The Hidden Job Market

Tapping into the hidden job market takes some thought and effort. You can avail yourself of many more job opportunities when you know exactly what the hidden job market is and how it works.

Do you ever feel as though there are jobs available in your field, but that you just don't seem to know where they are? Many people feel that way. Maybe someone you used to work with was recently offered a lucrative position at a competing company – and you didn't even know he was looking for a job. Or, perhaps your boss left the company just a few months ago to take better job in another division leaving you with extra work, but no extra money or a more prestigious title.

Wouldn't you like to be the one getting the better job offers? Was there anything so special about those people that allowed them to climb the corporate ladder more effectively than you?

Welcome to the hidden job market where positions get filled without being advertised and people are promoted faster than their peers. How does all of this work? Well, it starts with understanding how employers think about job openings.

How do employers fill vacant positions?

Like all of us, an employer wants to fill a position as quickly as possible with as little hassle as possible with an individual with a proven track record. An employer's first choice would most likely be someone from within the company who is driven, desires the position and is prepared to move up. As we all know, there aren’t a line of people being groomed for upward mobility in most organizations.

So, the second option available to employers would most likely be someone that the employer knows can handle the job well and will not take long to train and can move into the position fairly quickly and easily.

This scenario definitely happens more than the first one, but consider this: an employer obviously can't know enough people to fill every position that becomes vacant in any given year (especially if the corporation is a large one).

What happen next? An employer turns to his/her friends, peers and associates for references to fill the vacant position. At least with a referral, there is a better than average chance that the person being referred will have many of the necessary skills to do the job well, even if some training may be necessary. It is far better to work with someone who knows someone rather than work with someone off the street.

As a job-seeker, do you see how important the hidden job market is? You have to know people – sometimes a lot of people - in order to find yourself being considered for positions in the hidden job market.

In order to meet other people, you have to make an effort to socialize with other people in your chosen industry/field. Networking groups are prevalent in many cities and offer a great deal of resources and opportunities to meet others. Book clubs are also fine for meeting people who enjoy reading the same type of material that you enjoy reading.

The point is that you have to network. Get out and meet people. Get to know them. Listen to them…really listen to them. Do not simply look for opportunities to push your self on others. When you listen to others and help them achieve their goals, you are more likely to find yourself being catapulted into achieving your own goals.

The hidden job market can work for you
if you know how to use it

Click here to read about Networking and the Job Market

Click here to read an article about Job Hunting with Classified Ads

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