How to access hidden labor market offers during a pandemic

The year 2020 has been a year that marked a before and after in many aspects of our life and which introduced or accelerated routines and processes in the way we work and relate to others. Since then, the labor market has suffered greatly, with the approval of the new ERTEs, the notable drop in Social Security registrations and the rise in unemployment rates to levels not seen for a long time.

In addition, the job offer was reduced by up to 70% during the most difficult months of the state of alarm, according to the latest report from Adecco Infoempleo: Job offer and demand in Spain. If, according to data from LHH Espaa, the Adecco group consulting firm specializing in supporting organizations in their transformation processes, most jobs (around 80%) cannot be found by searching and applying online. .

While this ‘public’ job posting – known as the free market – fell in 2020, the postings that make up the so-called hidden market (the job postings that companies don’t post) have increased by 5. 5% since the start of the pandemic. our country. The best way to access this hidden market is through so-called networking or the network of contacts, but in a year where meetings and face-to-face encounters have dropped drastically, maintaining this network of contacts has need a lot of proactivity and management. digital tools so you don’t get away with it.

In the words of Natalia March, Director of Operations at LHH: “The pandemic has required a great effort on the part of each of us to maintain these contacts. In 2020, there were very few face-to-face meetings and we were unable to take advantage of those cafes, meals or events, as we always have, with which to strengthen our network of contacts. On the other hand, we have been able to adapt very well to the management of technology and the change of scenery and we have been able to take advantage of these applications and tools to stay in touch with important people and not stop maintaining the network. In addition, we won on another aspect and that is that we were able to attend many more events with the pandemic, since these were virtual ”.

“The key to success has been proactivity, perseverance, rapid adaptation to change and a genuine concern for others. Approaching people in a context of uncertainty where the need for emotional support has accompanied us all, has made us approach this network from a more human perspective, which has helped to strengthen relationships and alliances with our networking. to give them a greater future. strength. It has also been easier for us to resume relationships that we had not had for a long time and that in a normal situation would have posed a greater inconvenience for us to start, due to the need to know that everyone is doing well. , alleviating the discomfort that we approach in a context of normality of connections with which we have not been linked for a long time ”, concludes the month of March.

More than 4 out of 10 people move thanks to their network of contacts

The network of contacts remains the most common means of accessing a new job for people participating in an outplacement program and this has also been the case over the past year. While it is true that due to home lockdowns and mobility restrictions and some social events, this networking has lost some strength.

Thus, if a year ago 52% of applicants for outplacement programs found a job through their contacts, now 43% do so. These 9 points of difference were entirely gained by outplacement thanks to online job offers (job portals, advertisements, etc.), which already represent 29% of cases.

To a lesser extent, other much less representative options appear, such as intermediaries, spontaneous applications, entrepreneurship or so-called redeployment, when a candidate moves to another position in the same company.

La Rioja, at the forefront of the use of the network of contacts

The percentages of people relocated via the network of contacts vary considerably according to the Autonomous Community. Over the past year, La Rioja has been the region that has used this practice the most with success: 8 out of 10 people relocated to the Autonomous Region did so using their contacts, a percentage that has practically doubled.

It is closely followed, with 77% of its repositioning thanks to networking, the Balearics, which already occupied this second position last year. After her, the Canary Islands fell from the first position to remain the third autonomous region where more workers were relocated by contacts (67%).

Very close, we find three other autonomous regions where more than half of their workers use this formula to re-enter the labor market. These are the Region of Murcia (63%), Asturias (6 out of 10) and Aragn (57%).

Just above the national average, which is 43%, are the Community of Madrid (49%), the Valencian Community (46%) and, with the same proportion of workers relocated thanks to networking, it there are Cantabria and Galicia, with 45%. Behind them appear Catalua (42%), and Andaluca and Castilla y Len, with 39% in each of these communities.

Candidates from the Basque Country benefited from networking in 35% of cases. And to a lesser extent, Extremadura, with 33% and Castilla-La Mancha, with 25% follow. Navarra is again the autonomous community where the network of contacts is used the least for relocation, as only 13% of them have used it to return to work in the past year.

How to network during a pandemic

Until the global health crisis erupted last year and there were unprecedented episodes such as home lockdowns and the shutdown of all non-essential activity, building a good network of contacts was relatively simple thanks to the many events that have taken place in the country. work in the field, but also in the staff. With restrictions on mobility and the development of almost all online activities, having an active network that allows us to be aware of the evolution of the labor market, in certain sectors or companies, has also had to be done. adapt to new circumstances.

One of the most innovative has been the absence of face-to-face events and the extension of teleworking to all sectors and profiles where it has been possible to implement it. But, on the contrary, we were able to attend many other events because they were virtual. The main advantage is that “we were able to access more people, although afterwards we had to work on the one-by-one approach. When presence is a great help in building and nurturing relationships, virtual meetings require everyone to reconnect at a different time, and for that we have learned to make better use of technology. We have developed a lot of the virtual approach and we have held many virtual meetings, whereas previously we hardly used this type of resources ”, they specify from LHH.

In order to continue to maintain this networking to help us access more information on the labor market in the months to come, here are some keys:

The basic thing is persistence and clarity on what you need from each person. But, first of all, give something to others. Don’t expect contacts to always help you, show interest in them, ask them how they are doing, what they need. Listening plays a key role. Take an interest in each other and show real interest. Be prepared for the purpose of every meeting or every call you make. Prepare for conversations and don’t improvise. Analyze your intervention after each conversation and think about what you might have asked differently to implement in future conversations. Always thank the other person for their help and perspective, and keep them posted on the progress that occurs in any action you take with their advice and suggestions. Maintain your connections over time and reconnect with them periodically to keep them updated on your progress or to provide them with information on topics you have discovered that may be of interest to you, allowing them to remember you. Thanks to technology, it’s now much easier to stay connected without having to wait for the next meeting or face-to-face event to reconnect. Make the most of your social and professional networks once you have established initial contact with these people through a meeting or virtual meeting.

How to access the offers of the hidden market beyond the network of contacts?

Although, as already pointed out, the network of contacts is the most direct and efficient way to access the hidden job market, there are other ways of accessing it with which it is useful. also good to work:

First thing: create a search strategy. Be clear about your professional goal, what you are looking for and who your target market is. Where do you want to present your professional profile and who do you want to know yourself? There is no point in spending energy, time and resources in environments that will not earn us anything. The free market works. Look for the offers that suit you, position yourself on them and proactively approach them to convey your interest to others who go beyond the app. You can even integrate with other processes for which there are no published offers or to which you did not have access. Bet on the spontaneous application. Analyze the market, which companies are looking for professionals and what types of profiles are in demand. Offer your expertise in companies where vacancies are frequently posted and have open selection processes. Introduce yourself to companies that interest you, show your availability and your profile. Get on the headhunter radar. Make sure you are listed in their databases, so that they find you in their searches. Many of them are hired by large companies without publicizing the position to be filled and are an excellent (sometimes the only) way to access these selection processes, especially in positions of responsibility. And of course, have a good position in professional social networks, with a profile according to your future projects and focused on the activity, company or sector in which you would like to work.

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