How to Crack Today’s Hidden Job Market for High-Paying Executive Jobs was originally published on uConnect External Content.
If you’re frustrated with your job search, or feel that positions at your level are few and far between, there’s likely a good reason: at least 70 percent of jobs are never posted on hiring boards.
According to Business Insider, the best way to secure one of these “hidden jobs” is by knowing someone at the company.
“[G]etting a referral for a job opening from someone who’s already working with the company could give you pretty impressive odds. Only 7% of job applicants get this kind of referral, yet referrals make us 40% of new hires,” writes Gina Belli.
In fact, tapping this so-called “hidden job market” can give you a big leg up over the competition.
“There are actually fewer opportunities and more competition in the public job market because everybody can see these jobs. That’s why they are harder to get. There are more opportunities and less competition in the hidden job market, because most people don’t try to pursue it,” said Pete Leibman, Executive Recruiter and Career Advisor.
Ready to dig into the hidden job market? Here are Pete’s top tips for securing positions that are never advertised.
Why Are So Many Jobs Hidden?
One of the reasons some jobs are not posted is confidentiality, especially at the executive level. Many top positions can’t be advertised because they are still filled by individuals who are not performing well or don’t fit into the company culture.
What’s more, many companies don’t want to slog through applications from unqualified candidates. These posts also only attract individuals who are job searching at the time of posting, too.
“When you post a position online, you’re only attracting people who are actively seeking a new role, and that’s a small segment of the talent pool,” Pete explained.
Passive candidates, or those who could be convinced to leave their current roles, are completely ignored in open job postings.
“Every job employer is always hiring. So, don’t look for jobs. Look for people,” said Pete.
Hidden Job Finder Formula
The best way, then, to find executive-level posts at your ideal company is to tap into this unadvertised job market.
The first step is identifying what your dream role actually is. If you start by updating your application materials – typical first steps – then you won’t tailor those documents to the role you want.
Pete suggests asking yourself the following questions:
- What’s your ideal job function?
- What are the job titles that you want to pursue?
- What industry do you want to work in?
- What region do you want to work in?
- What types of companies you’ll want to work for in terms of company size and sage and business situation?
Answering these questions should leave you with a target market of 20 to 30 companies where your next role could exist or be created for you.
Now that you have your companies and ideal role pinpointed, identify what makes you different from others who are similar to you in your field.
“Think how much more compelling your resume and LinkedIn will be now that you built it with a specific set of target companies in mind, rather than creating it without thinking through what your actual goal is. I mean, you can’t design a marketing plan if you don’t know who your target audience is,” Pete said.
Connecting with Your Network
The third step in the process is identifying your network, those individuals who can vouch for you or clue you in to hidden job openings.
Pete suggests identifying at least 50 game changers, those individuals who have “the power to hire you, or the ability to influence people with the power to hire you.”
You don’t have to know the names or job titles of the game changes with whom you want to connect at the start. Instead, you can think about categories of people who can help you on your journey.
For instance, if your potential boss might be the Chief Marketing Officer, then note all the Chief Marketing Officers, or individuals who hold similar positions, at the companies that interest you, as they will likely be involved in hiring decisions.
Don’t stop here, however. Instead, consider this person’s connections.
“Who are the other key executives and potential board members at your target companies who might be aware of or involved in the hiring process?” Pete said.
You also want to add business leaders in professional associations and online communities to your list.
“From personal experience as an executive recruiter, I can tell you, companies often go to leaders of associations and other industry leaders to ask them for ideas on potential candidates for a key role,” Pete said.
When you reach out to your game changers, the last thing you want to do is send them a resume right away. Rather, you want to build mutual respect and add value for them, if possible.
“The idea is trying to be thoughtful about identifying the right people and also being thoughtful with how best to actually connect with them,” Pete explained.
Cracking the Hidden Job Market
With such a significant percentage of jobs never posted on online platforms, it becomes imperative for you to build connections in your field. If you have developed a robust network, you’ll be the first person your contacts think of when they’re hiring for a position they don’t plan to advertise.