Hello! It’s nice to see you’re back to read Part II of my blog on the subject of the Hidden Job Market. You should feel better about the subject after reading Part I.
Before you start to read Part II ask yourself these questions:
How long and how often have you been applying for online-posted jobs and how many others do exactly the same thing? Will you choose to hunt for the 30% of advertised jobs and compete with 70% of all the other job hunters who do exactly the same? Or do you want to tap into the Hidden Job Market to gain access to the remaining 70% of un-advertised jobs out there? If you committed to a yes on the last question, read on.
Step 1 Slowly get away from your online addiction: Find unadvertised Job openings with a clever Google Search
The majority of job openings at most businesses go unadvertised—that is, they’re posted on their site, and not generally farmed out to recruiters or posted on massive job boards such as Seek, My Career, or Indeed. This is the main reason why it makes them harder to find.
Thankfully, your old information dealer Dr.Google can do the job for you by using ‘search strings’ to uncover matching job opportunities. This is how you get your foot into “The Hidden Job Market “ door.
The market for new jobs is so competitive that, increasingly, companies don’t see a need to spend a big amount of money on commission hunters, third party recruiting firms, nor job boards to get candidates to apply. Between internal referrals, smart referral job sites and word-of-mouth, posting a job to the company’s own “Careers” page is usually enough to attract at least 200 – 250 applications within a week.
If you want to uncover those unadvertised openings, you’ll need a little Google magic. A recent blog post from the guys at Glassdoor explains that all you need to do is cast your net over the major employee applicant tracking systems that companies use to post and manage responses to their job postings.
Do you know what an applicant tracking system is?
Wikipedia defines it as “a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs.” As a jobseeker, you refer to it as the electronic blackhole that eats up resumes. One of the more popular applicant tracking systems is produced by a company called “Taleo.”
With a little help from Google, you will be able to search company websites that are using the Taleo system. In this way, you will be able to find jobs that are not posted on Seek or My Career and have an edge on your competition. Let me show you how.
In the Google search below, I am asking Google to only look on the Taleo.net website (where their system hosts various unadvertised jobs when a jobseeker does a search on a company’s careers website). I do this when I search: “site:taleo.net” Next, I ask Google to find only those webpages that have “careers” in the title. I do this by typing “intitle:careers”. Finally, I add in the job title “Finance Manager” because that is the job I am looking for. Of course, just adding a job title is giving me too many broad results. I narrow it down by adding more keywords like “Oracle” or “Peoplesoft”.
For example, to search all sites using Taleo, type the following:
site:taleo.net intitle:careers JOBTITLE OTHERIMPORTANTWORDS
Repeat the process for any other applicant tracking systems you know are in wide use. Here is a link to the top 10 ATS systems used in Australia & New Zealand.
These opportunities are usually unearthed through an inside connection who is aware of an opening or a need before the job is officially announced, such as:
- Leave of absence
- Unexpected retirement
- Resignation or termination
- Merger & Aquisition activities
- Launch of new products or services
- Opening of a new facility or territory
- Internal reorganization
These job leads are passed along through a network of linked contacts. They may include existing positions or positions that could be created for the right person at the right time.
I am sure you have heard it before – someone who knows someone who knows someone, such as:
- Employees (current and former)
- Business partners
- Direct competitors
- Others with connections to company insiders
If you haven’t lived under a rock, you will know that networking is the name of the game. I am sure you are a member in one or two social-networking sites, read personal and corporate blogs, or even venture out to career-support groups and alumni networks. If not, you should. Networking is absolutely fundamental for getting a big, medium-well opportunity on the table.
Employers have always relied on their networks to source talent, especially at senior levels. Recruiting is not just the hunting ground for recruiters, HR professionals and advertisers. Everyone in a company recruits. One of the trendiest recruiting methods is networking and referral. Why? Because the employer’s network is likely to be faster, cheaper and more effective than advertising or delegating the job to an expensive recruiter.
There are tons of studies out there which regularly suggest that somewhere between 70 percent and 80 percent of jobs are never advertised. Networking is hard and does not come naturally to most job seekers, but if you want a job then you really have no choice. You need to get active if you want an employers’ attention. And if you are one of those fortunate ones looking for a new career challenge today, it is not just what you know or even who you know but who knows what you know.
You have to offer prospective employers what they need, when they need it, and on acceptable terms. If you manage to stay on the employer’s radar, then when changes create new, appropriate opportunities, you’ll be first in line to hear about them.
Traditional methods such as submitting resumes and cover letters, relying on recruiter initiatives, and responding to an advertisement are no longer enough. I guess that’s why you are reading my blog.
- Assemble a list of target employers. Conduct research to identify prospective companies.
- Initiate contact with the hiring decision-maker. The preferred method is to obtain an introduction through a mutual contact such as a company insider, a former or current employee, trusted colleague of a hiring decision maker a.s.o (not clear what a.s.o is)
- Network purposefully to develop relationships designed to establish referrals and access insider information. If you don’t have a contact, cold call to get attention and to start a conversation if you really have something to offer the recipient.
- Develop a genuine and interesting proposition to command attention from employers. Generate trust and show ethical character. The trick is courteously to remain top of mind as the reliable solution so you are remembered as new needs or challenges surface.
- Follow up on a regular basis. Polite, persistent pings move the process forward. Offer assistance. Share an idea. Send a link. Stay on the decision-maker’s radar. Don’t stalk (creepy)! Build trust and encourage interaction beyond the first contact.
Networking is all about being generous, not merely getting names to contact. Networking requires action and practise and won’t be productive unless it involves two-way relationships, not one-time-only transactions. I strongly suggest that you always look for ideas to be supportive; it may take some creative thinking. Building a network purposefully is an investment that can create long-term career opportunities and advice.
The emphasis is on promoting a mutually beneficial relationship where each party makes the effort to keep in touch and be helpful to the other. So, enough said, strap your boots on, saddle your horse, refresh your contacts and start networking and always remember to hunt wisely!
Ps. Share this and other blogs if you know of a job hunter who could use some help. …