4 Ways To Access The Hidden Job Market

If you are active on social media, you will no doubt have read recently about this new fangled cultural phenomenon called ‘The Hidden Job Market.’ I receive dozens of emails every day asking me what it is and how to get access to it.

4 Ways To Access The Hidden Job Market

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I have some news for you…There is no hidden job market.

It is just the job market.

Instead, try to think of it in an entirely different way. There are the jobs that you can see advertised and that are visible to everyone in the marketplace. These are the same opportunities that could be found before the dawn of social media by using the same old tried and tested techniques such as Scouring job boards, applying to a job advert or simply registering your details with a recruitment agency. This is the exact same way you would find a job in 1996!

Then, there is everything else. These are the opportunities that you are probably missing out on. These jobs are often never advertised on job boards (or social media for that matter). Job seekers are more likely to be approached about an opportunity rather than apply themselves. Nowadays, I would say as much as 60% of all jobs in the market are filled in this way, as opposed to more ‘traditional’ methods. So in 2016, rather than you finding a job, the job finds you!

To put this into some context, and to quote a statistic from my own career in the recruitment industry, I would say that as much as 70% of all the placements I have made as a recruiter in the past five years have never been advertised to the public.

In today’s job market, it is absolutely essential that you allow yourself to be found easily online by recruiters and employers who are proactively seeking out the best talent in the marketplace. So, there is a distinct shift in mindset required in order for you to become successful.

Here Are Some Key Things To Focus On In Order To Become Successful:

1. Building Relationships With Recruiters

It is no secret that recruiters hold the key to many of the best opportunities in the market. They own the relationships with the best employers. They have their finger on the pulse as to what skills are hot (and which are not), and they are often working in an area of deep specialization meaning they know more about your marketplace than you could ever dream of. As such, in order to become successful in today’s job market, it is absolutely critical that you get to work on building truly meaningful long lasting relationships with the best recruiters in your niche. The reason for this is that when a recruiter starts working on a new opportunity, the first place he or she goes to look for talent is their own network, not to advertise on a job board. You have to build a relationship with the recruiter so that you are one of the first people they think of when they begin working on a new opportunity. It is the job seekers who understand this and who go all in to foster relationships with key recruiters that always snag the best opportunities.

2. LinkedIn

By now, every job seeker should know what LinkedIn is and have a profile on the platform. I’ve talked about LinkedIn as being an integral part of any job search strategy until I am blue in the face! The world’s largest professional social network has now been around for a very long time. I have personally been using LinkedIn to recruit since 2005! Now, it is one thing having a profile on the platform, however, having a full profile that attracts both recruiters and employers is something completely different. I see too many people, way too often who think it is OK to have the bare minimum information included in their profile. If this is you, stop complaining about not receiving calls or being approached by anyone on LinkedIn. You are not showing LinkedIn the respect it deserves and you only have yourself to blame.

Think of LinkedIn as a searchable database. Give recruiters and employers as much opportunity to find you as possible by really selling your skills and experience, filling out your profile with as much information as you would find on your resume. Add a professional looking headshot photo too! Remember too that LinkedIn is, in essence, a place where people come to meet new people and to network. Your success on LinkedIn largely depends on the size of your network so you should also be adding connections every single day.

3. Your Own Network

Everyone has a personal network of friends and ex-colleagues. Not everyone taps into that network to maximum effect! Write a list of all your closest friends and acquaintances. Give them a call and ask them to keep an eye out for suitable opportunities for you. Reconnect with any ex-colleagues you may have lost touch with. Give your old boss a call if you don’t hate his guts! The more eyes and ears you have out there looking for you, the more opportunities you will be able to chose from. These people are your tribe. They are the ones that will be willing to bend over backwards in order to help you.  They will bring opportunities to you. Outside of this,you should always be looking to meet and build relationships with your industry peers. The more people you know and can call upon, the better position you will be in the next time you are looking for a new job.

4. Twitter

This one is, for some people, slightly left of field. Most people wouldn’t think to use Twitter to help them get ahead in the job market but it can be your secret weapon. Let me explain…You can use Twitter to strike up a conversation with companies and hiring managers that are on your target list. Twitter is like the world’s largest cocktail party online. You can listen in on everyone else’s conversation and really add value if you approach it in the right way. Using Twitter to position yourself as an expert (or knowledgeable) in your niche is a great way to boost your personal brand. It is certainly not a quick fix, and it would take some considerable time to build up your followers, however, if you are willing to dive into the Twittersphere and utilize this social platform to build relationships with employers directly, you could be on to a winner!

So, ask yourself now if you truly believe that you are doing everything possible to maximize your chances of uncovering the best opportunities. If the answer is ‘no’, then you should take immediate steps to ensure that the best jobs start coming to you, as opposed to the other way around.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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