So what is the mystery of the hidden job market that has us in raptures and clinging to a sea of job opportunities undiscovered to the naked eye? Jobs go to those that are good at getting jobs and the secrets of elite job hunters are revealed in an invisible jobs paradise. A Shangri-La of employment opportunities that only career transition experts hold the keys to good fortune.
Let me bust this discussion right open with a bout of controversy that will inspire you senseless into believing its nothing more than an elaborate marketing hoax! That’s right, there is no such thing as the hidden job market.
When I wrote my book, How to find a Job in 6 weeks, almost 7 years ago, I dedicated a whole chapter to the hidden job market and I researched this phenomenon to find proof of this sea of jobs. I attended seminars and even paid good money pretending I was out of work by attending career transition programs, at a lofty expense.
What I found was incredible and consistent throughout; an elaborate sales training program re-packaged into a networking platform for job hunters to generate leads. And leads for what? It was leads to people, by way of referral, who are in the know about untapped and hidden jobs. Wow! It was a sales lead and networking program that also involved cold calling prospects that have the ability to make hiring decisions.
So there is no hidden job market and by definition it can’t exist. To assume one does exits would be saying that employers are deliberately disguising or hiding their job vacancies. That is, jobs that are not advertised by internal job boards, newspapers, online or anywhere else. For a small proportion of jobs, employers may ask a recruitment agency to research candidates confidentially or perhaps the hiring manager has knowledge or a relationship with someone containing specialist skills that goes back many years. However, that is not a hidden job market but a select and very small proportion of jobs that are recruited outside traditional advertised means. Hardly the sea of jobs referred to as the hidden job market.
So how big is the hidden job market? 70%, 75% or 80% I hear you say? This is nothing but statistical nonsense of the best kind that cannot be justified. The hidden job market is no way as large as proposed. US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics in a regular report called JOLTS stated in 2010 that 40,831,000 hires were made. Of this number 25,490,000 were advertised positions. The difference is 15,341,000 or 38% that falls into the category on unpublished jobs. This is significantly lower that the touted 75% hidden job market.
So, is there a place for networking in your job search tool kit? The answer is yes, and concept of networking as a job search tool must be part of your toolkit when looking for work and not discounted. It should work together as part of a suite of job search methods, and more importantly should be targeted at high value contacts and people who are genuinely interested in helping you.
Looking for a job by networking is about relationships you have built over time with people in your industry and profession you trust. These are people who are more likely to assist you or direct you to job opportunities that you are not aware because there is a mutual concern for you. The solution to the hidden job market is to engage in sensible networking principles that may assist you in tapping into a less inflated number of unpublished opportunities.
- How To Find A Hidden Job Before Someone Else Does (businessinsider.com)