If you’re in executive job search, I’m sure you’ve heard and read that networking plays a role in landing a good-fit gig. But do you know how to network optimally?
Most of my executive job-seeking clients understand the value of networking. They know they need to connect with the various people who can help them meet their career goals.
Even though they know this, too many invest minimal time in networking. They believe they should spend the majority of their time on job boards.
Their solitary, anemic networking efforts consist mostly of speaking to people about the jobs they’ve seen posted somewhere.
What most of them don’t know . . . until we have an initial chat . . . is that:
An estimated 80-90% of executive jobs – especially at the c-suite and other senior levels – never show up on job boards or anywhere else.
They also often don’t know that they may not get to the best-fit jobs by relying on executive recruiters alone to help them.
Because the majority of jobs are NOT advertised, job seekers need to strategically network towards these unadvertised potential jobs at the companies they’re targeting.
What is the hidden executive job market?
According to an article written by Executive Talent Agent Debra Feldman, jobs that are never advertised include ones that:
- Have a budget but, for whatever reason, have not yet been announced.
- Only internal people know about because they won’t be created until internal processes are in place.
- Depend on an incumbent leaving, which the company doesn’t want the public to know about.
- Are newly-created to accommodate a specific person because of their potential value to the company.
Also according to Debra, the only way you’ll learn about and have access to these jobs is through strategic networking:
- Identify and network your way towards hiring decision makers and their inner circle at your target companies, and stay top-of-mind with them.
- Get people within the company to recommend you to hiring managers.
- Find out about and pursue good-fit opportunities early in the recruiting process.
Knowing how to network pushes you to the top of the list
People hire people they feel they know, like and trust.
If you stay top-of-mind with employees at your target companies, you’ll become at least a somewhat known entity within that organization . . . not an outsider or stranger sending their resume in response to a job posting.
Another thing to understand is the power of referral to hire. Everybody involved wins when an employee recommends a good hire. The hiring manager has done her job. Employees may get some kind of reward. You, the new hire, get a good-fit job.
When golden opportunities that are the right fit for you open up, hopefully your contacts at the company will connect you with the people who can get you into those jobs.