You may have heard about the hidden job market, but what many job seekers are left wondering is where to find it. The fact of the matter is that you can’t simply go to the search engines thinking that you can find it by searching “hidden job market.” There is a reason why it is referred to as “hidden” and that’s because many job openings are meant to be filled through an unadvertised channel, such as word of mouth or with the help of specialized recruiters.
Certain positions, especially higher-level senior executive positions, are not publicly advertised for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:
- The employer does not want to be inundated with unvetted candidates
- The employer does not want to publicly reveal an employee is departing
- The position has not been identified for where a problem exists, and it’s up to you to make the reveal
Many employers know that the best hires often result from direct referrals from employees or close connections. They know the culture of the organization and will have a better grasp of what kind of personality and characteristics a candidate should have to thrive on the job. Therefore, it is the people within the employer’s close network that are the first to be informed about job openings. Thereafter, the job opening maybe posted publicly. When it’s not posted publicly, that is an example of the hidden job market is.
If you are currently job searching, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to network! Even when a job opening is publicly posted, employers are more likely to interview the candidate who applied with a referral than the random candidate. The candidates with connections to the employer also often have a lead, because they were informed about the opportunity first and likely applied before others. Your chances are improved that much more with networking!
So, now to the big question: “How do I navigate into the hidden job market?”
- It Starts With Your Network
Your network will include those you already know and those you can get to know through others. See who you know that’s already inside the company you want to work with or who may have close connections with people at the company. LinkedIn also makes it very easy to find contacts and network with alumni from your school. Read: “Networking through Alumni to Help Find Your Next Job.”
- Seek Advice, Not A Job
When networking, part of the battle is relationship building and the sharing of information and advice. If you come straight out asking for a job, it’s an immediate turnoff. Start off by letting your contact know you’re seeking professional advice for a career move and that you would value their feedback and help. Build a genuine discussion from there with your contact. For more tips, read: “Job Hunting: Networking Done the Wrong Way.”
- Join Groups
When you’ve reached out to your existing network, you can also look at ways to network through groups. LinkedIn has many professional groups you can join, where there is sharing of information and active discussions. Engage in sharing what you know, and find opportunities to build discussion with other like-minded professionals and influencers in the group.
- Work With Specialized Recruiter
While working with a recruiter may not be the ideal path for all job seekers, for some who are trying to tap into the hidden job market, it may be the way to go. There are companies who solely rely on specific recruiters to take care of finding the right talent to open positions. It’s about researching and finding those specialized recruiters. It also helps to network with the in-house recruiter at the company. For more tips on ways to network with recruiters, read: “What You Can Do To Help Recruiters Find You on LinkedIn.”
A key to any job search, whether you opt for the job boards, social networking sites, or by tapping into the hidden job market, is to know your target. This will give you direction on who you need to tap into for your best shot of getting noticed and considered for an interview.
About Jobs offers resume writing and career services to help clients build a personal brand for job search success. Job search guidance is also available to help put your resume in front of the right people. For more information, please visit GotTheJob.com, or find us on LinkedIn and Facebook.