Hidden Job Market Secrets: The Right Strategy Makes Looking for a New Job Easy
By Debra Feldman, JobWhiz, Executive Talent Agent
Candidates are rarely job-hunting experts. Even if you have the qualifications for the job you want, you must use the best strategy for success in today’s highly competitive job market. Networking purposefully accelerates campaign progress.
If you follow career industry trends, you know that only a small proportion, about 15% of jobs, are advertised. Today, the vast majority of positions are filled through personal contacts. Put simply, access to employment opportuntiies depends on connections to learn about potential leads to newly created roles, organizational restructurings, new needs, unexpected vacancies and authorized hiring.
Unadvertised jobs are often referred to as the hidden job market. The unadvertised or hidden job market is, except for that 15% mentioned above, where the jobs are. You are more likely to find a job using networking as your primary job search method than if you emphasize quantity over quality submitting numerous resumes and applications. Chances are against landing using the job boards, working with external recruiters, combing corporate websites, searching on classified and professional listings, online specialty and general job sites, attending career fairs, etc. It is not just what you know or who you know, but who knows you, appreciates your potential contribution and has the authority to hire you. You must make more strategic contacts. That is connect with individuals who can appreciate your potential to contribute to their success by increasing profits, cutting costs or improving process AND who can hire you or recommend you to hiring authorities.
In a private email, CareerXRoads Ninth Annual Sources of Hire Study author, Gerry Crispin, quotes a startling finding about the critical role that inside contacts play in the recruting process, “ An employee [connection produces] a 50 times greater chance of being hired. That’s right 50!” That fact alone is sufficient to justify job searchers focus should be on networking with purpose, not on applying. The fastest job search process is to Network Purposefully™ . Follow the steps below to execute a swift, successful job search campaign using these best practices.
Focus is number one. Once you start networking within a specific niche, the world gets smaller, your your name gets passed around and starts to generate good buzz about you which builds trust and increases your credibility, both competitive advantages.
Choose an industry sector and identify target companies.
Research each employer and describe strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
For each employer show how you can address these challenges and solve their problems based on your experience, knowledge, skills, training, etc. Present yourself as the no risk, first choice, go-to expert who is a perfect fit.
Within each target company, find the appropriate hiring decision maker.
Connect with the hiring authority directly through cold calling, an introduction arranged by a mutual contact, connect virtually via social media, meet in person, etc.
Succinctly present your interest and demonstrate your potential value to their team.
Be patient, polite and persistent. You are not the employer’s first priority. It is your responsibility to capture their attention and promote a positive relationship.
Follow up continuously to stay on the decision maker’s radar so that you will be recalled in the future for an appropriate opportunity if there is not an immediate assignment.