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How to Find and Contact Hiring Managers Directly

A woman is talking on the phone while sitting at a desk with a laptop.

​Relying on job postings to find your next job is ineffective, especially in a job market decimated by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, try contacting hiring managers directly. Start by identifying possible employers within commuting distance (I'll show you how to do this shortly). Next, approach those hiring managers and recruiters directly, with an e-mail and a call. This dramatically increases your odds of finding openings in your target geographic location, and you can more quickly initiate the conversations that lead to offers. Plus, you'll avoid having your resume get lost in a resume database.

How to Find Hiring Manager Job Titles

Almost anyone in your industry or immediate area of expertise can help you find a new job, but the people of most interest to you are those who can hire you or work with the people who can hire you. They will fall into these categories:

  1. People who hold job titles that are one, two or three levels above your own. These are the people most likely to be responsible for the selection of your position.
  2. Those with the same job title as you, ideally within your target industry and target geographic location. Also try looking at people one job title below yours.
  3. People who hold positions with which you would interact on a regular basis. They will have different functions and might work in different departments, but they are close enough to potentially hear about opportunities and put you in touch with the right people.

People with these job titles are most likely to have the authority to hire you or to make a referral to someone who does. Once you've developed a list of job titles relevant to your job hunt, it's time to start linking them to names.

Here's an example: If you were a purchasing agent, what would your hiring manager's title most likely be? These are some options:

  • Materials Manager.
  • Purchasing Manager.
  • Procurement Manager.
  • Supply Chain Manager.
  • Operations Manager.

Try searches for these and other titles that come to mind on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms. Then try them with "director" and "vice president" instead of "manager." You'll get results.

Just remember that the top results on Google searches usually show only those companies that have spent time and money to ensure high search engine rankings. Continue to dig down in your search results and you'll stumble across people who hold the job titles you need, usually linked to one of their social media profiles.

Other Online Resources

Membership in a professional association, apart from providing educational benefits, will give you access to the membership database, which includes the best connected and most respected people in your profession and geographic locale. Try SHRM and your local SHRM chapter.

Additionally, both and have significant databases of names, titles and contact information by company, sorted by geographic region. You'll probably have to pay for a month's trial membership, but if you have organized your search properly, you'll be able to find all the names and titles you need. To get your job search organized, go to my author page on, where you'll find multiple columns on the topic.

Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Visit Your Career Q&A to see more.

From big issues to small, please feel free to e-mail your queries to We'll only publish your first name and city, unless you prefer to remain anonymous—just let us know.