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How to Access the Hidden Job Market?

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Experts estimate that nearly 70% of employees got their jobs through networking or friendly tips. This highlights the significance of informal and hidden job markets.

Many companies prefer to fill newly opened positions internally, as this motivates their staff to perform better. Other companies have a referral program in place, where the human resources managers reward proper referrals and give precedence to acquaintances.

There are several other reasons why these hidden job markets exist. And fortunately, there are brilliant ways to tap into this wealth of lucrative jobs.

What Is the Hidden Job Market?

The hidden job market is a collective term that describes all the jobs that aren’t posted on a job board or publicly anywhere.

These jobs are circulated through internal memos, word of mouth, confidentially, or by soliciting the services of headhunters.

Does the Hidden Job Market Exist?

The hidden job market is one of the rock-solid facts in today’s world, despite the fact that it’s informal and undocumented.

The jobs posted on boards and job recruitment platforms are responsible for about 35% of all hires. So if you’re wondering how to get a job in today’s world, you should pay attention to the hidden job market.

Why Is There a Hidden Job Market?

The hidden job market isn’t a malicious attempt to escape scrutiny. It evolved naturally in the ecosystems of the corporate world. Two main factors drive that trend.

To Avoid Open Online Applications

For every job opening, the HR department has to go through hundreds of resumes and tens of interviews with potential candidates. And even with diligent screening, hiring managers might not find the right kind of candidate.

Newly hired employees from this process sometimes turn out to be a difficult fit within the company. Their performance might also be below expectations.

Open online applications can be costly and time-consuming. The worst part is that they don’t always deliver the best results. It’s not a big surprise then that human resource managers tend to avoid this method in hiring new talent.

To Promote from Within

Hiring from within has various benefits for the company and the employees. Here’s how.

  • The human resources department doesn’t need to invest too much time and effort to find eligible candidates for the job.
  • It’s far cheaper to announce a job opening through an internal memo and a small-scale screening process.
  • An employee who has been in the company for the past 5-20 years wouldn’t be a black box to the management or to the rest of the teams.
  • Expectations and cultural fit aren’t problematic when HR managers promote from within.  
  • The employees would always present their best performance and compete for visibility.
  • Internal hiring reduces the inevitable friction that comes with getting an executive from outside the company. Employees see the newcomer as an intruder.

What Percentage of Jobs Are Found Through the Hidden Job Market?

Conservative estimates claim that networking leads to around 70% of all hires, while many professionals say that it reaches up to 85%.

This is a huge incentive for job seekers to explore this concealed treasure box.

How Do You Get Into the Hidden Job Market?

It’s customary for people to scour free job posting sites looking for suitable opportunities, which might lead to positive outcomes. But there’s a lot more to be gained by focusing your job search on other alternatives.

1. Network

Your network is your net worth. This is an ancient piece of wisdom that still holds true from the days of the caveman to the days of the corporate man. Overcoming the brutality of life is a job for a bunch of people, not a solitary quest.

 There are so many ways to build and expand your network. I’d like to believe that it comes down to two words: be nice.    

2. Update Social Media

Rock stars, Hollywood actors, and sports legends used to be the only people needing a professional public image. Now, we all do. That is if we hope to do well in our professions.

Social media is no longer a leisurely activity. It’s a powerful tool for career advancement. Quite often, a recruiter would approach you based on your exceptional posts on LinkedIn. That’s why it’s important to keep your profile interesting, informative, and eye-catching.

3. Reach Out Directly to Employers

An employer might not be hiring today, but if you schedule a meeting and build rapport, you’d be the first person he’d call when he needs to fill a job.

You can send a letter of interest to a company, ask for an informational interview, introduce yourself at a meet & greet, or start the conversation if you meet at a social gathering.

4. Dig Around at Your Company

Companies are dynamic places. People are constantly promoted and ascend the corporate ladder, leaving their previous jobs up for grabs. There are also several instances where people quit their jobs, and vacate their positions.

If you dig around at your company, you might find your dream job in one of the offices. It would be great if you can show the hiring manager that you’re interested.

Also, if you can convince one of the managers to let you hang around and learn, that would be magnificent.  

Job shadowing is highly effective in understanding the requirements of a position. Once you absorb all the daily activities, essential skillsets, and responsibilities, you’d be ready to take on that new challenge.

5. Connect With Recruiters

Connect with recruiters in person, online, in companies, and in industry gatherings. This generally pays off well, as people tend to hire familiar faces rather than total strangers.

As you state your preferences, don’t limit yourself to big corporations only. That’s because smaller companies offer unique opportunities. It’s the big fish in a small pond situation. You can excel and shine in a tiny startup, whereas, your talents might not get the best exposure in a bigger company.

6. Volunteer

If you ever wondered how to get a job with no experience, then here’s your answer: volunteer!

Many companies start initiatives to help their communities. Such projects often need every available person to contribute, and there’s always an opportunity to participate. Professional experience is valuable, but in these initiatives, it’s not a must.

Mingling with the right people and showing them what you can do is a wonderful step forward. Once a job opportunity comes up, they might very well give you a call.

7. Attend Industry Events

Going to conferences is a good practice, even when you have no idea what you’re doing. Attending workshops, lectures, and exhibitions makes you a well-known figure in your sector. Introduce yourself well in a meet & greet, as that easily doubles your odds of getting a job.

Industry events are primarily networking events. The industry technicalities are the icing on the fruitcake!  

8. Keep Up to Date on Industries

Being well-versed in the nitty-gritty details of your profession is a good look. It gets the attention of whoever you’re talking to, plus a few others who happened to be around you at that instant.

“Knowledge is power”, and that’s a fact that every successful person lives by. What is common knowledge soon becomes a worthless cliche, that doesn’t gain much attention.

Industry gurus know every little detail about their field, plus, sufficient information about adjacent occupations. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them talking about art, medicine, sports, and real estate at the same time, with the same proficiency.  

Reaching this degree of mastery takes effort. But it accelerates your path to the best possible jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hottest Job Marketing Right Now?

According to ResumeBuilder, most employees are looking for flexible schedules and better pay. This is the case in two main industries:

  • Advertising and digital marketing
  • Computer and Information tech

The competition for any job openings in these fields is brutal, and the required skill sets are consistently increasing.  

Is Job Hopping a Thing Anymore?

The jury is still out on this one!

Back in the day, job hopping was a faux pas. Currently, there are three opinions on this matter, all bearing equal legitimacy.

  • The first is that the economy is as turbulent as it gets, so moving around is no big deal.
  • The second is that job hopping is not a sin, as long as a person has kept each job for at least one year. Anything less than that doesn’t reflect too well on the candidate.
  • The third is based on the Great Resignation, which left many companies in dire conditions. Employers prefer employees who didn’t jump ship and showed loyalty even in tough situations.  

Wrapping Up

Tapping into the hidden job market is just like stumbling upon a buried treasure box! The riches inside it are unpredictable but totally worth the effort.

Hidden job markets revolve around people, and that’s why networking is one of the most important keys to unlocking its potential.

Preparedness is crucial too. You never know what would come your day at any given moment. So it’s best to always be ready and seize the day.  

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