January 22, 2024

The Flaw in Relying Solely on Job Postings: Unlocking the Hidden Job Market

Lauren Kemp & Adam Weirich

Did you know that by relying solely on job postings, you are passing up 80%-90% of the possible pool of candidates? Job postings primarily attract candidates actively seeking a change, constituting only a small percentage, typically between 10-20%. This narrow focus overlooks the majority of professionals who are engaged in other roles and may not be actively searching for new opportunities.


A reported 45% of referral hires stay longer than four years, compared to only 25% of job board hires. Imagine a hiring process where every new employee is not just a resume in response to a job posting but a referral from someone who knows both the candidate and your company intimately. This is the reality when working with a recruitment agency. Recruiters possess a network of relationships with both clients and candidates, facilitating meaningful connections. While it may not be feasible for every internal employee to have the ideal candidate at their fingertips, partnering with a recruitment agency turns this aspiration into a reality. By leveraging their expertise, agencies like J2T Financial Recruiting make matches based on skills, experience, and genuine recommendations, transforming the hiring process into a more effective and personalized experience.

The Problem with Job Postings

As mentioned above, a dependence on candidates in transition overlooks most of the talent that could fit your company’s needs. Furthermore, the inherent limitations of this approach often lead to an influx of applicants – a pool of underqualified individuals who might be eager for change and overqualified candidates who may not fit the traditional application mold but possess valuable skills. If this sounds familiar, you have likely experienced the consequence: a limited perspective that slows the search for talent or the cycle of filtering through hundreds of resumes in hopes of finding a unicorn candidate that meets the job requirements. 

So where are most of the qualified candidates? At work! The unseen majority of professionals who are not opposed to a career change and may have even considered it have not taken the step to start the process. Waving resumes and actively seeking new opportunities is not the norm for this dedicated group. These individuals, who may be making significant contributions in their current roles, often remain unnoticed in the typical hiring landscape. Recognizing and tapping into the talent of those already making an impact is crucial for broadening the scope of recruitment efforts, but even if you are in the know of these top-tier employees, how do you contact them? 

When you are sick, you go to the doctor; when your check engine light comes on, you head to the mechanic; and when your team needs an additional member, you should contact a recruiter.  The role of a proficient recruiter extends beyond conventional hiring approaches, emphasizing a strategic shift in focus toward those already “doing the work.” A skilled recruiter goes beyond the surface of job postings, delving into their roster of professional relationships to identify and connect with hidden talent. They do this by leveraging extensive networks and cultivating relationships within the industry to create a broader and more diverse candidate pool. By establishing connections with both clients and potential candidates, a good recruiter becomes a catalyst for meaningful matches, ensuring that organizations access a wealth of talent.

If your company entered 2024 and now realizes that your team could benefit from additional support, or if your hiring team is fed up with filtering through the wrong candidates, consider ditching the job postings and partnering with a recruiter to do the work for you.