We want to let you In on a little secret...
Finding the hidden job market
For years the only way to get a job was to apply to a posting. Whether it was a help wanted sign in a window, an advertisement in the community newspaper, or a job ad online, all employers, big and small, would call out for help when a position was available. While there are still numerous job opportunities that are visible to searchers, there is a whole other job market that is kept secret. We are here to reveal this secret and open the door to the hidden job market.
What is the hidden job market?
The hidden job market consists of all of the jobs that aren't posted by employers. These jobs are not advertised in any way, and therefore they aren't visible to those seeking employment. There are many reasons why employers decide not to post jobs, which can make it challenging to grasp precisely which positions are available at any given time.
While entering into the hidden job market may be difficult at first, once you know where and how to look for positions, you are much more likely to find a job that better suits your individual requirements and better matches your skillset.
It has been estimated that between 50% - 90% of the available jobs at any given time are available only on the hidden job market. This means that the job postings you see are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a wealth of exciting positions up for grabs; you just need to know where to look.
Why are so many employers choosing to use the hidden job market?
Creating traditional job postings can be a time-consuming and expensive process. While it may provide an organization with the perfect candidate for the position, it is also a good chance it may not. Turnover rates are on the rise as job loyalty decreases, meaning that new methods are often sought to find the right employees.
Using the hidden job market means that an employer can research potential candidates beforehand and ensure that they are appropriate for both the position and the organization. Using headhunters, a recruiting firm, or hiring internally are all ways employers utilize the hidden job market to their advantage.
Employers also use the hidden job market to fill open positions because:
● It is considerably cheaper than posting jobs online or in print.
● Organizations are more likely to get higher-quality applicants.
● It keeps job postings confidential, which comes in handy when businesses don't want their competition to know they are expanding.
● It allows you to hire from within, build loyalty, and reward good employees.
● It takes less time since there are fewer applications to sort through and fewer interviews to conduct.
Finding jobs in the hidden job market
Finding a job in the hidden job market can be tricky, and knowing where to start looking can be overwhelming. Fortunately, with a bit of knowledge and some legwork, you will be able to find better quality and higher-paying jobs that suit your personal preferences in no time at all.
Here are some of the best ways to discover unadvertised job opportunities:
● Attend industry events
Any type of function or event that is related to your industry is an excellent opportunity to get your foot in the door of the hidden job market. Conferences and trade shows are the perfect way to learn about both new and existing organizations and give you the chance to speak with key leaders and decision-makers within the industry.
Prior to attending one of these events, research all of the companies that will be in attendance. Make lists of questions and ensure that your elevator speech is memorized. Plan to spend an entire day at these events and find out everything you can about the upcoming trends in your industry, the key players at the top organizations, and talk to as many people as you possibly can.
Showing both your attendance and enthusiasm at these events will go a long way towards making a lasting impression and maybe everything that it takes to land a job.
● Volunteer your time
Many industries will have volunteering opportunities that you can take advantage of. Not only are these volunteer positions an excellent way to enhance your knowledge and skills, but they can also help assist you in finding unposted job opportunities.
Volunteering at a company you are interested in working for allows you to get to know the people in charge and provides an opportunity to ask around about possible future job openings. It also makes you a prime candidate for any position. You will have already demonstrated your passion and dedication for the company and the value you could bring to the organization.
Volunteering somewhere related to your personal interest is another great way to tap into the hidden job market. While you won’t necessarily be volunteering in your preferred field, you will have the opportunity to meet other volunteers and build your networking contacts. The more people you know, the better your chances of finding out about opportunities at multiple different organizations.
● Contact companies of interest
A great way to show initiative and interest is to contact organizations directly. While cold calling can be intimidating, it gives you the chance to speak directly to the person responsible for hiring. You get to introduce yourself, highlight your skills and accomplishments and make a positive and personal first impression. Plus, with the right questions, you may be able to find out some inside information on up-and-coming job opportunities.
● Talk to your coworkers
There may be exciting opportunities for advancement within your own organization that you aren't even aware of. If you are interested in staying with your present company but are looking for a different position, talking to other employees may reveal some interesting information.
Speak to your human resources department, hiring manager, and different department heads to determine in which areas your company is growing. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find out.
● Join professional organizations
Both professional and alumni organizations can hold a wealth of information about potential job openings. Group member discussions may reveal unposted opportunities. Plus, some companies may approach these organizations first before posting jobs to the public.
The goldmine of networking
One of the best ways to enter the hidden job market is through networking. The more people you know and the more connections you make, the more unposted job opportunities you will be able to find out about. Finding different ways to network and ensuring you are well prepared to meet new people in your industry will enhance your chances of uncovering hidden jobs and landing the position of your dreams.
● Memorize your elevator speech
Before you start talking to everyone you know, and even those you don't, you first have to memorize your elevator speech. Your elevator speech is a short spiel about who you are, what your skills are, and what type of position you are looking for. It should be short, concise, and persuasive, and it should only be as long as a quick elevator ride.
This speech will be the one you use to introduce yourself to potential contacts. Its primary purpose is to make a good first impression and find out if there are any openings available within your companies of interest.
● Get out there
One of the most important things about networking is to get out there. You want to be visible and ensure that you meet new people at every possible opportunity. The more people you meet, the better your chances of finding out what's going on in the hidden job market.
Attend every trade show, conference, and meeting possible. Take classes, go out for drinks and go to sporting events. Weekend barbecues, weddings, and company picnics are all excellent places to network, and you should view them this way. Always make sure you are on your best behavior and always aim to make a good first impression - you never know who you will meet.
● Stay active on social media
Social media platforms are another great way to meet new people and network. They allow you to access an entire world of people, right from the comfort of your own home.
Remember, however, that your personal social media pages directly reflect who you are, and potential employers will base their impressions of you on what you post. Keep your pages and your comments clean and professional at all times.
● Contact recruiters
Working with recruiters is a great way to enter into the hidden job market. Many companies use recruiting services to hire for positions that haven’t been posted. Reach out to recruiters and introduce yourself. Build a good relationship with them and inform them of your skills and qualifications. If you make a good impression, they will remember you and contact you in the future when a position that is a good fit arises.
Entering into the hidden job market isn't always easy. It can be challenging to search for jobs that aren't posted for the public's eyes to see. Finding a job in this secret market may be difficult, but there are so many benefits that come along with your search.
While looking for the perfect job, you will grow your list of networking contacts, expand your skills and knowledge, and learn more about yourself. You will discover precisely what type of position you are looking for and which organization is the best fit for you. Plus, you will land a job that is the best possible match for your individual needs.
If you are looking to learn more about your career preferences, CareerFitter can help. They have the career assessment tests and tools to help you uncover your dream job.
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