I recently got asked this question by two final year speech pathology students who were very concerned when they applied for a job that was advertised online only to be told that the recruitment agency would not reveal who the position was with.
When it comes to recruitment agencies, there are a few things to point out.Companies have to pay the recruitment agency to find the best match for the advertised position. This is a significant investment for the company so if they do use a recruitment agency, it typically means that the company has the financial resources and interest to invest in getting the best candidate for the job.
Some recruitment agencies want to protect the anonymity of the company until they have selected the shortlist of candidates for the company to interview. This may be because of past experiences where candidates have bypassed the recruitment agency and contacted the company directly. This type of behaviour is considered unprofessional and is not recommended. Some companies specifically request that the recruitment agency withholds the name of the company until the candidates are ready to be interviewed. This doesn’t mean that they are hiding anything. It may have been that they had an unpleasant experience previously so have decided to stay anonymous until all the checks have been completed.
Sharon Vandameer, CEO of On the Ball Personnel recruitment agency, sees the recruitment process in a very different light. Sharon said that she sees recruitment as a two-way street where both the company and the candidate are best to have all the information at hand before making a career decision.
Typically, the company would give the recruitment agency a detailed job description. The recruitment agency would screen applicants to determine the eligibility for the position. When screening potential candidates over the phone, Sharon would advise the candidates to do their own research of the company to check that they resonate with the company and to get a feel of whether their values align or not.
Whether you take up this advice or not is up to you, but be warned … your action or inaction actually speaks volumes about whether you are genuinely interested in the position or not!
If, following your research, you still want to be put forward for an interview, the recruiter would organise an interview with the company while doing reference checks in the background. You may be the only applicant or you may be on a shortlist. The interview may be face-to-face or may be via Zoom. Whichever the case, the most important thing to do is PREPARE for the interview. Check out our blog on interview preparation here!