The Hidden Job Market

People talk and write about accessing the hidden job market but very few people actually define it. I’ll take that liberty.

Simply put, the hidden job market is about positions that are forming in the minds of the executives who lead. It may be a solo operator thinking about his first hire, or an executive at a Fortune 50 company with thousands of people on their org chart. The attributes are the same…they’re thinking about changes but haven’t shared the news.

Consider the circumstances. The solo Operator is hanging out his shingle and has much to do before he/she officially starts a hiring campaign. The executive leading a large team in a large company may have many other scenarios.

  • A key person has retirement on the horizon. (This is pervasive)
  • A person is being evaluated for promotion and a back-fill is not obvious
  • A new product launch is in the formulation stage and a sales team is needed
  • Some people in key roles are under-performing
  • Acquisitions will require some key moves but the plan is under wraps
  • Top or bottom line goals are not being met and pressure to top grade is present

These situations will almost always result in an open requisition, job posting, and in general, a scrum for candidates with the pressure to select and a deadline present….unless, one thing happens.

What if the optimum candidate shows up in the formative stages? How good is that scenario? The company can work with the candidate to formulate the performance plan. The candidate can interview freely without the stress of competition (I’m not saying competition is bad, I’m just saying it’s better to be first in line).

So how does a candidate who’s optimally positioned to succeed in a non-defined role come to meet an executive with an imminent need? On an airplane? At a trade show? At a weekend golf match? They all seem possible but totally random.

Whether you’re a candidate or a company and you’re in the contemplation phase, you don’t have time to be looking for something that doesn’t exist. If you’re going to look for something, look for a trusted, successful recruiter that specializes in your industry.

Their full time job is to search for these dream match-ups. Good headhunters are so well connected and informed that they can launch a career or catapult a company with one phone call.

Gary Miller is President of Miller Resource Group, an Executive Search Firm specializing in Food Manufacturing Operations and Industrial Technology Sales and Engineering. Call us today to learn what’s going on behind the scenes.

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