|Penetrating the Hidden Job
by Alex Freund
In the current job market, it’s not unusual for
people to be looking for jobs over many months. It’s a
very competitive market, and job openings are few. This
situation is amplified by the herd mentality whereby
people deploy the job search strategies commonly used in
the past. For example, asking people about their target
companies elicits, in most cases, the names of large and
very well-known companies. This means that all of those
people are competing for the same few openings. Yet
there are lots of jobs in the untapped arena called the
hidden job market.
The hidden job market is at the other end of the
spectrum—mostly hidden from the public because the jobs
in it don’t get published. Such jobs get filled by word
of mouth or through recommendations. Most jobs are not
advertised anyway, and people who get hired never
responded to advertisements. Research has shown that 25
percent of people lie on their résumés. Hiring managers
have a basic mistrust about résumés, preferring
candidates who are recommended.
Some news articles profess that only one-third of job
openings are advertised. That means that two-thirds of
job openings are invisible to most job applicants. Here
are some more facts:
- Big companies are eliminating jobs as a result of
their mergers-and-acquisitions activities, while small
and medium-size companies are creating jobs.
- Small companies have problems attracting talent and
are thus often settling for less-than-perfect
- The job market is localized. Plumbers in New Orleans
could be doing well, while those in other cities could
be doing poorly.
- At the same time that companies are laying off people,
they could be hiring in areas where other employees are
- Ten percent of the current job market is contingent
(part-time, temporary, or contract).
- Two-thirds of all new jobs are on a contingent
basis. The chances of a contingent job becoming
permanent are very good because the employees will
have proven themselves.
So, what should job seekers do to increase their chances
of getting employed? Here are a few suggestions.
- It takes a minimum of 40 job-search work hours a week
to get a job. Research has shown that many unemployed
people spend less than 10 hours a week.
- One has to make several contacts in the same company
to get hired. It is a multistep and protracted effort.
Nothing happens fast when one is looking for a job.
- People get jobs by talking to people. Improve your
verbal and written communication skills.
- You should be working on at least 50 leads at all
times. Don’t be discouraged by the voices in your head
saying you cannot do it.
By following these suggestions, people in transition
will not only speed up the process but also increase
their chances exponentially.