What is the hidden job market and how to access it if you are over 50, according to a headhunter

If you are looking for a job or trying to
turn your professional career around, you may have already seen it: not everything moves on LinkedIn. Not on job portals like Infojobs, Indeed or Monster. In fact, although you are more than qualified and have plenty of experience, you may have real problems getting a simple job interview. It is not just a sensation, but a constant reality: most of
job opportunities are not advertised nowhere. The explanation is found in
the hidden job market.

«It is not that there is a hidden market as such, but that there are offers that are not published on job portals because there are other actors, such as
headhunters and consultants, who are in charge of managing them. Selection processes are increasingly outsourced because it is difficult for companies to find talent. Although it occurs in all sectors, it is even more pronounced in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector,” explains Vicente Sanz, headhunter and professional development coach for executives.

While in 2015 the number of people who found work through job portals such as Infojobs or professional platforms such as LinkedIn was 70%, today they are only 20, as noted in an Adecco report. «This change is linked to the investment that has arrived in Spain and that is making us evolve towards
a more global market. For this reason, headhunters and selection consultancies live in a golden age. We have more and more work and we are more specialized,” explains Sanz.

The golden age of headhunters

But there are other reasons. For a start,
confidentiality. «Many companies do not want the market or the competition to know about the strategic changes that are being considered within a company. And sometimes, if they are going to fire someone, they don’t want it to be known internally either. “We are able to sell the project without giving specific information about the company,” explains the expert. This also helps to “fish” for good candidates in competing companies.

The other reason has to do with
efficiency. «Publishing an offer is very expensive compared to the profitability achieved. If I, for example, post a job on LinkedIn for a COO in any industry, I can receive 500 resumes in 15 minutes. Without exaggerating. And I have received 5,000. “You have to do a screening and it is very complicated for companies to manage that, both in time and in costs for the human resources department.”

We talk, above all, about
middle and senior management positions and positions with very complex technical specifications. Headhunters, explains Vicente Sanz, are more linked to executive positions; The consultants take care of the latter. But not only. «Now, for example, administrative positions require knowing many languages ​​because companies have understood that exporting is very important for their business. For this reason, the search for these professionals is also outsourced.

How to access the hidden market

But how do you access this type of privileged circuit? “Based
a lot of networking and working a lot on contacts. Obviously, if your resume and career path are a disaster, you have little chance of getting in. You will only have access if you have good references. Also if you invest in your personal brand on professional platforms like LinkedIn. That can attract the attention of headhunters,” explains Sanz, who also helps senior management executives to develop their professional profiles to
be more attractive to companies looking for talent.

The filter is indeed strict. Also for
the silver generation, although, in reality, it has nothing to do with age, but with experience. “It must be taken into account that headhunters and selection consultancies usually handle middle and senior management profiles, so those over 50 who are looking for new opportunities must have that type of experience to access those offers,” he explains. the expert.

The process also works from shortlist calls. «We headhunters usually have a shortlist of star candidates for each type of process. If, for example, I am looking for a commercial director, I already have three in mind. When I manage to place one of those three people in a new position, I go back to the market to fill that gap that has been left,” explains Vicente Sanz. The key to being part of that list is, again, in networking. And for that,
professionals over 50 years of age start with a certain advantage. The more years in a sector, the more experience and more contacts. Accessing the hidden labor market depends on squeezing them.

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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