Psst…There’s a Hidden Market for Six-Figure Jobs. Here’s How to Get In.
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Psst…There’s a Hidden Market for Six-Figure Jobs. Here’s How to Get In.

Unlisted jobs help companies skirt pay transparency laws in New York and elsewhere. Getting one requires ninja-like networking skills.

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Nov 4, 2022 8:34amGrey Clock 4 min

Almost every day, someone who is quietly hunting for a key hire calls Diane Hessan to ask the same question: Whom do you recommend?

Ms. Hessan, a former consulting group CEO who sits on the boards of Panera Bread, Eastern Bank and Tufts University, is one of the best-connected business figures in Boston—and something like a password keeper at a speakeasy for six-figure job seekers.

All cities have such people, and being on their radars can open hidden doors.

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“There’s a whole back channel of conversations going on about jobs that are available,” says Ms. Hessan, adding that many of the calls she fields come from private-equity firms seeking leaders for portfolio companies.

Far from the public job boards of Indeed, LinkedIn and Monster lies another set of career opportunities—often lucrative ones—that are never posted. The volume of such openings is hard to measure; those who hire and who’ve been hired out of sight say the quality of the positions is more notable than the quantity.

Some are management roles that are currently occupied by people whom senior leaders want to push out, but not before discreetly finding replacements.

Other unlisted positions may be at venture-backed startups or relate to new corporate initiatives that, for competitive reasons, companies don’t want to advertise in view of rivals.

Executives have long relied on their professional networks and headhunters to fill these stealth roles, though the hiring game is trending toward openness. New York City this week began requiring employers to include salary ranges in job postings, and some states are poised to do the same or already have done so. Yet businesses that don’t want to tip their hands (or show employees what’s offered to newcomers) can simply do more recruiting in private channels.

A common loophole in pay transparency laws is that companies don’t have to post every job and don’t have to reveal the projected compensation for those unposted positions, says Stephanie Merabet, a labor attorney at Holland & Knight.

It is too early to know how many businesses will skirt disclosure by keeping more openings off job boards, but some likely will, says Tae-Youn Park, who researches pay transparency as an associate professor of human resource studies at Cornell University.

That means you might not learn of an exciting role until someone else gets it, unless you’re the one who comes to mind when a company wants to hire on the sly.

“You want to be on the call list of somebody who’s working to fill a job that would fit you,” says Matt Massucci, chief executive of the recruiting firm Hirewell. “The only way you do that is to stay top of mind.”

Mr. Massucci suggests devoting at least 30 minutes a week to networking, and advises a targeted approach. Make a point to introduce yourself to people who work at companies that interest you. Connect with recruiters in your field, even when you’re not actively looking for a new job. Go to conferences. Speak on panels (yes, the ones that feel like unpaid, extra work). Freshen up that headshot.

Be visible to get a job that is not.

Brian Pestana, a food industry executive, says he wasn’t interested at first when a Seattle-based recruiter asked to connect on LinkedIn this fall. He lives in Miami and wouldn’t consider relocating, so he didn’t think that networking with someone on the other side of the country would be worthwhile. But you never know, he figured.

He chatted and hit things off with the recruiter, who introduced him to Maria Elena Ibañez, chief executive of El Latino Foods in Doral, Fla., about a 15-mile drive from Miami.

Mr. Pestana joined El Latino in October as vice president of business development, a position that was never listed on any job board.

“Don’t dismiss a small opportunity because the one that seems far-fetched might be the one that works out,” he says.

Mark Goldberger started this week as head of enterprise sales at Ramp, a financial software startup in New York, after he and a recruiter initially discussed a different position with another company. He says the headhunter quickly identified him as a fit for the Ramp job, based on their previous conversations, which put him on the fast track for the job that was never posted.

His early tasks include hiring more sales representatives for his team. One position has been posted publicly, an enterprise account executive with an estimated salary of $221,000 to $260,000, but Mr. Goldberger says it’s possible that he’ll hire multiple people from a single candidate pool, and he isn’t waiting for applications to roll in.

“I’m reaching out within my network—the people that I know would be great because I’ve seen them do something similar—and I’m also going to be scouring LinkedIn,” he says.

Mr. Goldberger and other hiring managers and recruiters note that companies sometimes list positions as open when their minds are already made up, often to comply with internal policies or collective bargaining agreements that require public postings. The real hiring action, they say, often happens away from the job boards.

Shawn Cole, president of executive search firm Cowen Partners, says all of the roles his company fills are unlisted. His clients like to appear to have talent pipelines, and posting an open call for executive applicants can make a business look desperate or disorganised, he says.

Mr. Cole says that to get in the running, it helps to build a rapport with a headhunter like him. Be direct—no vague requests to “pick your brain,” please—and don’t bother with an invitation to coffee or lunch.

“Send an updated resume and say what you’re interested in,” he says. “Talk about compensation, location and specific career goals. Lunch and things like that? Sad to say, but no one has time for that stuff.”



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New York Watch Auctions Record Uptick in Sales in the Face of Market Slowdown
By LAURIE KAHLE
Mon, Jun 24, 2024 4 min

Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer BobsWatches.com, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.

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