Hidden Job Market: What Is It & How to Find Jobs On It

Have you ever wondered why there are so many open jobs but it seems impossible to find a good one? Chances are, those jobs are not being advertised publicly.

They’re hidden in what is known as the hidden job market.

But if so many jobs are not listed publicly and employers prefer to hire internally how is it possible to not only find but land your dream job?

Thankfully, with the right understanding of the hidden job market and how to tap into it, you can develop a plan to not only find a job that fits your skill sets, experience, and expertise but fulfills you personally too.

What is the hidden job market?

The hidden job market is a subsection of the workforce that is made up of jobs that are not actively advertised. Employers use this section of the workforce to hire internally and/or find qualified candidates because it allows them to be more selective in their search.

How can you access the hidden job market?

There are a number of ways to access the hidden job market, including staying current on your skill sets, leveraging social media, in-person networking and through staffing agencies.

Access the hidden job market through social media

Social media can be a great tool for finding jobs in the hidden job market. By regularly engaging with people on your professional networks, you can make yourself visible to possible employers and let them know you’re looking for opportunities.

You can also keep an eye out for news from companies or organizations that might have unadvertised positions, or follow hashtags and job groups relevant to your industry.

Access the hidden job market through networking

Networking is another great way to access the hidden job market.

Whether it’s attending in-person events, connecting with people on social media, or leveraging your existing contacts, networking can open up doors that would otherwise remain closed.

Access the hidden job market through staffing agencies

Staffing agencies can also be gateways to the hidden job market as they often have access to exclusive listings that aren’t available publicly.

By keeping your resume current with recruiters and regularly checking in, you can remain top of mind should an unadvertised position become available.

Access the hidden job market through family and friends

Don’t be afraid to lean on your family and friends for job connections.

If you know someone who works at a company or organization that is hiring, don’t be afraid to reach out directly.

While it’s important to be professional, letting people in your network know that you are looking for work can open the door to great opportunities — not to mention you’ve got built-in references this way.

Access the hidden job market through your current company

Don’t forget to check with your current employer for unadvertised positions.

Employers will often advertise internally before posting jobs publicly and you may find that there are opportunities within your company or organization that would be a great fit for you.

By staying up-to-date on any new postings and having conversations with your manager and coworkers, you may be able to access the hidden job market without ever leaving your desk.

Access the hidden job market through recruiters

Working with a recruiter can also be an effective way to tap into the hidden job market.

Recruiters are well-connected and have insider knowledge of who is hiring and what positions they’re looking to fill.

By working with a recruiter, you may be able to find new jobs faster or access positions you might not have had access to before.

Access the hidden job market through industry events

Attending industry events is a great way to expand your network and access the hidden job market.

Conferences, seminars, trade shows, meetups, and other events can be invaluable resources for finding new opportunities — you never know who you may run into or what connections they may have.

By being proactive in attending these types of events and engaging with professionals in your field, you can open the door to endless opportunities.

Access the hidden job market through your alma mater 

Colleges and universities often have access to resources that are not available to the public, such as job boards and databases of alumni who may be looking for new hires.

Reaching out to your school’s career services department is a great way to gain access to the hidden job market.

Access the hidden job market through company research

One of the best ways to tap into the hidden job market is by doing your own research.

By researching companies and organizations in your industry, you can make yourself aware of any potential opportunities they may have available.

Whether it’s checking their website for new postings or reaching out directly with a personalized message, doing your own research can help you uncover opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Access the hidden job market through skill development

Finally, another great way to access the hidden job market is by continuing to develop your skills.

By taking online courses and attending workshops, you can make yourself an attractive candidate for any number of positions that may be available in the hidden job market.

Online and in-person courses also allow you the opportunity to meet and network with others in the same line of work who may be able to refer you to a job opportunity they weren’t interested in or weren’t a good fit for.

Why do employers use the hidden job market?

Employers use the hidden job market for a number of reasons: more time convenient, can save on costs, potentially less risk and to potentially keep some job listings out of the public eye.

Using the hidden job market is faster for employers

Employers can quickly access a pool of existing or potential candidates without having to post the job publicly and wait for applications.

This can save them weeks or even months of reviewing hundreds of applications and cut down on the number of interviews they need to perform.

Using the hidden job market is less costly for employers

Posting jobs publicly can be expensive and time-consuming, so employers often find it more economical to hire internally or use their network of contacts and referrals.

This way they can avoid the fees associated with job postings and also save money on recruiting costs.

Using the hidden job market is less risky for employers

Hiring internally or through referrals can also be less risky for employers, since they can use their existing knowledge and experience of the candidate to make a more informed hiring decision.

Hiring referrals from current employees or trusted professional contacts also means employers can feel more confident in the quality of their hires.

Using the hidden job market keeps employers out of the public eye

Many employers also use the hidden job market to avoid any negative public perception from posting jobs publicly.

This way, they don’t have to directly answer questions about why their company is hiring and can keep their recruitment processes private and proprietary.

Uncover the hidden job market

By understanding what the hidden job market is, why employers utilize it, and how to access it yourself, you can be sure to never miss out on an opportunity again.

No matter what method you use to access the hidden job market, the key is to be proactive and consistent in reaching out.

With a little bit of effort and research, the hidden job market can be an invaluable source of new opportunities for those looking to start or advance their career.


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