Does it ever seem like finding a good open position on a job board is like finding a unicorn? Maybe because it is.
Duncan Mathison, an outplacement executive and co-author of the 2009 book “Unlock the Hidden Job Market,” told The Wall Street Journal he calculates that about 50% of positions are filled without a formal process.
It’s not illegal to forgo publicly posting an open position, though many HR departments require positions to be posted, even if the hiring manager already has a candidate in mind. This may protect companies from discrimination lawsuits. That doesn’t mean they’ll actually consider people who apply through that public listing.
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Hiring managers don’t want to sift through a big pile of résumés, or they’re vaguely thinking about creating a new position and when they hear about a great candidate, get it created right away for the person. Or they just hire internally by promoting someone or pulling them from another department.
That’s not totally misguided. A study published in 2012 showed that external hires get higher salaries, but perform worse than internal hires and have higher exit rates.
In a booming economy, companies have more trouble filling positions and are more likely to post on job boards. But in a job market like today’s, which has a few openings and many applicants, more positions are filled by word of mouth.
All the more reason to use all the networking skills available at your disposal so you hear about these word-of-mouth positions. Keep in touch with former co-workers, attend industry events, ask your friends for possible entry points and connect with influencers via social media.