How to explore the hidden job market?


If you are looking for a new position, your first instinct will probably be to explore job sites to find your next opportunity.


These platforms are advantageous to quickly consult available jobs in your field of activity. However, one of the disadvantages is that they put you in competition with candidates who are applying for the same job as you: seniors, juniors, people with a standard profile, etc. If a few people have a more interesting CV at first glance and meet the requirements, your chances of getting an interview are reduced. This is especially true if you are a graduate, with little experience, without a degree, if you are changing careers or if you have an atypical profile.

So how can you stand out while avoiding the competition? By using the hidden market, a method that differentiates you and increases your employment opportunities.


What is the hidden job market?


Employers use, among others, job boards, traditional media (radio ads, newspapers, etc.), headhunters and placement agencies to recruit new talent. However, these methods are not always successful, in addition to being expensive and requiring computer skills. This is why recruiters are becoming more diverse and open in their hiring methods.


So, the hidden market is the set of job opportunities that are not publicly posted. It may be a position that will eventually be filled or a function for which the company is continuously recruiting. Some organizations post only a portion of their job openings, with a strategy that is tailored to the state of the job market and the saturation of various sectors. In addition, by applying without competition, the pool of jobs offered in the hidden market can be surprising in terms of conditions: tasks, hours, wages, etc.

That's why, as a talent, it's in your best interest to forward your application to a recruiter, even if a position is not officially posted.


How to stand out and explore the hidden market?


Use your network


First, list your contacts. Beyond your professional and personal contacts, think about casting a wide net. Have you been going to the same hairdresser for several years? Add her to your list. This is a way we don't always think about, but it is used to explore the hidden job market


Afterwards :


  1. Inform your contacts of your efforts
  2. Talk to them, ask them questions, name the position you are looking for, present your skills, etc.


Tip: Maintain your network, even when you are not looking for a job. You'll be less intimidated to contact old acquaintances if you've kept in touch, even a little, over the years.


Select the companies that interest you and that are recruiting


Create a list of companies that interest you or that are possibly recruiting. You can do this by using different tools such as LMI Online, ICRIQ, sector committees, yellow pages, Maps, etc. Also, check the economic news to find out if a company you are interested in is expanding (which means new hires). Small and medium-sized businesses often don't have in-house human resources consultants and can't afford to pay for an agency. They may need new talent, but don't have the time or means to post properly. Don't hesitate to add them to your list, even if you don't have a clear indication that they are hiring.


Once you have your list ready, contact these employers and request a meeting or call to:


  • Get information on the profiles they are interested in
  • Learn about their potential needs
  • Obtain privileged advice and contact information for key people
  • Submit your resume


LinkedIn is also a wonderful tool to explore the hidden job market and to find human resources managers and company executives. A personalized private message is a good way to solicit an initial exchange that will get you closer to your goals.


Use the services of employment consultants and recruitment agencies


Recruitment consultants and employment counsellors have a thorough knowledge of the state of the job market. They also have privileged contacts in certain companies, and know the latest news and relevant information about the sectors and market dynamics. They are relevant resources to consult for contacts, advice or specific resources.


The bottom line: be an explorer!


To explore the hidden job market and get a job that satisfies you and meets your needs, it's normal to do in-depth research. Therefore, the hidden market is a great way to discover your employment sector and get concrete results (a new job!).


Be proactive, as you could be the solution to a company's problem. Be optimistic by searching the hidden market while continuing to respond to open market job offers! You never know, you may be surprised by the results.


Enjoy the discovery!

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