On the Recruiters Online Facebook group there is a debate about the facade that we call the “hidden job market.” Will Thomson, a corporate recruiter, wrote the post The Hidden Job Market is a Bunch of B.S.
I find the dialog between recruiters to be interesting. I think they are all saying there is no hidden job market (hard to tell with the format of Facebook posts).
In Will’s blog post he says:
“Do employers post the “good jobs” anymore? If you said no, I want you to check your pulse. Of course they do!! All employers must post jobs!
Why must employer post jobs? First, there are legal implications. Second, companies want the best-qualified candidates for the job. Third, it helps define the scope of the job.”
Will also says:
“As an advisor and a consultant, I want to tell you to NOT listen to these so called “job experts”.”
I think he is talking about me… the so called “job expert.” At the risk of being wrong, let me offer a different perspective.
What about the jobs/openings that happen BEFORE they ever get to Will The Corporate Recruiter’s desk?
Here’s what I think the Hidden Job Market is: when your boss comes to you and says “I just got approval for a new project manager. You know what skills we really need to help us move forward – do you know anyone that would be perfect?”
This happens EVERY DAY. All over the place. The Will’s of the world might not hear about them, but it happens. I’ve seen in. I’ve been on both sides of this conversation. I hear about it from JibberJobber users.
This job is part of the HIDDEN job market because it isn’t yet listed on Monster, or Indeed, or the corporate job board, or whatever job board the company uses.
As far as job boards, the internet and technology go, it is hidden from the world – job seekers and recruiters alike.
Who knows about it?
The boss, the boss’s boss, and you.
It is hiding from the rest of the world.
As you talk to a few of the right people, or other people in your company learn about the opening, names of potential candidates get thrown into the running… but until it is posted online, it is still in the “HIDDEN job market.”
Now, here is the really important part. There isn’t a place for you to look for these hidden (aka, unposted) jobs. You are really just hoping that the person that hears about a job, and they hear about it because of their position or role in the company, knows you, or knows about you.
Have you been networking? Do people know who you are and what you have to offer?
Do you have the right personal brand? At the risk of going all cliche about personal branding, what do people know about you? Do they know you as the guy who is at every networking event with a donut or drink in your hand, fun to talk with? Or do they know that you are one of the top project managers in the state?
The donut guy is not the guy that is recommended for this unposted, hidden job. The project manager guy is the one who gets brought up.
The bottom line:
- The hidden job market exists, even if this so called job expert says it does (and corporate recruiters disagree).
- People need to know who you are and what you do/offer. If they don’t know you and your strengths, they don’t think about you when they hear about opportunities.
Understanding this changed the way I networked… it should change the way you network, too.