I speak to hundreds of professionals throughout the year. Come November/December, I hear the exact same statement over and over, "I'm going to take a break from job hunting. No one is hiring right now."
Want to know a little insider secret?
You're wrong. Very, very wrong
December is one of the BUSIEST months for new jobs opening up, and I'm going to explain why and the secrets behind how to get in the front-line for these hidden job gems before your competition does.
The reason why everyone thinks it's slow
The reason why job seekers perceive no jobs during November and December is because they are looking online for open positions. By the way, that's known as a "reactive job search" and should only take up about 20% of your time, but for many, they do it wrong, spending 80-90% of their time reacting to jobs the see posted online and applying.
While it's true that there are significantly fewer jobs online in December to apply to, this is NOT an indicator of how many open positions there are. In fact, during December, there are MORE open jobs open than normal. WAY MORE!
How is that possible, you ask? Keep reading...
Why December is a crazy mad-house for many companies who are scrambling to find employees
80% of people are looking for a new job. Quietly or aggressively, they're looking. Many stay on with their employers and don't start their job search until it gets closer to the end of the year either because they want their Christmas Bonus or they want to resign just before the holidays so they can take their unused vacation during the last two weeks of the year and start their new job on January 2nd.
Right now, as you're reading this article, people all over the city and US are resigning. Dec 1st through Dec 7th is about when it happens.
But here's is the secret. When someone resigns in December, the company often doesn't post the job online until after the New Year. Why? Many of the leaders take vacation at the end of the year. Another reason is that they don't have budget to replace the person until the new year and can't post the job as per company rules. For others, they're just too darn busy wrapping up the year. Whatever the reason, more jobs are vacant and not online right now than any other time of the year.
Did you get what I just said? There are dozens of jobs RIGHT NOW sitting vacant that you could qualify for but they're not posted!
What Hiring Managers and in-house Recruiters do in December with vacant jobs to fill
When a vacancy hits in December, hiring managers immediately begin to work their inner network. Via their first level of LinkedIn, through their inner network or through referrals from colleagues, etc.
The in-house Recruiter knows the position is open but knows he/she cannot officially source for it until the New Year. But believe me, they are working their database and earmarking a list of candidates to call as soon as they have the green light.
By the time January 2nd comes around you have about 5 to 10 qualified candidates already in line for the job you were waiting to show up in January because you said that "No one is hiring" in December.
How to find these mystery jobs that are open in December but not online
If you're job hunting, I want you to stop what you're doing and rethink your strategy for the next month or two. Rather than looking online and applying (we know that's not working this month, don't we), stop thinking about the job you want and start thinking about the company you want to work for that has the departmental infrastructure to hire someone like you. Why? Because someone at that company that has your title is quitting right now!
Get PROACTIVE, stop being REACTIVE
Now is the time to put your strategy hat on. Sit down, log into LinkedIn and start looking for people who have the title you want or have. Narrow your search by the industry, company size, zip code radius, city...whatever deal breaker criteria you have, include it.
Now that you've found people with the title you have/want, add the company they work for to an Excel spreadsheet. Be sure to look at their previous company as well because that may be another potential company you can pursue.
Once you have a nice big juicy list of about 20 to 50 companies, begin looking on LinkedIn for the person who has the title that could be your future boss or someone who appears to be a decision maker or key influencer. Add their name to your Excel spreadsheet. Also look for anyone at the company with the title of Recruiter OR has the word "Talent" in their title ("Talent Acquisition Manager"). Add their names to your list in your Excel Spreadsheet.
Ok, so now you have a hit list of target companies and you have influencers, decision makers and recruiter names from those companies. Your entire mission for the next month is to build rapport with them. Not once do you ask for a job or ask them if they are hiring. Just build rapport. How do you do that? Jump on over to my article, "How to Communicate with Potential Hiring Managers.
This is separate from the 3 above, but you also want to identify about 3 highly qualified recruiters who specialize in placing someone like you and get on their good side immediately. Why? Because this is the time of year that companies hire them to quietly start searching to fill the job vacancy that they can't post until the New Year. I have three jobs like this now. I can't post them online, so my search is very one-on-one. You have to know me for me to know you, so professionals who have stayed in touch with me throughout the year are top of mind for these jobs.
Do NOT reach out to the people on your list until your LinkedIn profile is 100% on point with the messaging and value that would match up with the job you want.
Do NOT reach out to the people on your list with your first InMail or Invite and ask if they are hiring. Game Over. You didn't read my article, "How to Communicate with Potential Hiring Managers."
Work this system for 45 days, using the techniques I mention in the article linked above and watch the magic happen. I'd love to hear from you if you have success! If you're struggling, contact me direct for a quote on coaching. I will spend one-on-one time with you and in a few hours you'll be a pro at working the hidden job market!