Depending upon who you listen to, it is commonly stated that 70 or 80% of all jobs are filled word of mouth. Imagine that for a moment …….. 70 or 80% of all jobs are never advertised. Whether the statistic is accurate or not and while it raises questions about how these figures were arrived at, most recruiters acknowledge the existence of the hidden job market and can cite evidence of its existence.
So who are your contacts in this hidden job market? The simple answer is they are your personal network which can include family and friends; friends of friends, current and former work colleagues, or even people in a church, sporting or interest group you might belong to. When asking people how they got their job, often you hear a comment like “I heard about it through a friend” or “someone I used to work with told me about it” or “I played golf with someone the other day who was talking about it.”
It is not uncommon to see resistance in people when you talk about this hidden job market, as they often feel uncomfortable about asking those closest to them if they know anyone who is looking for a worker. Some of the reasons for this include feeling embarrassed, a sense of failure, thinking that people will look down on them or that they can’t get a job on their own. It is worth remembering at this point just how many jobs are filled through word of mouth; it is far, far more common than you think. So try it, you might be surprised at the result and a little bit of embarrassment might be a small price to pay.
Then there is online networking, but that’s a whole other article!