Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Brand Name Companies: The Myth of the "Hidden Job Market"

2016-02-16 15:19:58
Shortcut URL: http://t.conquent.com/1000

Did you know that the "hidden job market" is actually mostly a mythological construct if you are looking for a job at the top brand organizations people want to work for? Think Apple, Google, Amazon, GE, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft...take your pick of the top Fortune 500 and anything to do with government itself and organizations that are governmentally funded (universities, medical centers, DoD contractors, etc.)

The reason? Federal compliance issues. There are several branches of the US government that have compliance regulatory requirements as it relates to hiring practices. For large companies, the main two are OFCCP (part of EEOC and Affirmative Action) and USCIS (Immigration). Both of them carry similar but different requirements that mean those brand name organizations must follow procedures that amount to this: *ALL jobs that are open to external candidates must be posted publically*. Candidates also need to understand the meaning of "advertised". In the recruiting world, "advertised" is used specifically with putting a job posting somewhere other than your own website. In today's world, unless you are talking about a very small business, *most* employers have a website and list their openings. "Job boards" are going the way of the dodo bird or morphing into new services. If you are job searching, your better option is using job aggregators. Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com are the top job search aggregators. A huge bonus on Indeed.com is that you can post your resume for free, and recruiters can search those resumes at no charge. During my most recent job search, I posted my resume on Indeed.com on a Monday and had no fewer than a dozen recruiters contacting *me*by Thursday, all before I even started reaching out to my own network. The best place to look for open jobs is actually on a company's corporate career page. Set up job alerts when you are even only casually looking at target employers.

Those that tout ways to uncover the "hidden job market" are basically talking about networking, which is still absolutely vital for any position regardless of the size of the company. It isn't enough to just apply for a job; you need to actually then get someone's attention.


• Knowing someone with a manager, Director, VP or C-level title at a company is almost guaranteed to get you noticed. That being said, unless they are the actual hiring manager, they don't have a lot of say in the process other than to just pass your resume along. If it is the hiring manager, you are golden.

• The first and very best way to get seriously noticed for a position you are qualified and interested in is via an employee referral. Many companies reward employees making referrals that lead to actual hires with monetary incentives. When I worked at Amazon.com (in a non-recruiting function) I made over $3K in employee referrals in six months by referring friends and former colleagues to roles on my team. As a recruiter I have a pretty solid track record of hiring employee referrals; it's a key metric for me as employee referrals are also the most cost effective way to hire great employees.

• After an employee referral, finding a recruiter at a large company is your next best way to get noticed. When I find a local position of interest, I fill out the application then reach out to one of my contacts to see about letting the recruiter know I have applied. They key to this strategy is to include the job ID number, which should be near the top or bottom of the job posting and send your resume. Recruiters can generally look in the company's Applicant Tracking System to see who the recruiter (or even the hiring manager) on a specific job is and pass along a strong candidate's resume. They may or may not know the recruiter, depending on where the job is and where the recruiters are in the organization.


Networking occurs on several levels. In today's business world, probably the most relevant tool online is LinkedIn, especially when you are looking for contacts. Recruiters live for LinkedIn contacts, and sales/marketing folks also use it daily for their business. But many professionals don't use it except when they are looking for a job or to glean industry information. If you are going to reach out to someone, make sure that you *write them a personalized note* from your computer, and don't just hit the mobile "connect" feature on your phone (unless you are at a conference talking to them). Which brings me to the next level of networking...face to face events, be it an industry conference, a Meetup.com event, dinner celebrating someone's birthday, church social, volunteer committee meeting, or even a conversation on the bus: face to face meetings and follow ups are still the number one way to make connections. If you are meeting people you don't know or only casually know, then make sure you can articulate what you want, but don't sound like an elevator pitch (this sounds like you are desperate and just looking for any way to get out of your current situation, whatever that may be.) LinkedIn on your cell phone and business cards are still the best way to exchange information in today's fast-paced world.

Be strategic but broad in your job search; and even if you aren't searching for new job, certainly be open to new opportunities. Be realistic as well: don't rely on other people to conduct your search for you; this includes paid services/professionals as well recruiters from agencies that represent you for either contract or full time positions.




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TechHiring.com: Re: - Brand Name Companies: The Myth of the "Hidden Job Market"
2016-03-08 09:49:31

great post


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