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Published on: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Hidden Job Market Exposed


Despite the media noise about the broader job market, there continues to be an undercurrent of executive recruiting activity that most people will never read about.

Consider the latest ExecuNet data that reveals 92 percent of executive recruiters believe there is a hidden job market, and the majority of them don't routinely advertise their new and ongoing search assignments on their website or a job board. On ExecuNet TV, ExecuNet President and Chief Economist Mark Anderson breaks the hidden job market down into three components and suggests some tactics for uncovering those opportunities.

The way to opportunity in this business climate — for executive job seekers and recruiters seeking their next piece of business — is undoubtedly through word of mouth, referrals, person-to-person networking, and meaningful relationship-building in all its forms. What works for candidates to connect with opportunity is also what works for business leaders to collaborate with people who share the same values, vision and work ethic.

Life's too short to spin our wheels on things that don't work. And as it turns out, how one connects with opportunities that can't be seen on the surface may be the real difference-maker in times like these.

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Joseph Daniel McCool's avatarJoseph Daniel McCool
Joseph Daniel McCool is senior contributing editor with ExecuNet and principal of management recruiting/succession advisory firm The McCool Group. He is also the author of Deciding Who Leads: How Executive Recruiters Drive, Direct & Disrupt the Global Search for Leadership Talent, recognized widely as "one of the best business books of 2008," and its Brazilian Portuguese translation, Escolhendo Líderes, published in June 2010.

Posted by obite, o. sunday
08/28 @ 05:02 PM
Posted by Daniel Dannenmann
08/16 @ 03:32 PM
A great little "spot" that underlines what truly goes on in the job marketplace today. A few notations from my side to further underpin Mark's points:

1. Opportunities truly exist as anyone networking will know of someone who recently managed to land a new challenge. However, in addition to the fact that many opportunities are "hidden" (=never advertised), it is also true that the competition for these positions is stronger than ever. Due to the effects of the recent ecenomy, manay highly skilled and talented people are looking for placement. Therefore, today's job seeker must not only "beat out" the skilled competition but must shine through in the pre-selection process by marketing himself / herself better and in a more ingenious way thatn others.

2. The availability of many highly skilled job seekers has given rise to a new "industry" in the on-line arena. Companies doing business here go by many names: career marketers, personal career consultants, etc. They are not your typical headhunters of the past but "go-betweens" between you and the opportunity that may exist with an organization or a headhunter. Be waery of the flood of inquiries you as a job seeker may receive from companies that claim to be able to connect you with your next opportunty. Do your research (on-line and with the BBB) to find out the company's track record and feedback from clients. 90% or more of the companies out there offereing "career marketing services" will select out once you dig a little deeper.

All in all, Mark is right: networking is key. Informal relationships play a role far greater than they have done in the past.

Consider this real-life scenario: a good friend of mine is a senior staffing executive for a large, publicly listed company. When posting positions on job boards, his company today get flooded by hundreds or even thousands of resumes within just a few days of posting. Therefore, rather than working through thousands of unknown applicants, the likely incumbent will be introduced to the organization via a trusted and informal recommendation that is likely to land him / her the job if skills match to the position posted.

In the end, the applicant landed not because he had the far superior job skills (he may have had those or not) but because he had the right skill set that was supported by the right networking relationship to open the door.

Therefore, the conclusion is clear: network, develop new relationships, boost your on-line presence and give new thoughts to how to market yourself on-line and with others.

The old wisdom still holds true: "Every thing will give up its secret if you just love it enough".
Posted by Joseph B. Johnson
08/16 @ 03:25 PM
I believe that the speaker hit the nail on the head regarding hidden opportunities. Many companies have issues that they want resolved but do not know how to find the person who can solve the problem. In my opinion once an individual has defined his/her value adding brand, which in my opinion is the hardest part then they can develop a marketing profile that will standout to be marketed in the hidden market.
Posted by Neil Kreitman
08/16 @ 01:35 PM
interested in the newsletter
Posted by Debra Feldman
08/12 @ 02:14 AM
One of the most informative sources about the hidden job market that I have ever seen. How refreshing to listen to a clear, concise discussion that is accurate and practical.

Agree 100% that research, visibility and connections combined translate into more success finding opportunities in the hidden job market. I've been creating and recommending that JobWhiz clients establish a strong online presence, as well as Networking Purposefully in person and on the phone, finding that this long-tail approach to job search/career marketing generates long term career insurance by providing a pipeline of future job lead referrals.

Good ole Harvey Mackay said it all when he wrote, Dig Your Well Before You Need It; there is no instant way to cultivate contacts, but building a network purposefully both online and off is the best job search method, the top way to access the hidden job market.
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