It’s a known fact that 80% or more jobs are found via the hidden job market. Why then do employers go to the effort of advertising jobs when they rarely hire candidates through traditional sources such as company websites and job boards?
1. Cultural fit trumps qualifications. With so many qualified candidates on the market, companies have become extremely selective. Cultural fit is more the trend these days as employers seek to hire the best and the brightest. It is difficult if not impossible to evaluate cultural fit on the basis of a resume alone. Employers prefer instead, to recruit talent via less traditional means such as trade shows, conferences and meet-ups; where they can evaluate potential candidates on the sly.
2. HR departments are shrinking. During the recession many HR departments downsized or were outsourced. As a result, companies lack the personnel to sift through hundreds and hundreds of resumes received daily. Resumes sit in applicant tracking databases where they remain in the black hole of HR departments.
3. Saves companies money. When companies need to hire, their first step is to tap into their employee referral databases. No need to execute elaborate and expensive recruiting campaigns when employees will do the work for them. Employee referral bonus programs which reward folks for referring their friends and colleagues are still more cost effective than advertising on the open market.
4. Employers would rather hire people they know. According to the Aberdeen Group, employee referrals continue to be the number one method companies use to hire. Posting jobs on company websites is more for the benefit of employees to refer qualified candidates; not to mention getting a bonus for their efforts.
5. Social media recruiting is hot. According to Bullhorn a leading recruiting software company, “Social media isn’t new anymore, it is the rule”. Companies are using social media more than ever before to hire talent. 97.3% of recruiters used LinkedIn to find talent in 2012. Social media is where recruiters and job seekers connect in the hidden job market. Astute recruiters will peruse LinkedIn, looking for passive candidates before a job opens, in anticipation of future needs. The result being that many jobs never make it to the open market.
The fact that the hidden job market continues to grow and become the preferred method of employers for attracting talent cannot be ignored. Job seekers who persist in following more traditional job search methods will find themselves lost in the proverbial black hole. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.