To have a well understanding of the unpublished job market, let’s take a moment to examine the more traditional published job market to better understand the difference between the two.
The published job market is where we usually look for available published opportunities, you know, newspaper ads, job postings, employment agencies, and job postings. But did you know that advertised vacancies represent only about 30% of all vacancies available at any given time? Some experts in this field even claim that this labour market represents only about 10% of all available jobs.
The new job market
The unpublished job market, also known as the hidden job market, is where vacancies are filled without being advertised, or at least not as we are used to as we will see later. The unpublished job market represents around 70% of the jobs available at any given time. But there is more; 85% of six-digit positions are filled via this unpublished job market. This means that the list of executive positions we see in high-end publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s or The Financial Times, to name a few, accounts for only about 15% of the positions six-figure salary available.
The question then is why this hidden market exists?
Why can’t we find all the jobs available in the market in one place?
To help us answer these questions, let’s take a quick look at how the two labour markets work.
The functioning of the published labour market
In the more traditional job market, we do our research on available job vacancies to determine the positions we want to pursue. We then send our curriculum vitae to the employer, the employment office or the headhunter, depending on the person who placed the advertisement.
Once your CV is received, the recruiting team will pre-select the CVs received. The remaining CVs are then sent to the hiring manager for evaluation, and the actual interview process begins.
When the hiring company completes the process, the HR team presents the offer. In the case of a headhunter, this will be a sort of intermediary between the hiring company and the candidate and will ensure that the candidate receives a good commission offer, usually a percentage of the final salary.
How the unpublished job market works
In the case of the hidden job market, the process is a little more streamlined and even more discreet. The task completion process in this market is more business-oriented, sometimes with external means, but is rather different than in the traditional job market. In this market, professional references are more frequent because companies looking for good candidates ask for business partners, suppliers, contacts in other companies or even their employees to be referred to.
Some companies even have referral programs for employees; after all, who knows better than the employee if the candidate referred corresponds to the corporate culture that he lives daily? In a Fortune 500 company I worked for, the employee referral program paid a cash bonus for each referred candidate who entered employment and completed their first three months of work.
When you compare how the two markets work, you may think that the unpublished job market is not as easy or convenient as responding to published job offers. But if you look at the number of options available, the hidden job market is something that you should consider as part of your overall job search strategy.