Hidden Job Market: How To Secure A Job Offer Before The Job Is Advertised

Hidden Job Market

There are thousands of vacant jobs that 99% of candidates are unaware of. They form part of the hidden job market where roles are filled before they are advertised.

Even in today’ tight employment market, employers are competing to attract talented individuals by adopting alternative recruitment methods.

If you rely solely on traditional job search methods, such as job advertisements, you could potentially miss your dream job opportunity.

In my role as a recruiting manager, I have seen a significant change in recruitment methods over the past few years. In my experience, most professional candidates are now hired through the hidden job market.

Recruiters are taking a more active approach to seeking candidates, rather than relying on the passive approach such as job advertisements.

Therefore, if organisations are investing money in finding candidates with your skills and experience, why not make it easier for them to find you?

Step One: Register with industry specific employment agencies

Many large organisations engage the services of industry specific employment agencies to source talented individuals. This is because these agencies tend to have strong industry networks and know the top players in their specific industry.

Recruitment agencies use various recruitment methods such as:

  • Social media searches on websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Advertising on social media and job search websites
  • Directly approaching top talent from competitors

You can make it easier for employment agencies to find you by registering directly with the agencies that specialise in your industry. Be sure to submit a keyword rich resume to make sure your application is selected during candidate database searches. Read this for more information.


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Step Two: Actively use social media in your job search

Firstly you need to google your name.

It is important to see what information is currently on the internet about you. Remove anything undesirable and strengthen privacy settings on websites such as Facebook and Instagram. Your aim is to present a professional image wherever an employer can find information about you.

Next, develop a professional online image and let potential employers know you are seeking a job. This can be achieved by:

  • Setting up a website that showcases your resume. It should include a professional photo plus information on the type of job and company you are seeking. Most importantly you need to sell your skills and experiences. There are many free website platforms you can use such as wordpress.com.
  • Develop or tweak profiles on LinkedIn , Twitter , Google Plus and Facebook .
  • Place a professional cover photo on all your profiles.
  • Write a list of your current network. This can include everyone you have met in a professional capacity, as well as personal contacts that could be professional useful. Use your social networks to search for, and link with these people.
  • Develop your online networks. For example, follow the Twitter pages of companies you wish to work for, connect with people on LinkedIn who have a similar jobs to the one you desire and connect through Facebook with people you know in your industry.
  • Make a post on your networks describing the job you are seeking with a link to your personal website.
  • Join and follow appropriate professional organisations and interest groups and actively participate through their online forums. Connect through social media with any connections you make.

Step Three:  Set up connections for employee referral programs

Many companies have employee referral programs. These programs provide financial incentives to current employees if they recommend a candidate who is hired for a job vacancy. This means you do not necessarily have to connect with hiring managers to secure an interview. A connection with any employee in a large company can give you a head start to secure your desired job.

By using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, you can search for people who currently work for the organisations you are interested in. By connecting with them, and being upfront about your desire to work for their company, you are paving the way for a job referral.

Even if the company does not have an employee referral program, you will gather valuable information such as company culture, hiring manager’s names and up-coming vacancies through your connections.

This method may sound far-fetched, but this how a previous colleague of mine secured her position as a Senior Manager in a large national organisation. By connecting with me through LinkedIn, she shared her job search intentions. At the time my employer was looking to hire someone with her skill set. I submitted her application and she secured a job offer before the company commenced any form of active recruitment. She found her dream job solely through the hidden job market.

By accessing the hidden job market you substantially increase the probability of finding your dream job. It is a significant investment of time but is essential for any serious job seeker.

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