How to uncover the hidden job market using LinkedIn

Why does an executive recruiter like me write a book telling people how to “uncover the hidden job market” for themselves?

For two reasons.

One, I genuinely want to serve people. I’m very aware that recruitment is not well respected as an industry. Often, when I tell people I’m a recruiter, they can’t wait to share some awful experience they’ve had.

So I want to show that many recruiters are in fact caring professionals who treat clients and candidates with respect and integrity.

Two, I’m very aware that most people will not find their next role via a recruiter, even a good one.

That’s because only a small percentage of jobs are actually filled by recruiters.

Why it’s a “hidden” job market

We call it the “hidden” job market because the jobs are never advertised or made public. I estimate 90% of jobs at the executive level are never advertised.

One reason for this is that recruitment is a ‘regrettable spend’. Companies only pay the fees because they need to fill a role and they don’t have the skills or resources to do it themselves.

LinkedIn has made it very easy for employers to search for people who have exactly the skills and experience they want. Instead of advertising a role and getting hundreds of responses, the employer can target a handful of qualified people and make a direct approach to them.

But please realise that LinkedIn is not the ‘bad guy’ in this scenario. Companies have always looked from within their own circle or network for employees.

If you were chairing a Board that needed to fill the CEO role, wouldn’t you rather hire someone who’s been recommended by people you trust?

It’s exactly the same reason why we book a restaurant that our friend loved, or choose a movie that our colleague enjoyed.

Jobs have always been filled through personal networks, whether that’s from a school or a club or a sport or a professional organisation or a social group.

The good news

The good news for you is that becoming part of these personal networks has never been easier. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t go to the same school or don’t play the same sport.

You can find the people who are likely to be filling jobs and you can contact them – immediately and for free – via LinkedIn.

Do you realise what a huge advantage that is for you?

No more anxiously waiting for a role to be advertised.

No more desperately hoping to hear back from a recruiter.

No more leaving your career in someone else’s hands.

You can uncover this huge hidden job market and make sure that you are actively considered for dozens of potential roles – simply by implementing my outreach program.

I’m going to describe this program in coming articles so please Follow me so you don’t miss them.

In the meantime, my best wishes for your job search success.



Richard Triggs is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arete Executive, one of Australasia’s leading executive recruitment companies. He has championed the practice of helping people to “headhunt their own job” and you can find more advice about this in his book Uncover the Hidden Job Market (available from Amazon ). You can also subscribe to Arete’s newsletter at for useful information and resources.

Richard has an organically built network of over 20,000 connections on LinkedIn and you are warmly invited to connect.

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