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Slow Recovery Fueling Hidden Job Market

With unemployment stubbornly hovering at 9.5 percent despite seven consecutive months of private payroll growth, companies and executive search firms recruiting top talent are increasingly relying on their own network and database to avoid the high volume of unqualified responses generated by public job postings

With unemployment stubbornly hovering at 9.5 percent despite seven consecutive months of private payroll growth, companies and executive search firms recruiting top talent are increasingly relying on their own network and database to avoid the high volume of unqualified responses generated by public job postings.


According to a survey of 697 search firm consultants and human resource leaders, just 22 percent of all positions with an annual compensation of $200,000 or more are posted on job boards or websites – down from 30 percent in 2008 and 24 percent in 2009. A separate survey of 168 executive recruiters reveals that 92 percent believe there is a hidden market for executive level job opportunities.


“As companies and recruiters continue to shift away from job boards, executives looking for their next opportunity should re-evaluate the amount of time and energy they are devoting to these websites,” says Mark Anderson, President and Chief Economist of ExecuNet, the private membership network for senior business executives. “With nearly 80 percent of all executive level opportunities hidden from public view, the odds of landing a new job by responding to public postings are not great.”


The top three sources recruiters rely on to find executive candidates include:



  1. 1. Networking (44%);

  2. 2. Internal Database (21%); and

  3. 3. Research (14%).


“Regardless of economic conditions, the strength of your network will have a direct impact on the length of your job search,” says Anderson.


Founded in 1988, ExecuNet is a private membership network for business leaders who believe that the right connections can produce extraordinary results in their careers and organizations. A recognized authority in executive recruiting and human capital, ExecuNet provides members access to confidential six-figure job opportunities, proprietary research and pragmatic advice. For more information, visit www.ExecuNet.com.