What is the Hidden Job Market?

Up to 60 percent of all positions are filled without employer advertising.  These positions are filled or created for candidates who come to an employer’s attention through employee recommendations, referrals from trusted associates, recruiters or direct contact with the candidate.  Successful Hidden Job Market candidates are able to connect with the employer’s network.  Does this mean the employer knows them? Not necessarily. However, the candidate comes “pre-recommended” by someone whom the employer trusts.  Networking is using your contacts to connect with employer’s, to access the the Hidden Job Market.

Where is the Hidden Job Market?

The Hidden Job Market is as close as your telephone, e-mail account or next professional association meeting.  Your contacts and those you meet through your contacts can help you learn about positions, projects or needs that will not be formally announced.  Employers are constantly on the lookout for suitable candidates to replace departing, retiring or inefficient workers, to work on new projects or to add expertise in a particular area.

The most important Hidden Job Market information will come from your network.  Spend your time networking!

Networking leads to jobs.

Information found on the internet will help you prepare for networking.  Plan to find unadvertised jobs and develop your contact list. Learn how your industry of choice operates and investigate individual employers. Your time spent in preparation and “detective work” will pay off by helping you become an industry insider, one who knows whom to call and how to present the benefits of hiring you to a specific employer.

A decreasing number of employers now advertise available positions!  From the employer’s point of view advertisements are expensive, time-consuming and slow. Many employers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from their employees or colleagues. Resumes and contacts from qualified job seekers have a good chance of being considered for openings. The Hidden Job Market techniques can help you develop your network so your name is the first mentioned to an interested employer.

“Job advertisements” and “job descriptions” are artificial constructs when you think about them, but you need the advertisement/description if you are going to go to the trouble of advertising a job.

What ISN’T artificial is someone running a business thinking: “I have to get this problem solved.”  For every advertisement in the newspaper, there are a hundred employers wishing they had someone to solve a problem for them.  The Hidden Job Market, is a platform for the process of discovering the employers who have problems that your skills can solve.

Newspaper classified advertisements are mass marketing.  Employers get many resumes from newspaper advertisements.  A quick scan through the resumes, often by an administrative employee, selects the small number who match the exact requirements stated in the advertisement.

If you can get the employer’s attention when the company is not weighed down with tons of resumes, you will be the first applicant considered. The Hidden Job Market techniques can help you spot the most appropriate and most likely companies who are not currently submerged in resumes.

One of the advantages of the Hidden Job Market is:  from your first contact with the employer, the interview has begun.  You want to find the person with the ability to hire you in your target company.  Your contact, by telephone, in person or email, are a chance for the employer to get a “feel” for you beyond the impersonal black and white of a resume and cover letter.

You will want to be prepared for these initial contacts and to handle objections and put your best foot forward. The Hidden Job Market techniques will get you talking to employers early in the job search and presenting your best case in person.

You must be willing to conduct your job search with the same skill, persistence and creativity that you bring to your job.

The Hidden Job Market works precisely because of the high level of effort required so much effort from the job seeker!  Employers are people too and like most people they prefer to use the easiest method for accomplishing a task.  For the employer, the Hidden Job Market is extremely easy.  They wait “for the phone call out of the blue” from someone who can solve their problems.  If the caller is on target and the timing is right, nothing could be easier for the employer.

Job seekers who work the Hidden Job Market are more persistent, creative and results-oriented than job seekers who rely on classified advertisements. Employers instinctively know that Hidden Job Market job seekers are the “creme de la creme.” These are the kind of employees they want.