QUESTION: What is the hidden job market?

Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

If you ask successful professionals how they found and landed their current positions, you will probably arrive at the same conclusion that study after study has shown. Many, if not most jobs are obtained, at least in part, through referrals and networking. In a significant number of cases, these jobs were “hidden” – in the sense that they were never formally placed “on the market” or advertised.

Robert Rosales, EZ Resume Services

The term “hidden job market” describes job openings that are not publicly advertised. The key to accessing these opportunities is through contact with current employees, or recruiters, of the companies where these openings exist. Position yourself for these opportunities by building a strong network and professional online persona – then leverage for success!

Kathy Keshemberg, A Career Advantage

The best job leads are those that aren’t advertised – when you can learn about these openings you won’t be competing with hundreds of other applicants. Networking in person or via LinkedIn is a good source of info. Another option is to reach out to companies you would like to work for; contact the appropriate department manager re: openings that match your skill set or goals.

Edward Lawrence, Getstarted LLC

The hidden job market refers to situations in which a need exists, but there is no visible recruitment. A confidential search may be underway; only internal candidates are being considered; or a position to fill the need may not have even been defined or formalized. Surveys suggest the hidden job market encompasses 60 – 80% of hires. The best way to tap the hidden job market is via networking.

Donna Tucker, CareerPRO Resume Center

The hidden job market describes positions not posted on internet job boards or advertised in print media. Accessing this hidden job market is all about who you know (or, more importantly, who you get to know). That’s where networking comes in. Get out into your community, join professional networking groups, contact companies and recruiters directly, be active on social media.

Rosa Vargas, Career Steering

When you are encouraged to tap the hidden job market, the advice is to look beyond job openings that are advertised (off or online). Instead of responding to available positions, you would be creating and discovering opportunities by identifying, vetting, and contacting companies/recruiters proactively– such as using LinkedIn to connect with recruiters.

Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes

It’s less of a “hidden” job market and more of an unpublished job market. These are jobs that get filled by networking (employee referrals, social media connections, personal contacts, proactive marketing of oneself). When companies see great talent come their way, they either design a job around the candidate or finally create the job they have been thinking about. I have been hired 3x this way.

Kelly Donovan, Kelly Donovan & Associates

The “hidden job market” refers to positions that either don’t exist yet or aren’t being advertised yet. For example, a division head might be aware that one of his directors is going to be retiring or moving out of state, or that he’ll be dismissing that person for performance reasons. Or the employee might have already left, but they haven’t yet begun the process of hiring a replacement.

Cathy Lanzalaco, Inspire Careers

The hidden job market refers to the jobs that are not advertised, posted online, or otherwise made aware of to the general job-seeking public. Often these are key positions that a company desires to fill based on employee referral, recruiter search, or through other trusted sources. Networking with contacts familiar with or inside the company is the leading way to find out about these jobs.

Lisa Hebert, LMH Advisors, Inc.

Depending on the research you read, over 70% of jobs are filled via the hidden market. These positions are filled without being posted on job boards or company websites. They are found through effective networking and connecting, allowing the job seeker the chance to understand the company’s needs and how they can fill that need, potentially pitching a role that they are ideally suited to perform.

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