Last updated: February 17

Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat by Using a Strategy 95% of Executives Overlook

Put yourself in the driver’s seat with the power of the hidden job marketIt is estimated that there are 250 applicants per advertised corporate job according to Dr. John Sullivan.

How can you stand apart from 249 direct competitors? The simple answer is simply—don’t. Use the power of the hidden job market to put yourself in the driver’s seat.

It is widely accepted that the advertised job market accounts for only 5% of available job opportunities today. If this figure does not surprise you, it should.

Of course what this means is that 95% of available job opportunities are not advertised, especially at the executive level. After all, when was the last time you saw a job posting for a COO? Yes, those postings do exist, but not nearly the number of advertisements for the number for opportunities available.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.1 million job openings at the close of February 2015, the highest level of openings since January 2001. These are advertised openings…if you are good at math, you will know what this means. There are far more opportunities in the labor market today than we will ever know.

It’s time to take action!

Get in front of decision-makers before opportunities are advertised.

There are three components of the hidden job market:

  1. Succession plans will document critical organizational roles. If there is not a suitable internal candidate, then the organization is forced to advertise through a third-party recruiter, their corporate recruiter or some other means—including mining professional networks for potential suitable candidates (like you).
  2. Incumbents who may not be the ideal fit for the role may be earmarked for a move up or out of the organization leaving an opportunity for a suitably qualified candidate.
  3. Head hunters and recruiters often times have the ear of the CEO and other decision makers looking for the ideal candidate with ideal skill-sets. You have likely heard many stories about executives receiving calls out of the blue for opportunities. Decision makers will know what’s in the company’s growth plan even if the entire executive team doesn’t.

In each of these scenarios, a candidate—like you—who is able to connect with the decision makers in these circumstances can circumvent the advertising process altogether by getting into the organization before the job is advertised. With the exception of the third scenario, there are many benefits to be gained by using this circuit to a new opportunity:

  1. You will not need to compete with the 249 other applicants for the role, greatly improving the odds that you will be selected for the role.
  2. Your strategy will save the organization thousands of dollars in recruiting and advertising fees if you get into the process before the opportunity is advertised. Think about the cost-per-hire fees for key roles and start planning your salary negotiations!
  3. The oftentimes long and arduous selection process timeline is greatly reduced. Consider that the average time-to-hire at the executive level is 1 month for every $10K in compensation sought, you will have saved the organization and yourself tremendous time by sidestepping the selection process.

This is not to suggest that tapping the hidden job market is any less risk averse for the hiring organization. The organization will still need to follow through on its due diligence process by checking references, credit checks and other background inquiries to ensure you are an appropriate choice.

Think of the possibilities for your next job based on your wants, your ambitions and your desires!

Perhaps you are looking for the ideal size company, a certain geography, a specific industry or a specific type of boss. Don’t wait and waste precious time searching job boards and advertisements for your ideal next opportunity.

By targeting organizations that meet YOUR criteria rather than waiting for an opportunity to be advertised, you put yourself in the driver’s seat during your job search, ensuring you reach your destination in record speed.


Maureen Farmer

About executive resume writing author 

Westgate - Maureen Farmer, helping C-level executives step up or step out.

Maureen Farmer is the Founder & CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting Inc., an international personal branding and career consulting firm delivering premier executive branding and career consulting services for high-profile leaders. Author of The CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives, Maureen believes that when we’re doing work aligned with our values, everyone wins. Using the law of attraction to identify quality employers utilizing the hidden job market is a cornerstone of her career management strategy.

Have a question about your career? Or a comment? Please share below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"62516":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default Palette","value":{"colors":{"62516":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-0)"}},"gradients":[]},"original":{"colors":{"62516":{"val":"rgb(19, 114, 211)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.83,"l":0.45}}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"89b00":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1},"f4f63":{"name":"Accent Dark","parent":"89b00","lock":{"saturation":1}}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default","value":{"colors":{"89b00":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-0)"},"f4f63":{"val":"rgb(28, 40, 49)","hsl_parent_dependency":{"h":206,"l":0.15,"s":0.27}}},"gradients":[]},"original":{"colors":{"89b00":{"val":"rgb(19, 114, 211)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.83,"l":0.45,"a":1}},"f4f63":{"val":"rgb(12, 17, 21)","hsl_parent_dependency":{"h":206,"s":0.27,"l":0.06,"a":1}}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
Previous
__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"89b00":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1},"f4f63":{"name":"Accent Dark","parent":"89b00","lock":{"saturation":1}}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default","value":{"colors":{"89b00":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-0)"},"f4f63":{"val":"rgb(28, 40, 49)","hsl_parent_dependency":{"h":206,"l":0.15,"s":0.27}}},"gradients":[]},"original":{"colors":{"89b00":{"val":"rgb(19, 114, 211)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.83,"l":0.45,"a":1}},"f4f63":{"val":"rgb(12, 17, 21)","hsl_parent_dependency":{"h":206,"s":0.27,"l":0.06,"a":1}}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
Next