Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is it Really a Hidden Job Market?

The constant buzz of job search strategies is built upon two primary beliefs:

1. It isn't what you know, it's who you know that will get you the job.
2. Network, network, network and network to tap into the "hidden" job market.

As a career counselor, I want to clarify these assumptions.

Many employers today are not using job boards as a source for hiring.  Using them for one opening may result in hundreds of applicants.  How do you winnow the field? 

Today, their openings are usually spread by word of mouth via current employees who refer candidates to the hiring manager. 

This method will result in:

  • Increased retention because the employee knows whether or not the potential candidate fits the work culture
  • Decreased costs of not having to market the opening
  • Trust in an employee to refer a competent worker rather than interviewing a candidate not known inside the company
  • Efficiency that saves time finding the right person
So yes, networking as defined by job search experts is essential.  But the jobs are not hidden.  They are protected.

"Hidden" denotes something that is concealed or buried away.  Employers have openings to fill but are not using the standard approaches of hiring by blasting them on job boards or newspaper ads. 

"Protected" implies being selective and even picky about who they share with and how they do it.  They shield themselves from an avalanche of resumes and not having staff to find the right fit.  Thus, internal referrals save time and money.

Overall, this "protected" job market is most common in small businesses that account for at least 70% of employers in the United States.

Connecting to the community is vital to career success.  Meeting people, sharing ideas and brainstorming with colleagues across your industry is imperative.

Finally, if you are wondering how to connect to the community as you have become very isolated in your search, take heart.  Start today by reaching out to volunteer at a local charity or school to begin a process that will be very rewarding.


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