Are you looking for your next career move? Perhaps you have been made redundant or just feel like it’s time for a career change… Are you tired of trawling through Job boards and rewriting your CV?
Perhaps there is another way…..
The ‘hidden’ job market describes those vacancies which employers don’t advertise yet still want to fill. Advertising a job can be costly and might generate many applications which can be time consuming to process. Some job sectors are so popular that the employer may receive enough speculative applications to fill any position or there could also be confidentiality issues surrounding the recruitment search.
It’s thought that the hidden job market could account for up to 75% of available roles. If you’re currently searching for your next step on the career ladder, it’s worth bearing in mind that many positions are filled without being advertised.
There are benefits to the hidden job market… these jobs are not widely publicised, so there will be less competition from other candidates. Most jobs in the hidden job market are in small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s), the recruitment process is often less formal.
There are a number of ways to progress this type of job search. The first being networking.
To some, ‘Networking’ can be off putting, but it is only a word! You are probably already quite skilled in networking without realising it! It is basically, communicating with other human beings to help achieve your goals.
Firstly, prepare… Know what you want and where you need to go to get. What companies or people are you targeting? Have your ‘elevator pitch’ ready and practised. Do you have a CV that you can forward onto someone from your phone? What can you do for people in return, remember, networking is give and take.
Next, be proactive….’If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and ‘you have to be in it to win it!’ Two important phrases when networking. Be polite, empathetic in your communications and the more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you will find.
Reach out to everyone in your network and ask for help. Helping others makes us feel good, so people like to do it, you just need to ask! Look at your online networks, on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram etc. Talk to your friends and family, who do they know? You could reach out to old work colleagues or classmates. What’s the best way of getting in touch and reconnecting with these people? Phone call, email, lunch?
Get out there! – Be at the same places as the people and organisations that you are targeting. This could be at careers fairs, seminars, conferences or training sessions from an offline or face to face perspective and for online, through joining groups/forums on social media sites about the topics you are interested in and contributing effectively. Actively look for opportunities to meet and connect to people.
Think outside the box – you’ll be surprised at the networking opportunities you may be able to find at your neighbours BBQ, or your sisters, daughters, 3 year old birthday party (They invite the whole class and parents stay at that age!). The more you can get out, meeting people, telling them about who you are and what you want to do, the more opportunities will come your way.
Look at LinkedIn groups that you can join, contribute and build trust within these groups. Be seen as an expert in your field.
Utilise your IMI membership to access job boards, forums and webinars.
Follow companies that interest you on social media. Again, comment, contribute to their discussions, be seen as an expert in your field. Register for their job alerts on their career pages, read news articles about them and set up google alerts to keep you informed.
Try the direct approach – This is about approaching companies directly and ‘selling yourself in’. This puts candidates in a great light with an organisation as they have demonstrated positive pro activity and an ability to communicate already! You may also be saving them £1000’s on agency fees! This can sometimes be a deciding factor between two candidates. There are a number of ways to approach this method.
1) Pick your top 10 companies. They could be because of what they do/sell, where they are located, their environmental policies etc. Then find a contact you can contact via LinkedIn, look for someone in your operational area, who will understand how your skills and experience will benefit them. Write an amazing cover letter about how great you are, how great they are and how you could add benefit to their organisation. Say that the organisation is someone you would like to work for either now or in the future and if there are no suitable opportunities now, please keep your details for future consideration.
2) Solve a problem/be the solution – Read industry press, news articles, social media and listen to word of mouth sources about the industry you are in, you may well hear about an organisation that has a specific problem you can solve. Write to them/call them and tell them why you are the person they need. Sell yourself in, find the right person to talk to and call them.