A few months back one of my clients came to us on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She has over 6 years experience in corporate, has worked with senior managers and built and developed several successful and high performing teams. A few months earlier she decided to start looking for a new job. She had been with her company for nearly four years and even though she loved working there, there were no opportunities for growth—unless she wanted to relocate her family to another country, which she didn’t.
Last time she looked for a job, she applied for three jobs she found on job boards, had interviews and got one of them.
This time around she did exactly the same but six months later she still had nothing.
The more time pas, the less picky she became and started applying for everything, regardless if it was her ideal role.
Still, it was fruitless.
In the current market, looking for a new job can be pure agony.
Scrolling endlessly through job board pages, applying and hoping for someone to get back to you….it’s humbling, and frustrating.
But it isn’t just you. In my decade of experience I have seen the job market change dramatically. Not only did the economic slowdown reduce the number of job opportunities, but the development of new technology and systems including social media, and internal recruitment tools completely changed the game for job-seekers. All this together requires job seekers to expand their search tools and reduce their dependency on the major job sites.
After all, studies indicate that 80% of job openings aren’t advertised.
If want you’re doing isn’t landing you a job, you need to approach your job search in a different way.
Surely you have heard about the concept of the hidden job market? For me, the hidden job market is simply all the jobs that aren’t advertised (yet).
There are several reasons employers don’t choose to advertise, including:
- The headcount hasn’t been officially approved yet
- The recruitment of the role is confidential
- Headhunters have been commissioned to conduct a search
- They rely on a strong employee referral system to attract talent
As many of my clients have discovered, tapping into the hidden job market is the best way to secure yourself a job in our shifting economy.
Don’t believe me? I’ll explain. When you apply for a role, you are likely to be one out of 60 applicants. You often face a very rigid interview process and after two or three rounds — if you have survived — you might be the successful applicant.
When you tap into the hidden job market you are often the only candidate. This increases your chances dramatically.
If you had to put money on it, which one would you choose?
Here are three ways to tap into the hidden job market.
- Ask for referrals of people who work at your dream company. Employees are often offered a referral fee by their company so get a personal reference from someone who knows about a job opportunity.
- Connect on JobAcute and approach employers directly. Time to be bold and try a different approach. Reach out to managers at a company you’re interested in and have informal interviews with them. You will be the first to know if a suitable position comes up.
- Have a list of your target companies. One of the best ways to learn about hidden jobs is to stay up-to-date with potential employers. By setting up Google alerts you will know what’s going on in your target company and you’ll be the first to find out when they are hiring.
The most important thing is to start taking action.
The longer you wait to put yourself out there, the harder it becomes. That can lead to diminishing confidence and—let’s hope it doesn’t come to this—a bit of desperation.
If you’re on the hunt for a new job, I’d highly recommend exploring the hidden job market by choosing at least one of the above strategies—and getting started this week.