I am always somewhat amused when job seekers complain to me about there not being any jobs out there. I usually ask them, “Well, how do you know?” Most of the time their assumption comes from whether or not the major job boards have any jobs listed or the recruiters they are registered with are not calling. One of the biggest lessons I learned as an Executive Recruiter is not to trust the job boards as a job activity gauge.
The truth is people are being hired all of the time. Sure, I will agree that some markets are more difficult than others. I will agree that certain industries at times can suffer, but you must hold the belief that a hidden job market does indeed exist. I want to share with you 4 truths about the hidden job market. Do not let these points frustrate you. Rather, let them inspire you to push forward despite what you might be feeling at the time.
4 Simple Truths About the Hidden Job Market
1. Most jobs are not advertised. Let that truth sink in. I will state it another way. Most open positions are under your radar. I quickly figured this out in my first year of recruiting. I started my recruiting career in the middle of the recession. It was late 2002 and early 2003. There were many struggles facing this country and lots of people out of work. I learned really quick that if someone told me they were not hiring at a company that was not always the case. Either I was not talking to the right person or something changed. Most jobs are not advertised.
2. All companies are always hiring. There is not a business owner anywhere that will not hire someone if they have tangible evidence it will improve their bottom line. Most business owners want to grow their company. The right resume and person can change that.
3. You get jobs by talking to people. As I have stated again and again, networking is the best way to your next job. Statistics say you have to have at least 30 beneficial relationships to find your next job. Now, that is not 30 contacts. I am talking about 30 meaningful relationships. People who know you by name and know what you are about.
4. There is no such thing as a dead end. This is also a lesson I learned as a Recruiter. If you have a company in mind that you want to work for, then you have to have a strategy. Without frustrating people, you should be talking with many different people in that organization. Things change quickly. You need to have a strategy for how you are going to keep a pulse of what is going on at that company.
Again, do not be frustrated with the thought that a hidden job market exists. Let it encourage you. Remind yourself that polite persistence will reward you in a big way. The best thing about uncovering jobs in the hidden market is the fact that less competition exists there. Determine to take a different path.