How to access ‘The Hidden Job Market’?

Is it a myth? Does the Hidden Job Market really exist? If so, how do you access it?

Are you sceptical about the ‘Hidden Job Market’, or maybe not even sure what it is? If it all sounds a little mysterious to you and you suspect some sort of sales pitch, ask yourself this:

For how long and how much have you been applying for online-posted jobs and how many others do exactly the same thing? You can choose to hunt for the 30% of jobs which are advertised and compete with 70% of all the other job hunters who do exactly the same. Or you can try to access the Hidden Job Market to gain access to the remaining 70% of un-advertised jobs out there.

If you search around you’ll see that there are frequent articles and blog posts about the Hidden Job Market. It is written about so much because it is real and it does work in geting people hired. It does work if you start to apply it but it requires action and it’s not primarily done from your desk or mobile.

Hidden Job Market Defined

The term “hidden job market” refers to jobs that are revealed through channels other than advertisements or job board postings.

Some basic examples:

  • Company A has a need but has not yet created a job to address it.
  • Company B has created a position, but it has not been advertised yet.
  • Company C has postponed filling an open position for lack of the right candidate through a previous effort.  But, they would fill it if they found the right person.
  • Company D is about to create a new position because someone is leaving the company.
  • Company E is planning to expand and jobs will be added soon.
  • Company F has a job open and advertised but it has not come to the attention of job hunters.
Jobs Discovered – Unearthed – Revealed

How can you discover these opportunities before they go ‘live’ (if indeed they ever do)?

  • Networking! I know – that old chestnut. This is the biggest way job seekers learn of potential openings. That’s it. Click the link if you need some tips.
  • Through local blogs and news reports about companies that are growing.
  • By following target companies on Twitter and reading their websites.
  • By having networking meetings or informational interviews with target companies.
  • Through company pages on LinkedIn which reveal comings and goings.
Does it really work if you try?

Statistics show that the Hidden Job Market works. Beyond the numbers, there are countless examples of jobs discovered through unconventional paths. Here are examples:

  • Michael, one of our Newcastle clients, had a friend working at a local IT firm. His friend alerted him that the company had recently secured a new major client and it was expanding. His friend made a recommendation and gave his resume to his manager before any jobs were open or advertised and Michael secured the first of 3 new jobs in the expansion period.
  • Prakesh, one of my most recent job hunters, went into an informational interview with a Melbourne-based accountancy firm hoping to learn more about future opportunities. In the meeting he learned a key staff member had just left for maternity leave. He immediately became the front runner to fill the position which had not yet been officially opened.
  • A small Sydney-based Start Up had an opening for an operational manager but only posted it on their own website. Larissa was unaware of the company or the job until connections to the company gave her the tip.
  • A network contact (not LinkedIn and not Facebook) alerted my client, Andrew from Brisbane, of a company who needed his type of sales skills. He pitched himself as a contractor to prove it and was hired within 10 days.  Following a meeting with a department head 1 month later, he learned there was a full time position that had been left sitting open for several months because no one with the right skills had emerged.
  • Ernesto from Perth read in a Twitter feed of an industry leader who had been promoted. He contacted the person through LinkedIn and congratulated him. He asked about the future of the position the man was leaving, and was put in touch with a hiring manager who had an immediate need to fill a hole.
  • Simone read a local Meetup blog post about an Auckland-based Start Up that had just received a second round of funding. She sent a smart congratulatory email to the CEO (whom she did not know) and offered her services as part of their expansion. She was invited to interview for a position being created using the new funding.

In every case, my clients found an opportunity that had not been advertised. All these were Hidden Job Market opportunities.

Will it work for you?

The Hidden Job Market will work for you if you are willing to be pro-active in uncovering it. It takes activity, networking, researching, a good portion of persistence and sometimes a little luck. But if you keep at it, you will find success.

  • Spend enough time each day working on channels that will reveal hidden jobs.
  • Reduce your time doing what everyone else does: I am talking about online job boards.
  • Actively grow and strengthen your network.
  • Keep yourself top-of-mind with your network so they will contact you when they come upon an opportunity.
  • Stay connected and aware of what is happening via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, useful blogs, the business section of news, local groups and industry groups.
  • Don’t be shy! Reach out to people, even if you don’t know them.
  • Bring energy, creativity and a positive attitude to the task of uncovering hidden jobs.

Believe in the reality of the Hidden Job Market and focus on how to tap into it. The sooner you start, the better. It takes a very different approach than simply applying for open positions. But in the end, it can bring surprising and positive results. It starts with you believing and requires smart job hunt activity.

Our team can help you to get started. Just follow our blogs or Twitter posts, or hire us if you would like to receive valuable coaching, guidance and assistance.

Don’t follow the pack. Get in shape, do your own thing and always remember to hunt wisely!