Unfortunately, as if finding a job couldn’t be any harder, there’s also what we call a ‘hidden jobs market’. A market which accounts for around 80% of the employment landscape.
What makes these vacancies hidden is the fact they're not publicly advertised, and there are a few good reasons for it.
For starters, recruiting people costs money, employers may start off utilising cheaper hiring methods like advertising in house, using an employee referral scheme, or seeing if they have someone in their talent pool.
Or perhaps they want to keep their new hires quiet because they’re having a move around, they’re launching something new, or opening a new branch which they don’t want public at all or not until they’re ready to announce.
Some say that employing staff through these methods can also return a better-quality candidate.
But, what this does mean, is that there are more jobs out there for candidates than we think and jobs in the ‘hidden’ market, in some cases, can be easier to obtain although, ‘hidden’ doesn’t suggest they’re very easy to find.
That's where we're going to help.
Most jobs obtained in the hidden market are done through networking, rather than through traditional searching methods, like applying on a jobs board or going onto a company careers page.
Because of this, it can mean that there’s less competition, fewer formalities and if you’ve done so through knowing someone, then you’ve probably also got the backing of a trusted employee without needing to be referenced.
And although they may be hidden, they can still be easily found with there being many more ways to search for jobs these days and we're going to discuss each one.
Social media platforms are a great place to look out for vacancies. Make sure your online profile is up to date and relevant to the work you’re searching for. Take the initiative and put yourself forward where you believe there’s an opportunity or could see there being one in the future. For example, an employer could openly discuss their dissatisfaction having outsourced something, if it’s your expertise, see if they still need help or perhaps a successful new business has launched which will begin to see itself expand. They may just need a quality candidate as much as you need a job, so help in solving that problem for them. And make it clear to employers that you’re actively looking for work on your profiles unless you don’t want your employer to see of course!
Network, network, network! The more people you interact with the better. We’ve all heard the well-used saying it’s who you know not what you know. Attend networking functions like career fairs, conferences, and formal events and do so both in-person and digitally. Reach out to people in your networks, including alumni and LinkedIn connections. Not only can you ask about available job opportunities, but about different roles or careers and what they involve, ask for advice on how to break into a particular position or market, or information on specific companies and what they’re like as employers. Making these connections can help you seek people who can help you further in the future.
Utilise every single channel. Tell your friends, your family and your ex-colleagues that you’re searching for work. They may be able to help you or know someone who could. They may provide you with information which could lead you to a relevant vacancy or share your current position on your behalf.
As we touched on earlier, there’s no harm in contacting employers directly. If there are particular companies you are interested in working for, don’t wait for them to post job openings. Reach out by either visiting the office in person, making a cold call, or sending a letter of interest. Show how you're particularly passionate about working for that company.
Go above and beyond to show how you’re committed to the industry by creating discussions on relevant topics, taking on extra projects and activities or by producing relevant content and sharing it with your network. This makes you a more noticeable and desirable candidate to hire. It’s also a way to discuss your search for work without physically saying ‘someone hire me!’. Building a strong professional online brand can easily increase your chances of impressing someone in your network.
Not only can it be useful to gain further experience, but this is a great way to get your foot in the door and directly make connections even if the role isn’t direct to your future goal. This is your chance to build relationships with employees, express your interest in working for them permanently and prove how valuable you could be. If you make a good impression you could be taken on there and then or be a consideration in the future.
And don't forget to sign up for job alerts! Keep an eye on companies in your industry, keep up to date with their goings-on, interact with them and sign up to their job alerts, so you’re ready for when their vacancies do go live!