LinkedIn groups and the hidden job market
This post was originally published at the LinkedIn blog What do you know about LinkedIn groups? Have you enrolled to the groups that relate to your skills, interests, industry, events and training you've attended, geographically focused groups related to your region/city/country, professional networking groups, company or university alumni groups, have you noticed and enrolled to the recruitment/job hunting groups?
What have you done in groups? Have you started or joined discussions, promoted your company or yourself, checked out interesting people, or searched for jobs? Have you checked the Jobs-section in your chosen groups?
Back in the day posting jobs to groups was free of charge, and there were plenty of opportunities found in groups, to the extent that LinkedIn needed to find a way to make this free and open job posting a bit more difficult than it was. There were not that many companies posting jobs to the actual Jobs-section where they had to pay for advertising the jobs. In order to make the best use of the job market in groups and to put more focus on the paid advertising, LinkedIn came up with a plan to allow forwarding those paid jobs to the Jobs-section in groups where the free job postings used to be. The Jobs-section was along the way added to basically all groups, and the targeted job advertising was put in place. The group admins had previously the chance to control if jobs were allowed to be posted in groups, but with the new set of rules Jobs-section came to all groups whether wanted or not. Now that's not a bad thing, on the contrary.
Now recruiters can more or less pick the most relevant audience in groups to target their job advertising to, but many have completely forgot the free option. Especially job seekers don't often even realize that there are actually 2 sections in groups where one could scout for open positions.
When you join a group, go into the Jobs-section. On the left side you will see these two links, Jobs and Job Discussions. The Jobs-section is where you will see those open jobs that recruiters have forwarded to this specific group to reach out for this targeted audience. The jobs posted here are of no special status or in any way exclusive to this particular group, but can also be found at the topbar Jobs-section that is open for each and all LinkedIn users to apply jobs at. So the competition is often fierce, and being a member of the group gives no competitive edge to your job search.
Then again the Job Discussions -section is of great interest! The jobs advertised here are in many cases of great exclusivity. These jobs are not found at the topbar Jobs-section, and as such represent much less competition in applying for the job. As a matter of fact, only group members can post these jobs and only other group members can see them, no one else. Now it's up to the recruiter or whoever has posted the job to decide whether they are posting it to the paid section, to Monster, to other groups, to the company career pages, or if they want to keep it exclusive and target only a small number of the most relevant candidates, i.e. the members of a specific group. If the group and thus the target audience is well chosen, there may not be any need to publish the job anywhere else, and that's exactly what we've started to see every now then. Some companies, even some of the global bluechips, are using groups to target their job search to particular audience only to make sure that there are only a small number of the most relevant people applying. The smaller and more niche audience the group represents, the less and more seldom there are any job openings at the Job Discussions -section, but when there are, expect significantly less competition!
Have you enrolled to all relevant LinkedIn groups matching your skills and industry yet? Have you searched groups for jobs? Perhaps now's a good time to start!