Top 5 Breakthrough Job Search Strategies for Top Executives

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Today you will learn how to access the hidden job market.

The hidden job market is how many jobs are filled without advertising. A conservative estimate would be around 90% of the total top executive search market.

In this short action guide, you’ll find out 5 breakthrough strategies for accessing the hidden job market rapidly.

Let’s get started:
There are these 5 breakthrough strategies for accessing the hidden job market:

  • Cold Calling
  • Mailshots
  • Professional Networking
  • Recruitment Consultants
  • Executive Search Consultants

    Cold Calling

    This is one obvious way of finding out if employers have got any vacancies that they are not telling the world about – simply by ringing the up and asking them.Use this step-by-step approach to successful cold calling:

    1.Pick the Right Companies
    Pick companies that are likely to have the kind of job opportunities, you can use LinkedIn as tool

    2. Get the Name of the Right Person
    If you’re a sales manager search for the name of the sales director or VP sales and marketing.

    3. Briefing
    Get in quickly, find out if the company has ever the job opportunity you’re targeting. Take a market research approach.

    4. Keep it Brief
    Your telephone conversation will be brief and to the point. State simple who you are, what you are looking for and whether there’s anything suitable for you now.

    5. Building Relationship
    Say thank you, keep a record and connect on LinkedIn.
    Give 5 points when feedback leads to connection on LinkedIn.
    Send interesting articles, posts regularly to your new connection on LinkedIn.
    Call your new connected decision maker time by time.


    Sending your CV off to a prospective employer is another way to accessing the hidden job market.
    Send your CV to the decision maker, try to customize your CV you send out to what you think the employer will be looking for.
    If you’re seeking a position in General Management and you’re mailshotting a medium size construction firm who wants to expand into CEE, you’ll bring out your experience in creating strategic business plans and demonstrating how to turning them into quick wins rapidly by getting the best out of your people.

    If you want mailshots to work for you this is what you need to do:

    1.Identify the Right Employer
    Again, identify the right employers who have the kind of opportunities that match your targeting.

    2. Get Decision Maker’s Name
    Next, you’ll want to get the name of the person in the organization who is the decision maker for employing people like you. You’ll use LinkedIn again.

    3. Value Proposition with Your CV
    Keep this short a simple: who you are, where you’re coming from and how you can help the company achieve their specific targets. Add your CV as accompanying document proofing your track record with testimonials.

    4. Mark your Envelope ‘Confidential’
    This is the best insurance you can give your CV that it will be read by the right person.

    Professional Networking

    Professional networking is another way of accessing the hidden job market – using your circle of contacts in business as a sources of suitable job opportunities.
    TIP: Did You Know? More people find jobs by professional networking than by any other method.
    The key to networking for jobs successfully is keeping control.If you want professional networking work for you this is what you need to do:

    1. Identify the Right Employer
    Again, identify the right employers who have the kind of opportunities that match your targeting

    2. Identify the Right Reference Person
    Identify the right reference person inside the company whom you know, trust and he knows how you are working i.e. a former colleague.

    3. Giving Instructions
    Give precise guidelines on the kind of job you’re looking for – including the salary.

    4. Setting the Parameters
    By telling your contacts how far you want them to go for you. Normally ask them for an introduction. Make it clear that you want any detailed negotiations left to you.

    5. Stress the Importance of Confidentiality
    Lay down precise rules – like you want no discussions with third parties without prior knowledge and consent.

    Recruitment Consultants

    A large slice of the hidden job market is handled by firms of recruitment consultants.
    Recruitment consultants keep details of candidates on file and interested employers can access these details at short notice online.
    Example – Company A
    Company’s A General Manager unexpectedly handed in his notice halfway through a major business development project in CEE.
    With no suitable internal candidate to promote, company A was faced with having to recruit someone from outside.
    Placing advertisements did not appeal to company A mainly because of the time it would take.
    Company A decided, therefore, to run their vacancy through a couple of recruitment consultants specializing in Interim General Management in the Construction Industry for CEE to see if they had anybody on their books who fit the profile.
     If you want recruitment consultants work for you this is what you need to do:

    1.Choose Specialized Recruitment Consultants
    The consultants must deal with the kind of appointments you are targeting. They need to cover the right position, industry and region. Check their website then conduct further research in the following way:

    2.  Seek Personal Recommendations
    For example, does anyone in your professional network have any recent experience of dealing with the recruitment firm? If so, what information can they pass on.

    3. Ask Ring consultant firms, give them a briefing and ask for help.

    Executive Search Consultants

    In most cases the reason for companies using headhunting is a very senior job (CEO, Managing Director, Board Level appointments) where the person being sought is someone with exceptional qualities.

