Yesterday I had a curious conversation with a potential client, who was reviewing the advice of several career coaches and one of the services our competitor offers states literally:

 ‘Access to The Hidden Job Market – which is 70% of all existing jobs in Australia’.

The cost of access was AU$ 500.

So, naturally, I became very intrigued and I really want to talk about it!

‘Hidden’ – sounds mysterious and enigmatic.

Only the chosen ones get there.

Only those in the know, well, do know.

It certainly works well on immigrants who are fresh in the country and want to get in, be seen, be included. $500 – and you got the golden ticket!

Are we trying to mystify the challenging process of job search? Is it an attempt to make it a bit more interesting? Or are we just selling a myth?

When we say ‘hidden’ – do we really mean it? Because ‘huge hidden job market’ means that there are hundreds of companies that have an ’empty chair’ business pain but they choose to be stoically silent about this.

Awkward silences in board rooms?

Bob left, but we put a dummy behind his desk and pretend it’s all okay?

How do they do something about it but keep it ‘hidden’?

Who knows?

How is the problem solved?

How do they get the BEST person if it’s a secret role?

 

Another question that naturally arises is when, how and who quantified the hidden job market? Every time you come across a ‘researches show that 70% of the Australian job market is hidden…’ there is no link to the actual research. Who did this research? How many companies participated? Mystery…

Now. Let’s agree that not all the jobs go straight to Seek, Indeed, Adzuna and LinkedIn, just as some jobs that go to Seek, Adzuna and Indeed are not real.

Some of the reasons, a few jobs (NOT 70%) might not be published on job boards are based on corporate or business politics, others are very trivial, and should I say… human?

Here are the reasons, not each and every role goes to Seek.

Someone is still working, but the Company is going to get rid of them. The Company turns to a recruitment agency and ask them to look for a replacement on the sly. The process is a bit hard to manage, as the agency cannot keep their candidates in the dark regarding the employer for long.

  • Who manages the hiring? A recruitment agency. Possibly the company Talent Acquisition team, if the person to be replaced is not the head of HR/TA.
  • Who are they going to call? People in their database and network.
  • How to tap it? Know and follow the recruiters and talent acquisition professionals that work in your industry.

The Company is planning a move, and they don’t want the competition to know.

  • Who manages the hiring? A recruitment agency. Or senior talent acquisition people from the Company approach professionals/leaders on the market and having confidential discussions.
  • Who are they going to call? People in their database, network, referrals.
  • How to tap it? Know and follow the recruiters and talent acquisition professionals that work in your industry. Know decision-makers in the companies you are interested in. Connect with your industry peers (networking online and offline).

The Company’s C-suite employee is leaving, and if it becomes known to the general public, the stock might collapse.

  • Who manages the hiring? Their yacht clubs. Haha. But seriously. Head of TA (talent acquisition) and senior staff looking at the players on the market, C-suite network, talk to executive recruiters.
  • Who are they going to call? People in their network, referrals.
  • How to tap it? Hang out with CEOs, you will get a hint.

The Company requires unique knowledge/skill that can be only obtained while working in the Company.

  • Who manages the hiring? The Company.
  • Who are they going to call? Referrals within the Company.
  • How to tap it? No chance, Jose. Unless everyone in the pipeline falls through and then they go fish the competition.

The Company prefers to hire ONLY people they know. What is the reason behind it? Well, according to ‘The 5 dysfunctions of a team’, the absence of trust is one of the most significant and fundamental dysfunctions. Hence, managers who prefer to hire immediate family, extended family, former colleagues, friends, referrals and such are seriously limiting their talent pool. If you join this party, you risk finding yourself in quite a cliquey team and let me tell you there’s not much fun in it.

  • Who manages the hiring? The Company.
  • Who are they going to call? Referrals within the Company.
  • How to tap it? Get to know people working in the same industry as you.

 

A few other situations that are quite self-explanatory:

  • The job exists (we have a job description, and there is a need in resource), but the hiring is frozen because of something. But then again, there are quite a few public jobs that do not exist in reality, so there you go.
  • The Company doesn’t want to spend money on advertising, but they still can do it for free on Indeed and post on social.
  • Some say that Companies keep the job opening hidden because they don’t want to be ambushed by hundreds of calls and CVs. Utter bull. If the Company is THAT popular and desirable, I bet they have special people who deal with hundreds of calls and CVs. They are called recruiters.
  • Human mistake – we forgot to post it. Not all the companies have a step by step recruitment process, especially when they don’t have a dedicated person, looking after it.

So, all in all,

When people suggest that they know some unique ways to approach the hidden job market, it’s basically about networking.

So, you need to:

  1. Seize up the companies you are interested in. Choose industry, size, the scale of operations. Make sure that the market you are after is measurable. You cannot manage things you cannot measure.
  2. Understand who are the potential hiring managers, talent acquisition people, people working in similar roles that you want – using LinkedIn and Xray sourcing tools.
  3. Follow them on LinkedIn, add them to connections, like, share and comment on the stuff they post. Follow companies on LinkedIn. That’s how you will see their posts about jobs.
  4. Find recruitment agencies and recruiters that work in your industry.
  5. Find them on LinkedIn, connect, like, share and comment on the stuff they post. Follow companies on LinkedIn. That’s how you will see their posts about jobs.
  6. Be active on LinkedIn. Spend an hour on the weekend to choose a few bits you are going to post during the week, spend 30 minutes every day on going through your LinkedIn newsfeed and engaging with your new connects. Be consistent and generous with comments, shares and appreciations. That’s how you will get tapped about jobs.
  7. Send CVs, expression of interest to the companies you want. Send CVs and get intro meetings with whether recruiters in agencies OR Candidate managers, Sources and such. That’s how you will get tapped about jobs.
  8. Go to industry networking events. Go to companies’ networking events. Go to recruiters’ networking events. That’s how you will get tapped about jobs.

Now, you know everything you need to know about the ‘hidden job market’ and you can send $500 on my PayPal. 😊 Or if you are seriously stuck with your job search – talk to us! 🙂

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