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4 Clues to Tapping the Hidden Job Market

Unadvertised jobs are a hidden job market that account for an estimated 80 percent of all hires, according to one Forbes report. That means if you rely only on traditional, visible channels for your job search, you’re likely seeing just 20 percent of all the jobs you may actually be eligible for. In short, you’re missing out big time! Employers might choose not to advertise a job for a number of reasons, including a desire to save money on advertising or to promote from within. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply for those jobs; you just have to be more creative about where you’re looking. At GetFive, we’re all about helping you tap the hidden job market.

Here are some strategies we’ve found to be effective at helping you uncover unadvertised opportunities: Social media networking Zappos made a stir late last year when it announced it would no longer advertise jobs through traditional advertising routes, listing them instead on its own social media channels. While other employers may not be taking such a bold step, many are using social media alongside traditional channels. They’re perusing social media profiles for possible candidates, looking at your LinkedIn blog posts, and asking their current employees for referrals of possible candidates they’re connected to through social media.

Keeping it in the family A survey by Jobvite found that more than half of all employers fill open positions with candidates culled from within their own organizations. Keep your eye on your company’s jobsite postings, open and read those memos from HR because they may be announcing a job opening, and keep your ear to the ground. A move within your own company can be a great way to advance your career, especially if you like the company you work for and don’t want to leave it.

Direct contact Instead of waiting for a job that you might be interested in to show up on your radar, be proactive. Directly pursue contacts at companies where you want to work, whether or not they have an advertised job opening. A “sorry, we’re not hiring” today could well turn into “I may have something for you” down the road if you successfully establish a relationship—and communicate your interest and commitment—with a hiring manager. Choose your direct contact campaigns wisely. Refine your efforts to a few select industries and companies where you really want to work.

Networking As that old saw goes, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. Focus your efforts on networking opportunities that are most likely to be populated by people working in the field you want to be in and at companies where you would like to work. Before you sign up for a networking organization, look at its current membership. Are there registered members who could be useful to you in your job search? Establishing networking relationships not only opens you up to opportunities at the companies where your fellow networkers work, it expands your chances of hearing about hidden job opportunities. Too often, advertised jobs turn into a cattle call. When you learn how to tap the hidden job market, you improve the efficiency of your job search and you expand your career opportunities exponentially.

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