    Employers also use headhunting to recruit people with scarce and or specialist skills:
    Accomplished Senior Executive for the Construction Industry in Middle East.Example Company B
    Company B, a brand leader in the construction industry, is looking for a new chief executive to replace the present job holder who retires in 12 months’ time.
    Company B contacts ABC & Associates, a well-known firm of executive search consultants, and briefs them on the kind of person they are seeking – ideally someone with several years top management experience with medium size construction companies in middle east.
    ABC & Associates set about the assignment by tapping into numerous contacts in the construction world.
    Soon they have a list of names – people their contacts have recommended to them.
    From here they proceed to ring up each name on the list to find out who’s interested in making a move and who isn’t.

    If you want executive search consultants work for you this is what you need to do:

Tip 1 – Projecting the Right Image
For the most part, by people you know that come into contact with you in course of your professional work. With headhunting being on the agenda, it is people like these who can influence the outcome for you by:

– mentioning your name at the right moment
– saying the right things about your

John Major, has worked as managing director in several medium size companies in CEE. His strength is delivering sustainable P&L results rapidly by getting the best out of his people. I strongly recommend John for this assignment.

Tip 2 – The Lifelong Interview Approach
What we’re talking about here, is about projecting an image of the life time rather than over the 45-90 minutes of the interview. The consistency and applications called for are not easy to achieve. Is there anything on the internet (e.g. on Facebook or any other social networking site) that could put you in a bad light? If so, remove it.

Tip 3 – Person Perfect – Work Perfect
Executive Search Consultants (Head Hunters) get their business by reputation, hence they play safe when it comes to putting forward the names of candidates to their clients.

Don’t expect head hunters to be very interested in you , if:
– they know of any defects in your character, and
– your work record is not up to standard.

Tip 4 – Marketing Yourself to Head Hunters
First, don’t pepper head hunters with copies of your CV – at least not until you’ve done some groundwork first.
Head hunters want to make money out of you by placing you to one of their clients.
They look for candidates with unusual skills and experiences.
Ask yourself if you’ve got any interesting areas of skill and experiences.

Take John as an example. John is the born Leader for challenging jobs in sometimes hostile environments. John, therefore has a lot of knowledge in starting-up, restructuring and developing underperforming companies in the construction industry in CEE and the Middle East – a lot more than the average business development executive would have.

Tip 5 – Elevator Speech with Head Hunters
Use always the phone for making contact.
Quickly establish the connection: ‘I got your name from John Marks. You placed him in a position with Wired Limited six months ago.’

Equally quickly, move on to where you’re coming from and what you’re seeking to achieve (your target). Do this in three sentences maximum.

Mention any interesting areas of skill/experience (another sentence).

Ask the head hunter if he/she can help you.

Stop talking and listen to the answer.

Tip 6 – Professional Conversation with Head Hunters
Head hunters do most of their business on the phone. You will do better communicating with them in this way than, for example, by writing to them or sending emails.
Connections are important to head hunters. The name-dropping you do at the start of your conversation will help focus their attention, on what you are saying.
Long-windedness is no way to a head hunter’s heart. By coming to the point quickly you will avoid losing the head hunter’s interest.

Tip 7 – Visible Expert
Head hunters often source candidates from media reports on companies of from other sources that are in the public domain.

Example: How to Become a Visible Expert
Chris specializes in corporate strategy for the industrial gas industry and became a target for an approach following a series of articles he wrote and video workshops he published on his own YouTube Channel.
He received three phone calls from head hunters after his name featured prominently in Google, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Tip 8 – Dealing with Head hunters
Once you got an approach from a head hunter , how should you deal with it? What’s the best way of moving the approach forward?
– Keep it to yourself – don’t tell everyone
– Don’t let it go to your head – keep a cool, professional attitude
– Be professional – receive head hunters courteously, keep contact
– State your position – ready for a market move or not, your expectation on the package

Tip 9 – Move the approach forward
It’s usually in your best interests to move the approach forward as quickly as you can and, while the head hunter will probably want to engage you in formal selection procedures such as interviews and psychometric tests, you should endeavour to keep control over the pace at which events move.
For example, if the head hunter says: ‘I’ll get back to you’, ask for a date. If you hear nothing by the date you’ve been given, then get on the phone and call him up.

Tip 10 – Cultivating Relationships with Head Hunters
The first approach you receive may turn out to be a mismatch but there is a bigger picture here – one where you need the approaches to keep coming at you until eventually the right one turns up.

What this means cultivating head hunter relationships. How to do this?
– Be courteous, always hear what they’ve to say
– Be available, be easy to reach
– Be reliable, keep your promise
– Be straight, say yes or no, don’t waste head hunter’s time
– Be positive, tell clearly what job offer you’re looking for
– Be engaging, encourage head hunters to keep phoning you
– Be proactive, keep up the contact by phoning them

Today we’ve learned how to access the hidden job market. Now it’s your turn! Wish You All Success!
If you’ve any question, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn,

Successful Job Hunting – Teach Yourself: Patricia Scudamore and Hilton Catt
Unlock the Hidden Job Market: Duncan Mathison and Martha I. Finney