January 8, 2021

Navigate The Hidden Job Market in Canada

Now that you’ve arrived and are searching for your first job in Canada, take advantage of the many resources available to you. These include job boards, newspapers, company websites, employment centres, and recruitment agencies. However, these sources represent only a small portion of vacant jobs in the economy at any time. The majority of jobs are never advertised. This is known as the “hidden job market”, and successfully navigating it can make a huge difference in finding the best job for you in Canada.

What is the Hidden Job Market?

These are all those jobs (or upcoming jobs) which have yet to be posted on job boards. Employers prefers to fill these jobs by word of mouth and so these are intended to be published on job boards in the future. According to numerous estimates, the hidden job market accounts for as many as 70-80% of vacant jobs. How is this possible you may wonder? well because employers use different methods to fill these vacancies, for example by word of mouth. Job boards and advertisements are methods which many use only as a last resort as it costs money to employers.

How do Employers Use the Hidden Job Market?

The hidden job market is designed to serve employers, so its primarily inaccessible to job seekers. As mentioned above, using job boards and running advertising campaigns cost money so employers prefer to fill jobs without using them. They’ll use the hidden job market by leveraging networks such as employees, customers, suppliers, friends and acquaintances who then reach out to their networks. This enables the employers to access a great talent pool, a pipeline from which it can select a candidate to fill such vacancies. Additionally, in return employees often receives a referral for successfully recommending a candidate. Its a win-win situation for both employers and employees. And since the candidates comes from an internal network and a person they already know, it’s easier to trust that candidate. Also, the process is less time-consuming, cost effective comparative to the process of hiring someone out the network.

As a Job Seeker, How Can You Access the Hidden Job Market?

The best way to access the hidden job market is by widening your social circle. Reach out to everyone you know, through volunteering, friends, family, schools, associations, immigrant-serving organizations, non-profits, and charities. Chances are, someone knows about an unadvertised job. Therefore, reach out to them for advise, assistance, or a referral.

Keep in mind that referrals aren’t enough. Regardless of who recommends you, you still need to do your due diligence. Write a stellar resume, cover letter and make the best impression at interviews.

Use an online networking platform

Platforms like Immigrant Networks have several benefits. Here are the most important:

1. Tap into the hidden job market for your profession.

It allows you to start building a group of individuals like yourself (immigrants or students) who have walked the walk and know the tricks and pitfalls. If they have been in Canada for some time, they will also know the hidden job market well and how you can tap into this.

2. Build presentation skills & confidence.

By having several conversations regularly, this practice will help you improve your presentation skills and build your confidence for online interviews.

3. Learn the power of peer-to-peer networking.

You will come across several professionals who may not have a formal mentorship relationship with you but will be keen to see you succeed by volunteering professional contacts and services that can help you enormously.

4. Finding your Plan B profession.

Several newcomers struggle with credential recognition. Many have succeed by using their transferable skills to either become entrepreneurs or enter an allied field. Who better to talk to about your own Plan B than someone who’s been there and done that!

5. Get help with your cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile.

When you connect with professionals from your field who have been in Canada for years, you can get insights into improving your applications. These insights come about only through experience and you get to tap into this expertise.

How to use these networks.

  1. Treat these meetings as a learning experience. Dress smart, present yourself like you would if you were on an online interview.
  2. Ask questions, do not dominate the conversation. Show interest in the other person, remember you are here as much to learn and then share!
  3. A cardinal mistake people make is ask for something the moment they meet someone. That is a no-no in networking. First offer something of value to the other person, and then ask for help that is equal to what you offer.

Lastly, respect, etiquette and politeness go a long way in building relationships. Networking is an ongoing process as an immigrant, you could start talking to a stranger even when you are at Tim Hortons, buying coffee. Read here to find out several reasons why you should be talking to strangers.

The End Goal

Using these tips will help you open the door to the hidden job market and find the best position for you.

The hidden job is “hidden” for a reason, but with determination, creativity, and the help of professionals, your next job could be one that was never advertised.

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