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Partner Search and the Hidden Job Market

Article Background
It is estimated that over 70% of all jobs are no longer advertised in the traditional way and are in fact locked away in the ‘Hidden Job Market’. 

The hidden job market is a growing term used to describe jobs that are not publicly promoted by employers, this can be due to a number of factors, such as;

-        Time pressures

-        Marketing budgets

-        To minimise the volume of applications

-        (most often) Due to the sensitivity around the opportunity 

This is especially true for the Partner market, where most roles are not widely marketed or discussed, due to its discreet nature.  

Partner level recruitment is a maze of subtle conversations and meet & greets, with many candidates not ‘actively looking’ and many teams not ‘publicly recruiting’. So, how do you find and unlock these elusive roles?

Cold messaging

Cold messaging is where you approach a potential employer, either by email, LinkedIn or phone directly. Most job seekers won’t contemplate this approach, and with so many ‘hidden’ jobs from the public you’ll find much less competition. You will be able to make an impactful first impression with less pressure, and remember, even if there isn’t anything right now, if you make the right introduction, they will often reach out to you in the future.  

Leverage your network

Another great way of finding out about unadvertised opportunities, is to use your personal and professional connections. Lean on them to learn whether there are upcoming moves within their own firms, if they’ve heard of activity somewhere else, or perhaps recommend you an internal recruiter they work with.

The pit fall of these approaches being that you cannot avoid advertising that you are ‘looking’. Furthermore, unless you know exactly who the decision maker is (not always obvious in multi-layered teams), your network itself may not be privy to a lot of ‘hidden roles’, and you can end up losing your edge by having limited control in relation to how you are being represented. So, what other, more discreet, options are there?

Specialist Partner Recruiters

The most obvious answer to deciphering the hidden jobs market, without immediately exposing your own desire to move, is to connect with a specialist recruiter in partner search.

A specialist recruiter will have a valuable network, a demonstrable history of successful introductions, and their finger on the pulse for recruitment activity now and going forward. They will be in constant contact with teams, whether they are recruiting or not, so will often be the first to know about possible movements.

What to look for when choosing a specialist partner recruiter

Firstly, they should have a strong insight into your market and be up to date on current trends, market movers, and impending shifts. Next, they should have a trusted presence in the industry across a breadth of connections, giving them the ability to instigate introductions to the right people at the right time. 

It may sound overly simple, but whilst your speciality may be tax, finance or legal etc, theirs is people, and linking suitable talent with the right firm.

Many successful Partner appointments originate from ‘right place, right time’ introductions. By staying connected with expert recruiters, they will be able to navigate this process and are often able to make inroads anonymously on your behalf; saving you the risk of highlighting that you are open to opportunities or overly committing to a process before you are ready. 

Take a look at our basic check list below for finding the right recruiter for you:

  • Spend some time researching industry specific recruiters
  • Look at the recruiters personal LinkedIn page for their career history, their company website and the roles they are advertising
  • Consider any reliable recruiters you may have a relationships with or have used successfully in the past. 
  • Ask for recommendations from colleagues or friends in the same industry
  • Review your LinkedIn messages for past relevant headhunt approaches

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool and often used by employers and recruiters to attract and search for talent discreetly. Due to the gravity of recruiting a Partner into a Firm, you will also often find a lot of Partner roles are recruited on a retained basis, meaning that they are not widely advertised. The  select few with access to these opportunities will generally look to make targeted approaches via their network, referrals, recommendations and LinkedIn. It is therefore a great idea to keep in touch with those specialist head-hunters, who sneak into your InMail’s from time to time, so that you can keep your ear to the ground and maintain greater access to that highly sought after ‘hidden job market’. 

To discuss any Partner roles (live or ‘hidden’) get in touch with Rebecca English at Prosero, specialist in placing senior appointments across the tax and finance markets.