Careers advice in Australia blog

Australia’s Hidden Job Market

The hidden job market in Australia – what is it? 

As employers in Australia get busier in a faster-moving world, they become less inclined to advertise available positions. They don’t want to spend the time it takes to read resumes, much less take up valuable hours creating short lists and interviewing candidates.

As a result, more managers are doing away with the conventional hiring process and are instead finding talent through what has become termed ‘The Hidden Job Market’.

What is the Hidden Job Market in Australia?

The hidden job market comprises positions that are not advertised in traditional print or online sources. Such jobs are increasingly becoming available only via networking and word-of-mouth.

Often your friends, family and colleagues can help you access jobs in the hidden market. If you can’t get referrals through these channels, we suggest going direct to the key decision makers in the companies you want to work in. 

It’s believed that between 60 and 80 percent of jobs are secured via the hidden job market in Australia.

Why do you need to target the hidden job market in Australia?

With technology enabling companies to more easily find the type of workers they’re after, it’s vital you adapt your approach to tap into the hidden job market in Australia. It’s very likely you will be left behind if you fail to do this.

Job search websites give people the impression they have unlimited access to the market. With so many positions listed in one place, it’s easy to fall under their spell and believe that this is the best way to find work.

However, if you aren’t meeting key decision makers on their terms, you will be taken out of the running before you even have a chance to make a first impression, even though you may be the perfect candidate for a position.

 How can I access the hidden job market in Australia?

One way of altering your approach is to stop thinking in terms of this being a job hunt and begin to see it as job creation. The prevailing trend in the market today is network, network, network; you have to go and meet the decision makers, rather than waiting for the jobs to come to you.

It’s in your interests to build your professional associations. This will place you in a position to be able to seize upon opportunities as soon as they present themselves, giving you the edge on your competition.

Networking and the hidden job market in Australia

By knowing how to successfully network you will make yourself stand out in the eyes of key decision makers. Make an impression and it’s more likely that they’ll remember you when a position becomes available.

There will be far fewer people to compete with and so your odds will be more favourable than they would be if you were applying for an even greater number of jobs by traditional methods. Also, by networking, you show that you are proactive, which is a much sought-after attribute in the professional world.

Industry groups/conferences: Access to the hidden job market

You should also consider involving yourself in industry groups and attending conferences. Doing this will allow you to get to know other people in your field, creating conditions that will make it easier for you to ask pertinent questions and build rapport with people who may be in a position to advance your career.

LinkedIn: An effective way to network

Creating a LinkedIn profile is also a must if you haven’t already done so. It amounts to a virtual business card, allowing you to display your professional credentials and create links to previous work.

The online community available to LinkedIn members enables professionals to network, gain referrals and cement their reputation as reliable specialists in their field.

Use LinkedIn to search for companies you are interested in working for and the managers responsible for hiring.

Check out this blog post to see how you can use LinkedIn to network. 

Tips for networking with key decision makers

Keep yourself up-to-date on news relating to your industry and to specific companies you have an interest in working for. By building up your knowledge base this way, you arm yourself with the tools necessary to engage people that have the power to hire you. When the opportunity presents itself, you will be able to show how informed you are with key aspects of their business.

Key tip to finding jobs in the hidden job market:

Don’t wait for a position to be advertised before approaching employers. Find out who the hiring manager is and call them directly to enquire about possible vacancies.

Let them know what you can do for them and look for opportunities to provide value, such as giving advice or offering to consult on a project at no cost.

By making yourself known to potential employers, you stand a greater chance of being seen in a positive light should a suitable position arise in the future.

Final tips for the job market in Australia:

One of the most effective ways to find jobs in Australia’s hidden job market is through LinkedIn.

You can use LinkedIn to find companies as well as the key decision makers within those companies who may be hiring. If you contact them at the right time and in the right way (think catchy email) – you can initiate a face-to-face ‘coffee’ catch up to continue building the relationship.

While networking and sourcing opportunities in the hidden job market is vital, you also need to be able to sell yourself effectively. By working on your communication skills and knowing how to present yourself in a professional light (resume, cover letter and emails to potential hiring managers), you will give yourself a great chance of securing the position you desire.

To learn more about accessing the hidden job market in Australia feel free to contact us to see how it’s done.

Best wishes in your job search.

Careers Team, ACECIS

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