How to succeed at looking for a job without really trying

Innovation Hub
The College of DuPage hosts its second annual career fair.

The College of DuPage hosts its second annual career fair.

The Internet sees all. You might think no one will find out exactly how many times you've seen Emma Stone and Jimmy Fallon's epic lip sync battle, or that you've bought 12 pairs of the same exact shoes on DSW. But there's a record. 

So it's no wonder that applying for jobs in an online world can be stressful — even if you're happy at your current job and just trying to see what's out there. There's always a chance word will get back to your colleagues. Forget about clandestinely spiffing up your LinkedIn profile; your boss may get an update to his or her inbox.

Now there's a way to put yourself out there on the job market without really putting yourself out there, says Poachable CEO Tom Leung. The site lets you set up an anonymous profile, put in your preferences, and sit back and wait — almost like a digital headhunter. 

"The whole background of Poachable is that most people are not actively looking for a job, but they're also not 100 percent satisfied. And they're generally open to new opportunities," he explains. "The big problem has always been you don’t want to jeopardize the relationship you have with your current employer by appearing to be one foot out the door; on the other hand, you don't want to be completely in the dark and miss out on potentially great opportunities."

On the other side of the equation, companies also stand to gain by using the secretive site — not only because they can reach out to applicants who are currently employed and haven't applied, but also because they can customize their requirements with information they might not put on a public job application.

"They may not say on the public job description that you have to be a graduate of MIT or something like that, but it might be the reality," adds Leung. 

The data that Poachable gathers also paints a broader picture about the kind of companies where people like to work — or prefer to leave. 

"Math can do a lot of great things. It's never going to be perfect. But the data we collect — we know from what companies people currently are where they end up being happy after they change jobs because they tell us," he explains. "So we start to understand when people go from this company to that company, they're likely to be satisfied."

This story was adapted from an interview on the PRI radio show Innovation Hub.