What is the Hidden Job Market

There is the traditional job market, and then there is the hidden job market. What’s the difference between the two?

The hidden job market is not as easily accessible, as the positions are not listed through the normal channels. However, it is not impossible to crack the hidden job market.

Read on to learn more about this market and how to approach it.



What is a Hidden Job Market?

The hidden job market is a term used to describe job positions that are not posted online or otherwise advertised. These positions are usually filled internally, through employee referrals, or by utilizing hiring agencies.

Employers often opt to use the hidden job market instead of listing the position online because they prefer to hire through referrals, or because they are trying to save money on listing and advertising the position. 


Access the Hidden Job Market

Companies like to use the hidden market because it also provides them with a pool of quality candidates and they have less sorting through applications from job postings in order to find these candidates. To fill these jobs, employers may hire internally or use employee referral programs to find external candidates.

The company will generally post the current job opportunities on their employee career site. If you have any personal connections to anyone in the company, reach out so that they can keep you informed of any possible job openings within and can contact you if something arrises.

It’s important to keep in consistent communication with these connections, interact with them regularly by sending friendly messages or sharing content you think they may appreciate. This not only proves your continued interest but it also helps keep you top of mind.

If you can network and prove that you are an ideal candidate, you have a greater chance of accessing hidden jobs and being made aware of these opportunities.


Networking Connections

The first way to access the market is to network in the traditional sense. Attend networking events such as career fairs and chamber of commerce events.

You can also try to set up some informal interviews or meetings with contacts in your industry of interest. Also joining professional organizations or associations that are in the same industry or field you are interested in will help you stay up to date and possibility give you you a head on inside information on any unadvertised jobs. Companies in the industry may reach out to associations before the job is posted publicly.

This can all help you to build connections that will lead to information about job opportunities, rather than learning about jobs on job sites that you may have no personal connection to. 


What is a Hidden Job Market - About Staffing (1)


Elevator Speech

You should also practice your elevator speech. An elevator speech is a quick, concise introduction to yourself, your skills, and your professional goals. Be on the lookout for opportunities, and be prepared to present yourself if such an opportunity appears.

Rehearsing your elevator speech and having some talking points to present yourself well will help you to show yourself as a great candidate for the job, even in a situation where you did not expect to be discussing job opportunities. 


Social Media Channels

Utilize your social networks, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. LinkedIn, of course, is a social network primarily for professionals and companies, and for making professional connections. It is a great choice to utilize to get into the hidden job market. Twitter is also a platform that is used often by employers.

You can use these platforms to network and connect with current employees at companies you are interested in or who are involved in your desired industry. Build a strong professional brand on these sites by highlighting your skills, experience, and interests.

Remember to keep your social media profiles up-to-date with information about your current or most recent job responsibilities, accomplishments and skills. You can also update your profile to make it clear that you are interested in a new position. For example, many hopefuls on LinkedIn note when they are searching for new opportunities in a specific position or field.


News Alerts

When it comes to your social media platforms, it is important to connect with the companies you are interested in, of course. However, you can take it one step further and turn on your news alerts for these companies or for your industry of interest– or for both!

This will ensure that you hear about important events or big changes, such as a merger or the opening of a secondary location. These are sure signs that the company is growing and that new job opportunities may be available for you. 



You can also volunteer at companies of interest, or in positions of interest, even if the company itself is not one of particular interest. This will give you an in with the company or the industry, especially if it is one that is difficult to break into. It will also give you more experience, which is transferable to similar jobs in the industry.

As you get to know your co-workers, you can also express your interest in the industry or company. This is another approach to networking!


Do Internal Research

Perhaps you would prefer to stay at your current company. In this case, you can ask around about job openings in other positions or departments that you are more interested in.

If you have shown yourself to be a good employee, it is likely that you would be considered for or given the job, provided, of course, that you have the transferable skills for the new position. It is advisable that you be discreet about this, as you may not want your employer to know you are considering leaving your position.



Frequently Asked Questions


What is an example of a hidden job market?

A hidden job market could be a position at a firm where the job was not listed online, but rather filled internally or through an employee referral.


How do I find the hidden job market?

In order to find the hidden job market, you must build connections and build a network. A great place to start is by connecting with companies and employees on LinkedIn and Twitter. The hidden job market is all about networking, rather than job searching on sites or forums.


Why does the hidden job market exist?

Employers often use the hidden job market to avoid the process of online applications, which can be lengthy and expensive. Additionally, hiring internally or using employee referrals provides the employer with a pool of warm leads. 


How do I apply for jobs in the hidden job market?

To apply for a job in the hidden job market, you can research and cold call or cold e-mail the company about their open position, similar to how you would apply to a job in the traditional job market.

If you are referred to a job in the hidden job market, you will be given a contact at the company or instructions on how they would like you to apply.