Identifying unpublished jobs can be a great way to get hired faster and this page will tell you how you can approach this process to get the best results possible.


These events are your keys to finding unpublished openings with expanding companies:

  • Firms that have just raised capital
  • Firms making acquisitions
  • Firms with higher sales or profits
  • Reorganizations / executive changes
  • Companies announcing new products
  • Companies with planned expansions

(1) Search New Business Announcements

You can uncover jobs which are not advertised, through mailings, telemarketing and networking. However, events occur every day in thousands of firms that ultimately lead managers to begin the process of privately looking for new people. These events are often reported in local and national business publications, trade magazines, newsletters and newspapers and online "virtual" publications.

What are the events? They are announcements or reports on growth situations, companies raising capital, planned new facilities, new product introductions, reorganizations, acquisitions and mergers, high-level executive changes, and plans for expansion.

For companies undergoing these transitions, chances are they will need to attract good people to handle problems or capitalize on their opportunities. The activity in these companies won't usually be limited to one or two functions either. They can be expected to need people in all functional categoriessales, marketing, finance, etc.

(2) Use "Ripple Effect" Thinking to Pinpoint Opportunities

When you read about a company that is giving out signals that they may be hiring at an above-average rate, don't stop at the obvious implications. Use what we refer to as "ripple-effect thinking." This is simply taking the time to think about all of the changes that may be occurring in the company up and down the line and across many functions.

You may also get some good ideas about using information that you read about one company to find opportunities with their suppliers, customers and even their competitors. Consider the following example:

You read that a manufacturer is starting a division to sell a revolutionary kind of stapler -- one that is appropriate for use in packaging where health requirements now prevent use of ordinary staplers. The obvious implications are that this company could very well need people in marketing and sales. Since it's a new division, you might also expect that there will be some need for finance people as well.

If you're a packaging engineer, you might also project a need for that capability to support the sales effort. Those possibilities would be real enough, but now let's use "ripple-effect thinking" to see if we can infer some other needs.

(3) Don't Ignore Firms with Problems

Reorganizations involve shifts within the executive ranks. They usually spell opportunity for those who are at the next lower level, and then changes ripple through the organization down through the line. Troubled companies often have opportunities for the following types of people:

Marketing people who can identify new markets and find new applications for existing products; sales people who can increase volume; applications engineers who can design and develop new products and applications for existing products; financial executives who can cut costs or raise capital; manufacturing people who can find more cost-efficient ways to produce goods and reduce overhead; general managers who can take total responsibility for plant closings, consolidations and streamlinings; CEOs and COOs who can supply new leadership; human resource executives who can help find all these other people, while directing outplacement activities with certain parts of the work force.

Problems often imply one of two things: managers in certain functions haven't been performing well, or the company needs to develop new capabilities in order to survive and grow.

If you are seeking a position as an executive, the CEO or a board member will often be the logical person to contact. For positions below senior level, other targets will normally be preferred. The human resources manager may be aware of most openings in a company. However, the VP of your major function is going to be a better alternative.

Keep in mind that many employers undergoing major change are actually the smaller and faster growing firms, and they are far less constrained by hiring traditions common to major companies.

In the case of growth companies, the force for their continued growth may rest with their willingness to gamble on potential talent. Most companies on a fast-track are looking for individuals with the best natural ability and for people who have enthusiasm, dedication and a willingness to work hard.

Assuming you have marketable talents, a straightforward message which makes clear how you can contribute is likely to stimulate interest. Using the spot opportunity process has been the key to success for people at all levels.

Here's How a Few People Have Capitalized on Private Openings

A product manager read about a firm which grew at over 100% for each of the past four years. He called the Vice President of Marketing and within three weeks received an attractive job offer.

A financial executive read that a troubled manufacturer was divesting a division to raise cash. He called the new president and arranged to meet him and explain how he might help. Four weeks later he became the CFO of this company.

A marketing manager read that a European corporation had bought a local company. He wrote to express interest and suggested a dialogue when European officials visited there. Twelve weeks later, he was VP-Marketing, U.S.A.

An plant manager learned about the financial troubles of a small firm. He wrote to the EVP, explaining that he had turned around a similar operation in less than six months. The results: three meetings with officials followed by a job offer.

Summarizing Our Approach for Finding Employers with Unadvertised Job Openings

Information is power, and that's exactly what spot opportunities provide. You can find spot opportunities by identifying events in printed and electronic news media that are likely indicators that openings may be available.

Look for announcements of new products, firms relocating, new plants, new leases, higher sales and profits, new officers and planned expansions. To identify the greatest number of situations, use "ripple- effect thinking" and don't ignore reorganizations or companies in financial trouble.

If you are changing careers or industries, using spot opportunities is especially important.