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There are some similar questions that have been asked, but I believe the nature of this situation is slightly more unique. I was recruiting for internship positions at multiple companies. I recently received an offer from a company which was my top choice. I had a few other on-site interview requests at other companies, but since I knew that I would not accept an offer from these other companies, I politely declined the interview out of respect of their recruiting resources. The recruiters received this well and even showed interest in maintaining contact for future opportunities (as this is just an internship).

However, after doing so, the recruiter of the company whose interview request I declined asked me the name of the company whose offer I accepted. I'm inclined to give them this information as I cannot see any reason why it could be detrimental. For context, since this is an internship, I'm not 100% sure that I don't want anything to do with these companies in the future (I'm still learning about the type of work/culture that is most suitable for me), so I do want to maintain a good relationship.

So my questions are: are there any cons to disclosing this information? Also, why would they be interested in this information in the first place (I can think of a couple reasons, but just want to hear some insights)?

Edit: I should also mention that this is an in-house recruiter.

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    I think the right answer depends on who the recruiters were. Were you talking to in-house recruiters employed directly by the companies you applied too? Or were you talking to a 3rd party company who submits resumes to multiple companies? They are going to have different reasons for asking – psubsee2003 Oct 2 '18 at 16:46
  • Thanks for pointing this out. The recruiter is in-house; I edited my original question. – murkyinadog Oct 2 '18 at 18:15
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    Possible duplicate of How to politely refuse telling the client's name for the recruiter? – kenorb Dec 20 '18 at 10:37
  • Not a duplicate, that question is discussing interactions with 3rd party recruiters for permanent employment, not internal recruiters for internships – dwizum Dec 21 '18 at 20:30
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It's not detrimental to you - unless the offer you're accepting has confidentiality clauses attached of course but I think that's unlikely here.

Conversely it may actually be of benefit to you:

Firstly the recruiter knows not to bother contacting you about opportunities there (who wants to get recruiter calls about their existing employer?)

Secondly information on who's hiring (and for what sort of candidates), who's just been hiring, etc is all valuable information for recruiters.

e.g. if they know that Acme Corp. hired someone with your skill set and experience then next time they see that Acme Corp is looking for another person in a similar role they can refine which candidates they send over, or they can advise candidates to tweak their CV knowing what sort are successful with Acme corp.

Or if they know the sort of role you just got hired for isn't something a company needs more than one of they know not to bother soliciting Acme corp those sorts of roles right now (you know how it's really annoying to see google ads everywhere for something you just purchased? same thing).

So essentially you have an opportunity to do a recruiter a favor, at no cost to yourself, that will give them positive associations with you so you're building your relationships and network with people who even if they aren't in a position to do anything for you right now might be in the future.

  • Apologies, I should have mentioned it was an in-house recruiter representing a particular company – murkyinadog Oct 2 '18 at 18:22
  • @murkyinadog no worries.. I shouldn't have assumed. It doesn't change the bulk of my answer really. Youi may still want to have future dealings with then and building a rapport could be helpful in the long run and you don't really have anything to lose by telling then – motosubatsu Oct 2 '18 at 18:35
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Recruiters ask this question to enhance their organization's data and build their employer network. Knowing where somebody's placed can potentially allow the recruiter to contact the employer and ask if they need assistance hiring, a very simple way to build your network for example.

There are no cons to disclosing the employer, I recommend against disclosing salary if they ask that though. Also, not disclosing the employer shouldn't burn any bridges, recruiters work based on placement fit more so than candidate relationships from my experience.

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    The other benefit for you: you've now defined yourself as "the person we were hoping to interview but got snapped up by Company X first". Assuming Company X is a respected competitor, you've provided some compelling social proof of your value. Now, it's not dramatically more valuable than having this experience on your resume later, but it's still something. – Shimon Rura Oct 2 '18 at 20:38
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I would be inclined not to give them that information because there's really no benefit to you. While it is good for the recruiter: more links means potentially more business in future, it is also possible that they might feel they had a hand somehow in getting you your current role, and therefore want payment from your new company in that regard (a situation I was in recently). This shouldn't affect you because your new place will have ways of dealing with this, but you don't really want your new position potentially tainting because of a recruiter argument.

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    It's not an offensive post no, if it were people would be flagging it instead. I'm one of the downvoters and did so because I don't believe it is the correct answer to the OP's question. – motosubatsu Oct 2 '18 at 16:01
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    The tip which appears when you mouse-over the downvote button is "This answer is not useful". It doesn't mean "This answer should be deleted" - that's what flagging is for. – brhans Oct 2 '18 at 16:28

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