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A photo of the Story Bridge in Brisbane city at dusk

Accessing the Hidden Job Market

If you find yourself relying solely on job boards for your next career move (think Seek, LinkedIn, MyCareer, etc), chances are you will be left feeling frustrated, disillusioned and often cynical about the whole recruitment process.

So many jobs are never actually advertised yet for those that are, employers seem to have a wish list of “desirable skills and experience” longer than your arm making you wonder whether someone like that even exists! Yet we hear stories of how people still manage to find amazing new opportunities that weren’t advertised…tapping into the so-called “hidden job market.”

But don’t fear. As I saw written somewhere the other day, “The hidden job market isn’t hidden – it’s just in a place that isn’t easy to get to. It takes time, effort and tact to get there”.

As a job seeker then, how do you access this “hidden market”? Simple really – you need to network, network and network! Oh, and while you’re at it, speak to a good recruiter who knows their market. While I am loathe to pull figures and stats from the air, a large proportion of the people we place in roles come from not only a referral in our network, but a good deal of them go into roles where the client wasn’t actively looking to hire.

Our job as recruiters is to know our clients’ practices and businesses inside out so that when good “talent” comes to the market the client is immediately made aware of them. Only last month we placed a partner in the property team of a large national firm where the client had recently said that there was a firm-wide hiring freeze. Despite this, we had spoken with the Managing Partner earlier in the year who mentioned that a possible area that they would like to grow was in the property space. The lateral partner was thrilled with the synergy his clients would benefit from in the new firm and so too was the partnership happy to bolster this particular practice area.

So before getting down in the dumps looking at your latest Seek alerts and advertisements, get proactive in your job search. Get out and about, press the flesh and network, but also think about talking to a recruiter who will use their industry contacts to actively help you access some of the hidden job market opportunities.


At Peppercorn Recruitment, our Partners are both former lawyers and have a combined two decades of legal recruitment experience. We have provided frank, honest and pragmatic advice to many lawyers over their careers on matters such as negotiating salaries, drafting CVs, interview tips and tricks and of course, changing jobs.

We hope you find this a useful point of reference in your career planning, but should you wish to have a confidential discussion about how we can help, please contact either Peter or Ross. We’re happy to help!