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I recently applied for a role at a big firm in London. At the time of applying, I couldn't find recruiting managers contact details, so I just wrote a generic cover letter. I came across the individual who is currently fulfilling the role I applied for. Is it appropriate for me to contact him and ask about hiring manager details or about the position itself?

PS I think that the company has multiple staff working in the same role.

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  • Are you applying to the same position, and now you have a contact? – Neo Sep 9 '20 at 15:17
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    Yes, I did, but I haven't heard anything back from the recruitment department, so maybe there is a chance if I was to reach out through the current employee? – Excel-lit Sep 9 '20 at 15:22
  • Ok, my answer below is applicable. – Neo Sep 9 '20 at 15:23
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    When you say “person fulfilling the role” do you mean the hiring manager, or a person doing the job you are applying for? (And if it’s a large firm, do you really mean “the” job or just a similar role?) – mxyzplk Sep 9 '20 at 23:11
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Is it appropriate for me to contact him and ask about hiring manager details or about the position itself?

No. The correct way to handle this is to ask for permission during the interview process.

When I interview, I always want to speak with my future manager, at least one of my future peers, and any future subordinates if it's a management position. I ask the recruiter or hiring manager to arrange that for me. I have different questions (about the company culture, about the hiring manager, about expectations, etc) ready to ask individuals in each group.

In your case, ask to be able to talk with the person currently holding this position at some point in the interviewing process.

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It depends on how you came to know this person, and how you came to know this was the person whose job was being replaced. In particular, the situation you absolutely do not want to happen is, you email this person, tell him you are applying to replace him in his job, and he didn't know he was about to be replaced. Now you've just unintentionally informed this guy that he's about to be fired and that's going to cause him all kinds of stress.

If you can be sure that this isn't the case, then by all means reach out. But if you're not sure, then I would suggest not.

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  • I found that person through the LinkedIn search function. Never met him before so not sure if the role is an additional position or replacing him. Is there a way to find a recruiting manager without having to contact the current employee? – Excel-lit Sep 9 '20 at 21:35
  • @Excel-lit You probably can't, and you probably shouldn't. Companies make it hard to do precisely this, for precisely the reason you want to do it, so that companies with hundreds of applicants don't have their managers swamped with recruiting emails asking them "how to do well on the interview" or whatnot. – Ertai87 Sep 10 '20 at 16:15
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Is it appropriate for me to contact him and ask about hiring manager details or about the position itself?

Sure, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to an individual versus say a generic email address \ department.

Just update the cover letter to include the individuals name and such and send in your CV.

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