Real Job-Seeker Experiences in the Unpublicized (Hidden) Job Market

  • 16 January 2017
  • Author: Anonym
  • Number of views: 1471

Skeptical that you can tap into a job vacancy that has not been revealed to the public through advertising or other means? Check out these real workers and hiring decision-makers who've experienced hiring or being hired in the Unpublicized Job Market.


My current job was created for me. I applied for an advertised job, and my skills and interview set me into a position they created for me. They still went and hired for the advertised job. 
-- Scott Byorum, director of business development, Nationwide Real Estate Tax Service, Inc., Santa Rosa, CA


I have a business associate whom I've known for about 15 years now. Multiple times over the years -- during recession, during hiring freezes, even at times like these when no one else could find work -- I watched this man walk into companies and create jobs for himself. These were not jobs that had been posted ... or in many cases even jobs that the company knew they had open and needed to fill. 
-- Sharon Rich, founder of Leadership Incorporated and the Layoff Bounceback program, Los Angeles, CA


Right now, I have a colleague who just informed me that the firm she is working for has over 30 openings. None of these jobs have been advertised yet, but I know about this because I am part of her network. Many will be filled from referrals from people like me, which means people who aren't in the loop will never know about these jobs. 
-- Roberta Chinsky Matuson, job-search mentor, former HR Careers Expert for, president of Northampton, MA-based Human Resource Solutions, and author of the forthcoming Suddenly in Charge! The New Manager's Guide to Influencing Up and Down the Organization(Nicholas Brealey, 2011)


In previous jobs I have been a company recruiter in charge of hiring for several companies. We often had openings that we did not advertise. We would contact or attend [meetings of] professional associations looking for quality applicants. Networking was always the way to go! Why advertise and then have to spend hours reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates who did not measure up, or who were not familiar with our industry? 
-- Kera Greene, career counselor, life coach, and workshop leader in the greater New York City area


Very few of the jobs I work on [as a recruiter] are advertised. 
-- Wayne Lampard, search consultant, Executive Search & Selection, UK


I work in the software-startup industry and worked as an independent consultant for a while... Of the dozen or so companies at which I've been, all but four came from openings that were not posted or were jobs I created. Here are four concrete examples: 

I'm an MIT alum and go back to teach in their Undergraduate Opportunities Program every year. One year a student came up to me, having heard that I do turn-around/fix-it consulting, and said, "We sure could have used someone like you at the place where I did an internship this past summer." I asked him more about his job, and after we talked for a bit, I asked him to introduce me to the CEO. After talking to him about the company, I convinced them to hire me on a six-month contract. They weren't even looking, let alone posting the job, and the opportunity only transpired because of the work I do with the MIT program.


When I first moved to NYC, I was in a terrible job. I knew the second day that it wouldn't work out. I began job-hunting, but nothing was coming up... My ex-girlfriend volunteered me to give her friend's daughter some math help. While at the friend's home, a friend of his who was hiring for his company showed up, and we spoke about his company. Four weeks later, I started as their new VP of engineering.


I helped Sears launch a new business unit called ServiceLive. A friend of mine referred me to a Sears senior vice president, whom I met for breakfast. At the end of breakfast, he asked if we could go back to my friend's office to continue the conversation, and by lunch he offered me a job. I didn't seek it or solicit it. It certainly wasn't posted.


As the CEO of ZepInvest I recently posted a question on LinkedIn about where to find salespeople. Note that I didn't post the job; I asked about how I should find people. LinkedIn lets me send the question to my contacts. Two days later, a friend replied, saying she was interested in the job. It never got posted, as I hired her shortly thereafter.

-- Mark Herschberg, CEO, ZepInvest, New York


As a manager, I usually have two instances when I can think about hiring -- when an employee quits or during budgeting season. Before I get the green light to hire, I will begin planning how and where I can find the talent I need. I will talk about what I need to my team, peers, and professional network. This activity is done to uncover people who can fit my job and can be placed quickly. This entire process is "hidden" from general public view. I am discussing a real need that will be attached to a job, but I want to make sure, as much as possible, I get a head start before the tactical pieces are required (e.g., job posting)... I do this precisely because I don't have the money to pay to a firm. I need to take a grassroots approach... If I can be prudent in my headcount planning by getting leads in advance, then the process is accelerated when it comes time for posting. I'll already have a pool of people I can interview... I have worked in HR for over 15 years and have seen these practices happen all the time. The hidden job market is about timing for the external job-seeker. 
-- Tony Deblauwe, workplace consultant and founder of HR4Change


My clients often tell me that the person hiring them says something like, "I've been thinking about filling this position for months" (or "adding this position," or "taking this on;" there are many variations)." Anyhow, the job was known only to the decision-maker and no one else. Or, the client offers to help [the employer] move production to China, and [the employer doesn't] have a position called "VP of moving production to China," but they want the benefits, and create the position. This happens to about 15 percent of my clients, maybe 20 percent. 
-- Mark Hovind, career marketing coach JobBait


Just this month I personally know three executives who landed jobs that were not advertised. In all three cases, the jobs were created by hiring managers who wanted a colleague in their industry to join their existing team. 
-- Janet Civitelli, Ph.D., psychologist and career coach,


I personally ... introduce many people each year to people who hire them even though there was no formal vacancy. In fact, I am firmly convinced that the best way to land a job is when there is none advertised as you then have no competition. 
-- Richard Guha, president, Max Brand Equity, Inc., Weston, CT


As a recruiter with regular and exclusive company clients, over the course of 22 years, clients would often share their plans with me and ask me to keep my eyes open for someone relative to their specific need. This need included positions on all levels: staff, managers, and C-level. Additionally, I'd frequently call clients out of the blue with someone I thought they might be interested in, and that occasionally resulted in a position being created for the person. As a career coach ... three of my clients had positions created for them in the last two years. 
-- Judi Perkins, the How-To Career Coach and founder of Find the Perfect Job


There are certainly a significant number of jobs that never get advertised; some are "created" for the right person even if the exact position hadn't been identified previously (I've had this done twice for me). 
-- Bernard Gore, senior project manager, Objective Corporation, New Zealand


Final Thoughts on the Hidden Job Market

Do you know about the hidden job market and how to tap into it to find jobs?


Our analysis, Is the Hidden Job Market a Myth? A Quintessential Careers Investigative Report, scrutinized the hidden job market after a respected consultant suggested it does not exist. We concluded that it indeed exists and comprises a significant portion of the job market. But we also concluded that "hidden" is not the best characterization because it implies that employers deliberately hide vacancies. Thus, QuintCareers is calling this market the "unpublicized" job market.

Our article, How to Tap Into Jobs in the Unpublicized Employment Market, provides key job-hunting strategies and tools for job-seekers on how to find jobs in the unpublicized employment market, including networking and cold-calling.


Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.


This article was originally published by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D. on


New Horizons career and corporate training solutions turn ambitions into marketable skills and business goals into tangible results. We are an authorized training partner for many top technology vendors such as Microsoft, VMware, CompTIA, Cisco, Adobe and Citrix.

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