Pretend for a moment that you are an employer. You have a job vacancy that you need to fill. You have a couple of options: You could pay hundreds of dollars to advertise your job vacancy in local papers and online classifieds. From your advertising efforts, you can expect to receive hundreds of resumes that you will need to review and pare down. This may take you several hours. Next, you will likely call your chosen shortlist to conduct a brief phone screen in order to identify who you would like to invite for an interview. This process may take several more hours, and may spill over into days depending on whether or not you make contact with your selected phone screen applicants. Once you have identified potential interviewees, you will call them with an invitation and find a mutually agreeable time to meet. Then, you will spend a day interviewing the applicants, reviewing your notes, and calling their references. Following this lengthy and costly process, you will hire a candidate. Or, your other option is that you could ask around the office to see if any of your staff members know of someone who would be a good fit for the position. You will likely receive a few names of quality candidates. Additionally, each of these potential candidates comes with a recommendation from one of your very own staff members! And, your staff members are not going to want to refer you an unworthy applicant; otherwise, the referral could reflect poorly on your staff member. At this time, you have already cut advertising costs and screening hours out of your process leaving you with work hours that you can dedicate to other needed tasks. Brilliant! Which option would you choose?

Without knowing it, you have just been introduced to the hidden job market. The hidden job market contains all the unadvertised jobs. Now, you can see why many employers do not want to advertise their jobs: it is costly and time-consuming. Thus, many employers are turning to hiring candidates from word-of-mouth referrals, and for good reasons. So, what do you need to do in order to attach to the labour market as quickly as possible? That’s right! Network! And if you are unsure how to network effectively to tap into the hidden job market, be sure to check out our December 7th post titled Tips to Network Effectively.