Get The Inside Scoop: Focus On The Story, Not The Name Of The Firm

What is in the name of the firm? It's time to listen to the recruiter's inside scoop of the firm's story.

I want to share another trend that I am becoming aware of way too often. I hope you do not see this blog as too self-serving, that is not the intent of it. It is to open both candidates and hiring managers perspectives. If you really believe that recruiters in general can be considered as trusted advisors, then I have a hard time believing what I see happening a great deal recently. As many of you know, I do not recruit like most recruiters. I do not have job orders. I have the right to introduce candidates to my existing companies, and for the right individual they will create new positions. If that is the case, why are more people asking me who the firm is when they respond to a preliminary email? Would you go to your doctor to have them tell you the diagnoses of your illness without a thorough examination? The name of the firm only provides you one monetary answer. That is all any recruiter is trying to offer: a deep drill down on your situation and needs.

Talking To A Recruiter About The Name Of The Firm

That is the rub. If a prospective candidate is willing to take the time to respond to an open-ended email, why will they not go further unless the name of the firm is disclosed? Let me be clear. It is my job as a trusted advisor to ask lots of questions, listen to all the answers, and then (and only then) make a recommendation as to next steps – if any. Also, to be clear, at least 60% of the people that I talk to in depth recommend that they do not make any sort of change. They are in the best circumstances. However, you will not know that unless you are willing to have a conversation with me or any other recruiter that you may trust. Rest assured a recruiter will not feel like you have wasted their time (which a lot of thoughtful prospective candidates ask me before agreeing to chat further).

What A Name Of The Firm Means

Secondly, even if I did share a name of the firm with a prospective client and they have a preconceived notion about that firm, they are only going to be closed minded when I may have exciting non-public information to share. Our industry is fluid and there are always changes that are occurring within the firms that many people are not aware of. As a trusted advisor to the hiring managers, I am privy to this type of information. Again, why would you deny yourself the right to hear about an opportunity that may just change your entire career? Also, what is in a name? I will answer that rhetorical question and say only what you think is in a name. It is the people that are important and the platform, not just the name of the firm or investment bank. Without knowing the back story, a name is just a name. With the backstory, a name now can become an exciting and fresh new opportunity for you.

Learn Something New

Finally, let’s address these open-ended emails that you may receive from recruiters. When they send an email discussing a particular position, it is only an introduction to a potential firm. More importantly, these open-ended emails are to let you know that there may be a new opportunity for you to explore. It does not have to be about the firm that the email is discussing, but it can be an open invitation for you to hear more about lots of opportunistic situations. So, why again would you close your mind off to these situations by only wanting the name of the firm? If you are willing to respond to an introductory email, then please continue and have the call with the recruiter that reached out to you. You just never know what you are going to find out on that call. I personally can also say, based on the thousands of calls that I have had over my career, it’s exceedingly rare if someone does not learn something from the call. This is across the board in all fields and with all professional recruiters, so please have the call. A new opportunity may be waiting for you!


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting”.

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.