Every job opportunity starts with an initial application. Online job boards have become the norm, and social platforms like LinkedIn are helping to widen our search results when seeking alternate opportunities, giving us the possibility of setting up notifications when jobs within our areas of expertise are available.
Throughout these years working as a recruiter, I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of clients to discuss different vacancies available within their organisations. These vacancies would be usually uploaded to websites or job boards, and applications would be filtered depending on client needs and requirements.
But are we sure that is the only way to secure a job? Are we sure it's just the advertised jobs which are available?
My answer is simple - NO! Many vacancies which are being filled nowadays are not always necessarily advertised. Like every other hidden thing, it's not always easy to crack the code and tap into this hidden market. However, there are a number of different tips which one can follow, in order to make it easier to tap into, or at least, help you get closer to such hidden market.
I know this may sound like a biased suggestion coming from a recruiter, but being close to recruiters can actually get you closer to Hiring Managers. Part of our responsibility towards our candidates is to stay as close as possible to hiring managers and decision makers. This gives us the advantage of knowing what gaps each client is trying to fill from time to time. At times, such gaps are not necessarily advertised. Usually the reasons are two-fold - not wanting to give sensitive information to competitors when recruiting in certain areas or it may be even done purposely if an employer is seeking to find a replacement for an existing staff member.
Besides, we all know how referred candidates stand more chances to get hired.
Attending conferences and workshops will help you gain more knowledge and expertise on your area of specialisation, whilst giving you the opportunity to network with like-minded people. That said, some of these attendees can also be your future referrals within their specific setups should a future vacancy arise. Besides, attending networking events can help you get your name out there, and indirectly get a feel of what opportunities are available within your skill set.
Side note - never forget your existing personal network, namely relatives, friends or ex-colleagues who have now moved to other companies. Sometimes we forget to consider them as part of our network, when in actual fact, they could be the easiest ones to approach.
Be active on social media
It doesn't mean harassing every hiring manager to ask them for an interview. Having said that, feel free to message me or other recruiters should you require job search assistance, as explained earlier.
Being active on social media does however mean interacting with others within your sector, and aiming to provide added value with certain comments. It also means sharing relevant info within your area of expertise, and if you can write your own articles, it's even better. Tip - joining professional networking groups within your skill set can help you increase the opportunities of sharing relevant info within your area.
Keep in mind that investing time in yourself is never a waste of time. Remember that advertised jobs are targeted by skill, whereas jobs within the hidden job market are solely dependant on referrals. When you learn how to tap into the hidden job market, you will automatically improve the efficiency of your job search and increase your chances of securing offers.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.