How to find the hidden job market | Main Region | UB

How to find the hidden job market

a young female professional looking outside the window
According to the most recent figures available, one in seven organisations didn’t advertise a recent vacancy, nearly one third used word of mouth to signal a job opening, a quarter of organisations used social media and only 15 per cent used a recruitment company.
When looking for a new role, many jobseekers head straight to the internet to find and apply for roles, along with everyone else on the internet, but if you’re savvy about job searching, there are many other ways to land your dream role. Try these approaches to finding a new job and skip the endless scrolling on job websites and competing with the thousands of others that are doing the same.

Reach out to your network

LinkedIn has revolutionised how you can manage your professional network. Gone are the rolodexes and awkward networking events – now you can signal the fact that you’re looking for a new role online. Before indicating that you’re ‘open for work’, ensure your profile is up to date with your latest work achievements and that you’re highlighting your skills, not just your job history or qualifications. Then actively start reaching out. Perhaps there’s an organisation that you’ve always wanted to work for, if you have a contact there – send them a note. If you don’t, search up the names of people who might work there in a department that your skills are suited for and connect.

Reach out to a recruiter

Yes, of course we’d say this, but professional recruiters really can help you reach beyond the advertised jobs to find the right role just for you. Not only do recruiters have a huge network of hiring managers and organisations looking to find the right person, some of which might tick all your boxes, even if you’ve never heard of them before. They also know how to look beyond what you’ve done before or what qualifications you might hold, and instead match your skills to the right role. Recruiters will also often help organisations design jobs and roles to fulfill their capability requirements – so these roles will not be advertised yet. Update your cv and log into and upload it today and someone will be in contact shortly to talk through your requirements.They will advise you on any skills you may need to develop further to land a specific job you might be aiming for, and introduce you to a world of businesses that you may never heard of before.

Start with the company

If there’s an organisation that you’ve always admired or thought that your values would align with – reach out. You could start by researching their careers page online to understand if there’s any current vacancies in your field, or you could simply research the names of any people working in their HR or People and Culture departments and email directly with your resume and why you’re interested in working for them. The key here is to have your elevator pitch ready to go. In the shortest amount of time, share the unique skills and abilities you can offer the organisation and why you’re a perfect new hire for them. Resist labelling the job title you think you could do, and instead communicate your individual set of talents and how they could benefit an organisation. Also, demonstrate your research in the company by aligning your skills to some of the values and purpose they have. This approach can require patience and follow up. If there is no immediate need for someone of your skillset your approach could be lost under a pile of other priorities, so it’s important to find ways to keep your name appearing in their worlds. Connect with key decision makers online, research any events that people from the organisation might be likely to attend and follow up your messages. Persistence and patience can land a role at your preferred organisation.

Look for contract or freelance opportunities

While you might really be looking for a full-time role, finding contract or freelance roles at a specific organisation, or in a specific role can help you land something full time. A temporary position can help you make connections and learn their specific systems and networks, which can then make you an attractive option when (and if) they need to fill a permanent role. A new hire that can hit the ground running and start to contribute meaningfully to a team in a short amount of time - because they’re already familiar with ways of working and have relationships with stakeholders within a business - is always an attractive proposition for a hiring manager.

Stay on top of the news

Business and industry media reports on company’s strategies and future movements, and savvy job seekers who keep their eyes on the news can pick up on potential hiring signals before the roles even hit the job market. New departments, new business opportunities or new strategies being reported on might indicate that a company could soon be looking for skills that you possess but they don’t currently have- it could be a good indication that they might soon be looking. Additionally, recording record profits or great half yearly results might mean that a company is feeling confident in the market and might be more willing to bring new people into the fold. Additionally, sometimes growing companies don’t have time to formalise open positions and so add headcount through referrals or networks. By keeping an eye on business and industry media, you could beat the competition to a role.

Ask for advice, not a job

Some hiring managers might just be too overwhelmed by applicants to have the head space to understand what you’re best suited for, and they can be more receptive when they’re not put on the spot for finding a new role. Try approaching in the first instance not as looking for a job, but as looking for advice. Ask if they can help steer you in the right direction to find a role with the organisation – it can often open doors faster than asking for consideration for a particular position, it signifies your expectations are low. Once you’ve been able to make a personal connection, keep the network alive by staying regular contact.

Develop a thick skin, but be persistent

When searching for jobs on the hidden job market, rejection can be common and regular. You’re throwing down the gauntlet for a role that you’re not even sure exists, so don’t be surprised when it doesn’t. Remember this isn’t a personal rejection – it’s work and if you don’t have what they are (maybe?) looking for, don’t take it to heart. But also, don’t take no for the very final answer. If its an organisation or role that your heart is set on being part of, don’t let a single, or even multiple rejections dissuade you. Stay positive and stay in contact. You never know when it might be your time to shine.  

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