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In my job search, I keep being told about the hidden or unpublished job market.  But does such a market exist for managers?  

I believe the hidden market exists for individual contributors where hiring managers have the flexibility to create new positions or open reqs early if the right candidate magically appears.

However I have a hard time believing that the hidden market exists for managers, except where a hiring manager wants to replace a subordinate manager or where a company is expanding.  But how often does that really happen in today's economy?

Has anyone had good success with the hidden market?  Whether as a candidate or when trying to hire a manager?

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 Recruiting is expensive so it's not unusal for recrutiign managers to first try to fill a post via their network and those of other people in their network.  Given that as you move further up an organisation relationships become more and more important I suspect it is more likley, not less, that roles will be filled through networks more than open advertisements, unless there is some sort of legislative requirement to advertise (this is common in the public sector). 

When you get to the very high echelons there are a number of very good reasons to not advertise.  If you advertise that you're looking for a new CxO then that flags up that your old one is leaving which then causes people to question why.  It also means that an unknown quantity has been introduced, who will get a position which can majorly impact the performance of the company and what will they do?  That can hit market, creditor and customer confidence which can result in reduced income, lost deals and reductions in share price.  All things that tend to make shareholders unhappy.  If the post can be quietly filled through personal contacts then there may still be a hit but it should be less as the quantity is known and there's less uncertainty.

Stephen

 

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Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack

 

ChrisH__'s picture

"Hidden market" sounds very dramatic :-)

 

As Stephen said, this is just recruiting through personal networks, rather than advertising. As you said - this could be used to replace a subordinate manager. Pretty much everyone except the CEO is subordinate to someone, and even s/he reports to he board. It is common for board members or CEOs to recommend CFO/COO/CMO etc candidates with whom they have worked before.

 

Half of my management jobs have been through non-advertised recruitment, and my current company pursuses this strategy aggressively. In fact, part of our employee's incentive pay is based on how they contribute to the company by (among other things) helping to source great employees through their networks.

 

We still have a very rigorous interview and selection process once we are introduced to someone (so its not a case of 'this guy is my friend, let's hire him')

Manager Tools has a couple of casts on how to build your personal network, and reach out to them for job opportunities.

 

paulc's picture

I understand about how executives at the C level are often hired.  I was questioning more of how middle managers are hired.  I guess it depends on the networking and most importantly timing - being available or remembered when such a position becomes open or is envisioned to becoming open.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 One of the things that is emphasised in a number of the MT casts on networking and related activities is that you need to keep contact with your network.  Keep them updated on a regular basis, individual contacts little and often.  When the opportunity comes up you will be remembered and are more likely to be contacted, then you can decide how available you are. 

In my experience hiring through a network is used at all levels of an organisation.  On occaision I've been asked if I know anyone who could fill a post and I've also passed along information about upcoming vacancies to people I know who I think would be a good fit.

Stephen

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack

 

mmann's picture

Retained recruiters would also fit into the category of a hidden job market.  Heidrick & Struggles, Korn/Ferry, etc. are hired by companies to find candidates for management positions.  The vast majority of these positions are never posted on any job board.  

 

--Michael