Career Advice – 4 Places Where The Hidden Job Market’s Hiding

Feb 10 2011 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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You’ve heard that about 80% of jobs are unadvertised, called the hidden job market. So where are all these jobs hiding?

Sometimes hidden jobs can even be hiding right in front of your nose.

If you’re spending much time on job boards, on company websites, calling recruiters you’ve found that’s not where jobs are hiding.

Most candidates have been taught that spamming/cold calling their close network, spamming/cold calling alumni of their college, and attending general networking events is where hidden jobs hide. If you’ve spent much time searching for hidden jobs in these places, you haven’t likely accomplished much more than alienating your friends and co-workers.

Today’s career advice is to check out the 4 places where hidden jobs hide:

  1. Behind Problems: Why do companies hire employees? One of the most common reasons companies hire is to solve problems. Candidates make the mistake of searching for jobs, a large reason they miss the hidden job market. After a problem becomes an approved job, there’s not much time before it’s no longer hidden, but now advertised, recruited and horribly competitive.

    Hidden jobs hide behind most company problems. Candidates can find these problems in public places – Annual reports, press releases, company interviews and company websites. But many people chase publicly mentioned problems – not just many candidates but also consultants and vendors.

    The best problems are the problems that aren’t public, because there’s little competition to solve them. That’s also a job seeker’s challenge – discovering corporate problems before they become public and before they become jobs. It requires inside information … best found by (gasp!) talking to company employees.

  2. Ahead Of Growth: The other common reason companies hire is to make money … typically to grow revenue. So it’s a good bet that companies with growth plans will probably need to hire people to achieve that growth. This applies to more than just sales jobs, but also to jobs needed to support sales, to manage more transactions, and to deliver more goods and services.

    Candidates can anticipate companies poised for growth, based on industry trends, company information. As I described above, while most candidates chase public information, but the better (less competitive market) is found through inside information from (gasp!) talking to company employees.

  3. Social Networks: Social Networks allow candidates to find hints of problems and growth plans by following conversation streams of target company employees. Social networks are also terrific places to target company employees to contact, begin networking, and schedule informational interviews.

    Social networks can also give clues when individuals leave or are hired by companies, signaling hidden opportunities (such as replacement of people who have left, new managers building teams).

    Finally, social networks are one of the first places managers search when they are looking for answers to problems. They search on Social Networks or Google, for a subject matter expert’s advice. By structuring your profile properly, you could be one of subject matter experts that the manager seeks. Aren’t those the types of conversations you want to have more

  4. Starbucks and Panera: Starbucks is a great place in the late morning and early afternoon, when sales people from a wide variety of industries pitch their tents, spread out sleeping bags, and fire up their laptops and crackberrys. Salespeople like to talk, and can be a great way to get information about their companies, competitors and clients. Panera, which offers unlimited wifi (Starbucks limits time) and free refills is even better – you’ll often see Panera packed at 3:00pm on a weekday.

Of course, this isn’t a complete listing of all the places where hidden jobs hide. I’m sure the readers have some career advice to share – favorite places where they find hidden jobs.

Readers – please share your favorite sources for hidden jobs. Don’t worry, there are plenty of Starbucks locations out there to go around for everybody.


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