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Why do so many jobs go unadvertised?

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Mark Pearce, Fircroft’s Client Relationship Manager for Western Australia, discusses why recruiters and employers may not advertise all of their available vacancies.
In its latest business survey, the NAB has announced that business confidence is returning. Both The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald recently published that Australia’s unemployment rate had unexpectedly dropped to 6%, as the economy absorbed an extra 42,000 workers. According to the latest labour force survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 15,000 new jobs were also added to the economy in the past month.
Over the past seven months an estimated 200,000 Australian jobs have been created, yet the ABS appears to measure job vacancy volumes on advertisements across a select number of job boards. When you consider fictitious and duplicated job adverts amongst agencies and companies, these statistics may be well and truly flawed. Depending on which article you read or who you listen to the number of unadvertised job vacancies ranges from 50% to as high as 70%. Recent research performed by Guardian Professional tells us that figure is 60%.

Why aren’t jobs always advertised?

In these challenging and uncertain times, recruitment agencies and employers have the opportunity to work more efficiently and cut back on advertising because they already have access to a high number of CVs. Several of my industry peers have substantially reduced their advertising spend during the current period, and I’m sure this will be the same for a lot of hiring companies.

A big challenge for employers currently is the number of applications they are receiving for each vacancy they are hiring for. I was at a recent networking event and I spoke to a HR Manager who told me that she has stopped advertising jobs because she cannot cope with the volume of applicants, especially when a very high percentage of people applying did not have the required background and skills. Whilst not everyone will feel the same way, there’s a good possibility that other HR Managers and businesses are also struggling to cope with the time and effort involved working through a large volume of applications in the current climate.

How do I find these hidden jobs?

If you are currently looking for a job, there is nothing wrong with browsing through job boards. However, you may wish to add some additional ideas to help you uncover hidden jobs. Here are six ideas add into your job search strategy:

1. Google search: Google is a fantastic search engine for finding companies that we’d love to work for and if we’re equipped with the right search strings, we can get access to job opportunities we don’t know about. A lot of companies still advertise jobs on their own website, often through talent acquisition software such as Taleo. Here’s an example search string you can try (where you see JOBTITLE replace with your job profession / title):- intitle:careers JOBTITLE Australia. Review the results you receive and tighten your search string accordingly.

2. Email alerts: Google offers a fantastic real-time alert system that notifies us once there is an update to a company website. Simply set up a Google account and set up some alerts to keep you posted with any new jobs once they are released.

3. Networking: There are various associations and industry bodies that organise networking events, and there are local networking events in each state that will only set you back $20 - $30. It’s a great way to meet new people and perhaps your next employer! Furthermore, some companies still offer a referral bonus to employees who introduce new employees to their company. In the month of July, Fircroft is running a series of free networking events. For further information on these networking events, please contact the office.

4. Social Media: It’s important to clearly and strategically manage your profile across various social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with keywords and phrases relevant to profession. This will enhance your discoverability when potential employers are searching for someone with your background and skills. The majority of companies are now using social media as part of their recruitment process, so ensure you utilise these channels effectively.

5. Trade fairs and conferences: There are numerous events where large numbers of companies gather such as the AOG conference, and some events are free to the general public. You can always find out about these events in the local papers or online.
6. Work with a recruiter: A good recruiter will help you to map out companies and key contacts and will offer you subject matter expert (SME) advice along the way. They know their market and their clients. Find a recruiter who’s skilled to work with you to build a targeted list of companies, perform a speculative marketing presentation about yourself (naturally, a marketing presentation that you have seen and approved!) and then contact you back to give you continuous feedback.

Out of the many job seekers I speak with, I’m constantly reminded by a recurring theme – waiting for feedback on a job they have applied for. Why not improve your chances of finding a job opportunity by implementing one or two of the above ideas into your job search strategy?
Why do so many jobs go unadvertised? - Time to read 5 min
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