Hidden Jobs: How Recruiters Can Help

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HiddenThey say that 80% of all available open jobs go unadvertised. If you’re applying through job boards or company websites or even flipping through newspapers – you might only be hitting 20% of all open positions.

How can this be? Most companies don’t have the time or advertising budget to broadcast all their hiring needs. Other organizations prefer to keep thing confidential and you’d never even know they were hiring. Others prefer to use zero-cost hiring strategies such as internal job referrals.

So how do you find those hidden jobs?

Recruiters can help.

Companies of all sizes frequently use recruiting and staffing firms to fill their job orders. That means recruiter’s have access to company requisitions that the average job seeker wouldn’t even know about. These open positions are just sitting and waiting, ripe for the right candidate to come along. Additionally (and most importantly), recruiters know and have relationships with hiring managers. Even if the company isn’t using a recruiter to fill a job, a recruiter might be able to help you out with some inside information.

Access to this so-called hidden job market doesn’t require any secret handshakes or sly dealings – you just need to find a great recruiter! Here’s how you can start:

Go Local: There may be a number of recruiters and firms in your area. Use Google to dig up information on the best recruiters. Narrow your search by including your industry as well. Alternatively, ask your friends and colleagues if they’ve ever worked with a recruiter. They may be able to offer you a referral.  Afterwards, it’s as easy as picking up the phone and introducing yourself.

Use Social Media: Lots of recruiters hang out online. Linkedin is the best spot to search, although competitors Branchout and BeKnown (both based off Facebook) have professional networks that warrent exploring as well. While the latter two resources are just fledgling networks, Linkedin has a massive population that promises more contact opportunities.

If you’re using Linkedin, join groups that are relevant to your industry (also job seeker groups). You can inquire about jobs here and recruiters may reach out. You can also try using the Linkedin search field to pinpoint potentially relevant recruiters. Browse through profiles to gauge legitimacy and reputation. It’s ok to work with multiple recruiters. Don’t hesitate to message the one’s you think would be a good fit for you.

Try It Out: After you’ve made contact and had an initial discussion, your recruiter will see if you fit in with their client’s needs. Don’t take it personally if they can’t find a good match. Recruiting is a steady process, not a knock-out punch. By utilizing their extensive professional network, a great recruiter will be able to peer into the vast recesses of the hidden job market and see what opportunities are available. Now you’re a potential applicant out in the unadvertised 80%! You’ve just increased your odds of finding a job. Let the rest of the pack fight over the measly 20%.

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Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.