The real secret of the “hidden” job market…

October 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm 2 comments

This question comes from Ronda, a healthcare executive: “Kim, what is this hidden job market I keep hearing about?”

I just searched the term “hidden job market” on Google and got about 214,000 results. I’ve seen a lot of hype around this seemingly elusive cache of great jobs. At the end of the hype is usually a pitch about how some product or other can help you tap into it.

The secret is that the “hidden” job market (the 80%+ of jobs that are never advertised) is right in front of your face. It’s right in the newspapers, on the streets, and at the coffee shop. You just have to be looking.

What do I mean?

Recently, a client got an executive-level supply chain management position by noting that a Los Angeles based company was moving manufacturing to Mexico. He had specific expertise in setting up and running just this kind of operation. A search of the company on LinkedIn revealed that he had a connection who knew someone at the company. An introduction later, he was into a hiring process for a position that did not yet exist.

This works at all levels.

A family friend saw a “coming soon” sign at a juice shop. He got the management information from a sign in the window and asked if they were hiring. A couple of weeks later he was slinging smoothies.

Open up your local business journal and look at the headlines with a new perspective. For example, Lufthansa adding Airbus 380 service to San Francisco (first flight was yesterday) is expected to increase tourism and add 1300 direct and indirect jobs in the city.

News like this about a new consulting firm in the works offers a chance to meet the players involved ahead of time. Perhaps you could help with the startup in some capacity. One client of mine got a job at a firm that way. It wasn’t even in his field, but a good friend had confidence in him. Now it’s a $10M+ business, growing at about 50% a year. It will likely go public in a couple of years, and he’s one of only two founding employees with stock options.

Need some help translating business news into possible opportunity?’s news feed will help with both practical news tips and with teaching you how to interpret news in your area through the prism of your career.

Once you know how to look, no job will be able to hide!



Entry filed under: Job Search, Networking. Tags: , , .

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