An Apple alum is helping people land secret gigs on the ‘hidden job market’

You've got to know how to navigate the secret job market, says ExecThread founder Joe Meyer (pictured).

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You’ve got to know how to navigate the secret job market, says ExecThread founder Joe Meyer (pictured).
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Joe Meyer

    Job openings for senior roles are often not advertised. Apple and AOL alum Joe Meyer has established a “clearinghouse” type site to help experienced employees find new opportunities. “You enter this odd, weird world that everyone knows about, but no one really talks about, of jobs that are never listed, never published and you have to find out about them via word of mouth and or through a recruiter calling you or reaching out to you,” he told Business Insider.

There’s an entire shadow job market out there.

According to Forbes, only about half of all jobs are ever advertised. And most of those “hidden” roles are senior positions – directors, managers, and vice presidents. You won’t be reading about those kind of gigs on job boards. If anything, you’ll likely only be hearing about them directly from recruiters.

Either way, the more you advance in your career, the harder it can become to actively scope out your next dream job.

Joe Meyer has tangled with this secret job market before. He worked at Apple for two years, after his company HopStop was acquired for an estimated $1 billion in 2013, according to Fortune. Meyer said he loved his time at Apple, but he began thinking about his next steps and actively seeking out new opportunities.

But the process proved frustrating.

“You enter this odd, weird world that everyone knows about, but no one really talks about, of jobs that are never listed, never published and you have to find out about them via word of mouth and or through a recruiter calling you or reaching out to you,” he told Business Insider.

Meyer would consistently receive offers from recruiters every month, but they were for gigs more akin to his past work, not the “hardcore, hands on, roll your sleeves up operational roles” he was looking for.

“The opportunities that were being sent to me by these recruiters were great opportunities and I could see why they were sending them to me based on what I’ve done in the past,” he said. ” But not everyone wants to be the same thing year after year after year forever.”

His experience prompted him to found ExecThread, an online network of executives who can use the platform to pool senior-level job opportunities. Users anonymously submit recruiting leads they’ve received, and get back opportunities in return. The site has already expanded to around 20,000 users, and has raised $6.5 million in funding.

Meyer said the goal is to help people navigate the often-murky senior-level job market in a more intentional, proactive way.

“I want to gain access to the jobs that are coming across the desks of my peers and I bet they would want to see the jobs coming across my desk,” Meyer said. “You could do all the networking in the world, but having a bunch of one on one conversations is really inefficient.”

And if you find yourself trying to break into the hidden job market, Meyer said it’s crucial to understand your own goals, lest you get stuck going for the same old roles again and again.

“Know your own intent,” he said.