Hidden jobs are those job opportunities which are not advertised anywhere but potential candidates are found with the help of, for example, headhunters or networks.

Sometimes a hidden job may be created when a capable person offers his or her expertise at a suitable time. Employer hires the expert even though no intention to recruit actually existed in the first place. Skills gaps may be created as a result of acquisitions, organic growth or other changes.

Most jobs are hidden

Headhunters and recruitment consultants report that as many as 80% of all jobs are hidden. Not all vacancies are filled through publicly advertised job openings.
The employer often saves time and money when a qualified expert is found through other channels. However, most job seekers seem to focus on applying for publicly advertised positions, and other job seeking channels are often ignored.

Looking for hidden jobs and offering your own expertise pays off. Instead of waiting for the right job advertisement to appear, hidden jobs open up a new, more active role in job seeking for you.
Be bold in approaching organisations of your interest and in offering your expertise. Looking for hidden jobs keeps you alert. We have not heard anybody regretting active hidden job seeking even though a new job would have been found through traditional channels.

Hidden job seeking is about acquiring information, networking, offering your expertise and being available. A hidden job may be created when a few key actors are aware of your skills, goals and situation.

Look for information and keep yourself up-to-date

To find potential and interesting companies, and to find the right persons to contact, follow the media and especially investment news, success stories of growth companies, business innovations, appointments news and news on business restructuring.

  • Read more on what to pay special attention to
  • Investment news, information on big deals and good news

You can find potential employers through industry organisations of your selected fields of business. Kauppalehti’s Menestyjät ranking (of successful companies) is a good place to find interesting and even previously unknown companies for you.

Write a list of employers of your choice, so you can concretely see your targets. Follow these companies also in LinkedIn. To keep your hidden job seeking active, make sure that you have enough of potential employers to approach.

Build your networks and use them

Getting to know new people is not only fun but also useful. Many of us tend to think that own networks are small and that nobody wants to be disturbed. Yet people are usually happy to help. How would you react if somebody would ask you for help?

Make sure that at least your friends and selected professional contacts are aware of your job seeking. Ask them to give you a few names in their networks whom you could contact. It’s important to express clearly your expertise and ambitions on future work so that your contacts can endorse you. Your network will keep its eyes open for you, even when your limited resources are needed elsewhere.

When you have mapped out your existing circle of friends and acquiantances, start expanding your network. Participate in interesting events, seminars and fairs in your business field. Look for interesting people to approach already before the event. Remember to invite them to join your LinkedIn network.

You can also network online. Join any interesting debates in your business field in LinkedIn or Twitter.

Offer your expertise

You know what happens in your field of business. You know all relevant actors in business. You know what you can and what you want.

So it’s time to offer your skills and competencies. Call or email your potential new manager, introduce yourself and your skills and, most importantly, explain the benefits of hiring you.
Never contact only once. Show the prospective employer that you are really interested in the company and the possibility of working for it.

If you are told that ’unfortunately, we don’t have any recruitment needs at the moment’, ask when would it be suitable to contact the company again. You can also ask for any other companies or persons to contact. In any case, contact the company again within a couple of months.

Many of us want to work for a well-known company. Trying to find hidden jobs in smaller and less known companies can often be more rewarding than contacting major players. With smaller companies, there’s also likely to be less competition and you may well hit the jackpot.

Offer your expertise to headhunters as well. Tell them what you’ve done, what do you want to do next and what kind of an organisation you see yourself in.

Be available

In addition to active hidden job seeking make sure that you’re easily found by recruiters. Be available and approachable at least in LinkedIn and upload your CV to, e.g., Monster and Oikotie databases and in TE-palvelut, public employment and business services.

All social media visibility that supports your expertise will help you in job seeking as well.

7 ways to find a hidden job

  • Networks
  • Executive search
  • Social media
  • Events
  • Media follow-up
  • Industry organisations
  • Direct contacts with potential employers