Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of the hidden job market?
Last Updated 10 months ago

Many employers find, recruit and appoint employees without ever advertising or posting a job online. This process is referred to as the hidden job market. The term "hidden" doesn’t imply that jobs are necessarily a secret or that the employer doesn’t want candidates to know they have any job openings. It merely means that when any recruitment drive (conducted by employers) and/or job search strategy (done by candidates) efforts are are limited and/or restricted to mainly deal with advertisements and online job boards - especially in our modern times of rapid work place changes and technological advancements - one might find that you are missing out on a great deal of excellent and capable manpower (i.e. employers) or plenty of available job opportunities (i.e. candidates).

Why the existence of a hidden job market?

First and foremost, both employers and candidates - ultimately - prefer to either appoint and work with or for people that they actually know, like and trust, which are at the very foundation and core of the current rapid spreading emotions economy.

Receiving applications, CV's, searching through online résumés and conducting interviews are great ways for employers - on the one hand - to get to know job candidates or - on the other hand - for candidates to present their skills and capabilities to a prospective employer. However, apart from it being a time-consuming process, it frequently, also are accompanied by "window-dressing" activities and "look-good-for-a-day" actions. The latter makes it an expensive and risky exercise to either recruit and appoint people (e.g. deceitful candidate professional profiles) or being employed by a deceptive person/company (e.g. false or exaggerated promises of futre development and growth).

The above and because reputation (knowing and trusting over time) is an increasing consideration - when either appointing individuals or accepting a job offer - and main reason for the existence and expansion of the hidden job market. It is estimated that merely 30 - 40% of available jobs actually gets advertised or posted on job boards. 60 - 70% of jobs opportunities presently available, are served by the hidden job market. It is also approximated that by the year 2019, 90% of available job opportunities will be served by the hidden job market.

There are a number of good reasons why an employer doesn’t post or advertise a job. For example...
  • An employer prefer to appoint individuals that are referred by persons that they already know and trust. Often colleagues, co-workers, friends and in some cases recruitment agencies. Providing that the latter has a well established reputation, which is supported by a trusted professional network.
  • An employer is hiring for several positions that will develop and launch a new product line. They don’t want to advertise their job openings, because it might reveal their plans to their competitors, so they use online tools such as - for example - the Career Networking & Job Board and LinkedIn to search for, identify and recruit candidates.
  • A small to medium employer needs to replace an employee. Instead of posting the job opening or approach a recruitment agency, they rather ask their current employees for referrals. Mainly, because recruiting individuals is quite an expensive exercise, especially when outsourced to others.
The above illustrates why plenty of job opportunities might not be found on any online job board or being advertised in the media.

Further more, today's employers prefer to recruit or screen possible candidates online (e.g. online résumé searches), without posting a vacancy first. Only when they were unsuccessful in their screening attempts, they might consider to either advertise or post the position.

Is the hidden job market real?

There is already plenty of research and surveys done that provide more than enough evidence that the hidden job market is a reality. However, the "size" of the hidden job market differs (i.e. %-wise) from country to country and from one job sector/industry to another.

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