Yes, it happens! Off-market jobs do exist and in the case of a non-executive job search, this is particularly true.
Roles are often filled through off-market introductions, meaning that the non-executive director job is not advertised publicly, and instead the company reaches out to potential candidates directly. These introductions can come from a variety of sources, including accountants, lawyers, recruiters and in most cases, other non-executive directors! That’s right – your best friend in your job search may just be a another NED.
For sure, non-executive roles can be more difficult to find. However, networking and building relationships with people in your industry can increase your chances of being introduced to a non-executive role.
Alongside peer-led introductions, it is very common for non-executive roles to be filled through introductions from accountants and lawyers. These individuals may have connections with companies that are looking for non-executive directors, and they can introduce potential candidates to the CEO or hiring manager. It is important to keep in mind that these introductions are typically based on the individual’s professional reputation and track record, so it is important to maintain a good reputation and build your network of contacts.
So why do professional firms work with non-executives?
This is the million dollar question. But the answer is simple – they have the confidence and trust of the Boards they advice and thus are able to introduce professional advisors to firms that they would never normally have access to. Non-executive directors (NEDs) also bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the companies they advise, and they can provide valuable advice and guidance to the executive team.