The process of finding employment
has quietly undergone an evolution. More and more job seekers are discovering
that many positions do not post to the public. In fact, the online career
guidance resource Quintessential Careers reports that only 15 to 20
percent of available jobs post to newspapers, online job boards, or employment
“Not advertised?” ask many
exasperated, out-of-work job candidates who regularly scour newspapers and
websites in the hopes of finding a job. If this traditional search yields just
a fraction of available employment opportunities, where are the bulk of open
positions hiding? Welcome to the new hidden job market.
The hidden job market is real
and, according to LinkedIn, reportedly more effective than
the old conventional way. “At least half of all new hires find employment
through networking,” says Jason Rinsky, National Director of Career Services at
the Brown Mackie College system of schools. Yes, good
old-fashioned word-of-mouth can help you find the back door to employment
Why is the
hidden job market so huge?
want to minimize the amount they spend on advertising,” says Dr. Cynthia
Scarlett, Chair of the Graduate Business and Organizational Leadership programs
at Argosy University, Denver. “If they can get a
recommendation, it puts them one step ahead in the vetting process.” Hiring
managers, too, seem more likely to hire a person who has been recommended by a
co-worker or trusted associate. A 2012 New York Federal Reserve
Bank study bears this
out, citing that referred candidates were twice as likely to land interviews
compared to those who were not referred, and 40 percent more likely to be
“Hiring managers will often
consider people inside the company for a new position, or people they know.
Often, the next step is to seek recommendations from trusted sources. A
referred candidate saves time over total stranger,” continues Dr. Scarlett.
“Networking is a vital step when looking for a job.”
your networking efforts
is not a new idea. It is simply building relationships with people. Attending
networking events may seem daunting to some; however, Rinsky points out, “Each
experience tends to increase confidence in the participant.” A little
preparation goes a long way toward building a professional network. Dr.
Scarlett advises everyone to practice the elevator pitch, and think about ways
to open conversations. “Brainstorm questions about what to ask those in your
industry. And, of course, have your resume prepared and ready to go,” she says.
are likely to attend a single networking event and come away with a job. “Don’t
go to a big professional meeting and hand out hundreds of business cards. Try
to come away from each event with two relevant contacts,” says Scarlett. ”Focus
on quality, not quantity. This won’t get you a job next week, but it will
provide a manageable way to follow up with your new contacts.”
with new contacts
this is your job search, your professional life. Take the initiative to follow
up with new contacts to support your connection. “You could ask if they are
interested in an email from you about the topic you’ve been discussing,” Dr.
Scarlett says, “or suggest that you meet for coffee and continue the
conversation next week.” One step at a time, you are building a relationship.
keyboard with purpose
are tapping LinkedIn, the popular business social network, to connect with
professional groups and find work. “This is a tool that should be used in a
professional way, says Rinsky. “It is not a facebook equivalent; however it is
a smart way to connect with people in your industry.”
know when the person next to you at the grocery store, or sitting behind you in
a restaurant, is a hiring manager with a position to fill. ‘Networking can
happen anyplace, in a bank or at volunteer events,” Dr. Scarlett says. “It does
happen that way; every now and again, someone lands a job by way of a chance
encounter.” It pays to be prepared in how you might present yourself, and the
questions you might ask of people you meet in your everyday life.
Networking is the key to the
hidden job market. “When you’re looking for a job, one person has only so much
capacity, says Rinsky. “With each person who helps, you’ve got multiple eyes
and ears working on your behalf. The more people involved, the greater your
chances will be to find that dream job.”