate up anyway because it is the right thing to do. Some recruiters will not present you even though you are a perfect fit because they will not make any commission. I guess what I am saying is to give your recruiter around two weeks and then feel them out and decide if they are really working for you or if they are any good. I was contacted by an apparel designer that wanted me to present her to Pac Sun. I worked my ass off and once I sent her resume, they were not interested. I do not have a contract with them, but decided to get her in front of them anyways just because she is cool and it was the right thing to do. I followed up with them and her resume was seen by my contact and the Director of Apparel and she did not have the qualifications. I have since gotten her in front of two other companies. If things don’t work out, then I will not worry about my self interests and get her in the door of other companies that don’t work with recruiters.

Recruiters are a dime a dozen and just work with who you feel comfortable with. I tend to become friends with my candidates and the people I cold call. I just love my industry and it is part of my culture. Sorry for the long explanation. If you have quesions, please post them and I will respond the next time I am on here.

Thank you all for this input -

Robert, thank you for shedding light on the recruitment perspective.

I have seen jobs (right here on core 77) that do not seem to be listed by a recruiter - the candidates are simply asked to respond to a made up gmail account. What gives?

Confidential postings seem to be a very easy way to troll for designer info - not to get off topic, but I have been burned by a posting on core77 that was made by someone who was not in a position to hire, but obviously had access to an account to pay for the ad. I went into this company for TWO interviews (i should have seen this coming as the job was not posted on their corporate site) just to find out there was no opening. Now that was a company that listed their name - It makes me even more wary of Confidential postings to gmail accounts.

So - why would an actual company not a recruiter) list something confidentially with a reply to a gmail account?

Am I paranoid? Help!

Hmmm, Thanks for the run down Robert.

By the way you wouldn’t happen to be in Minnesota would you? :slight_smile:

There could be several reasons for a confidential listing. It is either from a recruiter or a company that does not want the general public knowing they are looking to fill this position. The fact that a company had you come in for two interviews just to pick your brain was shady and does happen. I am working with a designer that had a well known company do this to him. They flew him out for around six interviews and did not just want to see his portfolio, but basically asked him to solve one of their problems. I would not worry about a listing being confidential or not. You just want your resume/portoflio to get in front of the right person and then you can decide whether the opportunity is for you.

Kori- I’m beginning to get confused as to why you would be so concerned. I don’t believe the work should be that current to the point where you would be concerned that it is being shown. Other than that what risk would be involved initially contacting a prospective employer?

As for actually doing work for a potential employer. I made that mistake once and don’t plan on ever doing it again. If they are still unsure of my capabilities at the end of the interview process. Then maybe I was never a right fit for them to begin with. I don’t believe in “mock” job scenarios.

forgive me - i did go off topic a bit.

really what i was curious about was not so much the motivation of confidential posts as much as trying to find out who the poster is and contacting them directly.

I reckon this idea is to be frowned upon. Thank you all for talking some sense into me!

Hi all,

I was doing a little research on the web and came across this old post. I think I did a pretty fair job explaining how recruiters work, but I would definitely love some feedback from anyone that has dealt with one recently. If you have any suggestions on how a recruiter could do a better job for you, then I would love to know. I have met some amazing designers while trying to fill positions and a lot have become my friends. I had one guy interview with one of my companies that turned down the offer because of personal issues. I consider him a friend and he has referred me several people. I have had so many awesome people help me out and I have done the same for them. The one benefit to using a recruiter is that if they have a good relationship with a company, then your resume and portfolio will be looked at the day they send it. This is way better than sending a resume to an e-mail address that gets thousands. I would say that there is one better method than using a recruiter. If you have the time and the sales skills, then call the creative director directly. This takes some research and a lot of time to get them on the phone. Once you do get them on the phone, then you better have your game on. This is why a good recruiter is an advantage because we have already done the work and we can get you in front of the right person. I personally work in a very specific industry so I probably can’t help many here, but I am always willing to give advice or even refer you to the right person.

Take care,