Internship hunters primarily focus on scouring job boards to find their next role. Little do they know, they are missing out on the hidden job market, a treasure trove of jobs that are not posted online. People unfamiliar with the hidden job market feel excluded from a secret stash of exclusive jobs unavailable to the average job seeker.
However, the reality is more mundane. Companies, for a variety of reasons, don’t want to disclose certain job openings. Discreetly replacing a manager, hiring from within, employee referrals and not wanting to publicize the salary ranges make some job listings unavailable to the public.
The Best Ways To Access The Hidden Internship Market
Find A Recruiter
You want to find and align yourself with several top recruiters in your field of expertise. These headhunters maintain close relationships with company executives, human resources and hiring managers. They are trusted to find the best talent for their open opportunities. Some of these roles are exclusive to the recruiter and not posted to the public.
Discretion is required in sensitive situations, such as replacing a high-profile manager or looking for an outsider to run a department instead of picking an internal employee. Companies will contract recruiters to conduct these stealth searches. The headhunters selected are experienced in the job requirements and industry sector. They have vast experience and a database of appropriately skilled candidates.
The recruiter will clandestinely contact on-target people who have the right background for the role. They’ll tell the candidate that the job is confidential and the applicant needs to keep the information to themselves. If the executive recruiter has a solid reputation, the person will understand and comply. There will be some people who feel uncomfortable and politely bow out of contention.
Networking And Social Media Sites
Tapping into your network of friends, family, co-workers, former colleagues and bosses, college alumni, neighbors and other folks for job leads is an effective way to penetrate the hidden job market.
Another effective strategy is to find a friend or a loose tie that works at a target company you want to work for and ask for an introduction to the right hiring personnel.
You want to stand out on the social media platforms that cater to your job and career. For example, if you are a white-collar professional, LinkedIn is the right platform for you. Start by targeting the companies that you’d love to work for. Then, send invitations to people who look like they’re involved with hiring to get on their radar screen. Create posts, interact with other people in your space, upload videos and write articles. This will position you as an expert in your field. Recruiters, hiring managers and corporate talent scouts will start reaching out to you.
Hiring managers love employee referrals. They feel that if an internal employee recommends someone, they must be good. Otherwise, if the person bombs, the person who referred the candidate will suffer the ill will of the boss. Some companies offer an attractive bonus if the referral joins the company.
To save money from not using the services of a recruiter and demonstrating that the current employees get the first crack at newly opened internal jobs, human resources will first look for talented insiders. The company won’t place an ad for this job, as they want to focus on the people who already work at the organization.
If there isn’t a current employee with the right experience for the job, and you are able to find this out, you could send an unsolicited résumé. Since no one from the outside knows about the opening, you’ll stand out.
Why Companies Keep Internships Hidden
There are instances in which a manager is on a performance improvement plan and may be at risk of being let go. The human resources department doesn’t want anyone to know that the person may lose their job. If the company posts a job description, there is a strong chance that the targeted individual or someone who knows them will decipher that the job listing is for the company and specifically to replace the manager.
Another similar example is when a new role is created, but the company feels that no one within the unit possesses sufficient skills to get the promotion. The business will want to keep recruitment a secret so as not to invoke the ire of the team. If the workers recognize the job description, employees will angrily confront their boss, demanding to know why they weren’t even offered an interview and went straight to finding an outsider.
Companies need to disclose salaries and salary bands with the new pay transparency laws. In the brief time it’s been activated, companies have already gamed the system by providing ridiculously wide spectrums, such as $50k to $300k. Rather than play this game and get called out for it, more jobs will be placed in the hidden job market.