A large proportion of job openings are never advertised online. This is true at all levels–for line, managerial and executive roles–and across most industries.
These unadvertised jobs are often known as the “hidden job market.” To access these opportunities you need to be known to an insider, either by chance or by making yourself known – through networking.
Why would an employer not advertise a job?
1) It’s expensive. No company wants to spend money unnecessarily.
2) It brings in an overwhelming flood of applicants. This is time-consuming for employers.
3) People naturally prefer to hire someone they feel they know and trust. A candidate with whom they’re already acquainted (e.g., through networking), or who is referred, seems like a “safe bet” compared to hiring a stranger who answered an ad.
4) The opening may be confidential for various reasons. The employer may be preparing to replace an underperformer who is still on the job, or may be concerned about revealing a planned business expansion to competitors and the media.
5) The job is still in the pipeline. A lady I know found an excellent job by cold-calling an employer who, as it turned out, needed to hire someone – but hadn’t yet gotten around to doing anything about it. From the employer’s point of view, this candidate appeared out of nowhere just when they needed her. She had virtually no competition.
In all of these cases, networking can position you to get an interview before the job is ever announced.
If the word “networking” evokes a shudder of dread, images of shaking numerous strangers’ hands at boring events, and memories of being told “Sorry, I don’t know of any openings” – try it this way instead.
Even “natural networkers” will find that they can improve their approach and pave the way for getting phone calls like this:
Are you still available? Because there’s something opening up, although we haven’t posted it …