I wrote this blog about the Hidden Job market more than 4 years ago, but having reviewed it, I see that the information is still current. I hope you find it useful.
Job Boards Not What They Used to Be
When you’re looking for a job how do you go about it? Do you go to your favourite jobs board, and if you see something you like hit the apply button? When the job market was easy that approach may have worked but not now.
When the job market was buoyant, applicants were in short supply. But things have changed. Depending on the industry, recruiters can get as many as 100 – 200 applicants for each position advertised. That number can extend to 300 or more for popular positions. With such large numbers of applicants, companies use Application Tracking software or ATS to screen their applicants.
However, this software is far from perfect. Also, from my experience, some of the best candidates for the job do not always have the best resumes and if your resume is not optimised for that opportunity, then chances are you are going to miss out.
You see, this is the thing. If you are one of the 100 or people applying for the job, the reality is that it’s a bit like a lottery. The odds are stacked against you.
The Hidden Job Market
So where are people finding their jobs? What works best? While job boards can be a great option if you are one of the top 1 or 2 % of applicants, if you fall outside of that narrow band, then you will need to be a little more innovative in your job search methods. One method that works particularly well for many is through networks or via the Hidden Job Market as it is sometimes called. A joint survey of more than 3000 people conducted by LinkedIn and Performance-Based Hiring and Learning Systems found that an amazing 85% of positions filled are found in the Hidden Job Market.
How Hiring Managers Hire
Imagine this. You are a hiring manager, and you have a vacancy for an important position in your project team that must be filled. What do you do?
Although many recruitment assignments will extend to social media and job boards, most hiring managers will first look to their immediate network to begin their search. Of course this makes sense, as these are the people they have worked closely with in the past. However, you don’t have to be a previous employer to enjoy the benefits of networks. When it comes to referrals and introductions, the most useful connections is via secondary connections. In fact, research shows that weak connections were 92% more likely to help in securing work that primary or strong connections.
Using Networks When Job Searching
Building a network takes time but just remember, your network may be the reason you land your next job or your dream job. Whilst most people think of networking as the domain of the extrovert, think again. If you are a little shy or awkward meeting new people, LinkedIn is a great way to start your network and help enter the Hidden Job market.
Working with a career coach can be a great way to get started. It will stop you procrastinating and save your valuable time. It can also save you from embarrassing stumbles with potential new colleagues and managers when you’re first learning the ropes.
If you would like some help setting up your LinkedIn profile or if you want to take it to the next level and learn how to establish, build and master connecting with professionals in your industry, reach out for a short complimentary consultation to get started.