Back Alley Deals and the Hidden Job Market.

Peek-a-boo, I see you.

We have all heard of the mysterious hidden job market, but what is it? We conjure up ideas of roundtable discussions being held in some smoke-filled room with lots of cognac being served on ice–tangible deals for only a select few. Yeah right? Not!

You do not need to know someone to get into the un-advertised job market, but you need to know who is hiring. ‘Information is power’- that statement couldn’t be truer. What am I talking about?

Let me introduce you to Socrates. No, I am not referring to the old cat in a toga, but the State of Texas listed employer database used to gather labor market information. Forget about letting your fingers do the walking, or running massive Google searches on how many oil and gas companies there are in the region. Socrates does it all for you. Literally, Socrates is a software tool designed to assist local Texas planners perform a regional labor market analysis. The good news is that it is available to the public free of charge!

So how does it work?

It’s easy. Just go to

  1.  Click on Employer Search.
  2. Pick an area. (FYI, the LWDA Region 28 includes Houston and the 13 Gulf Coast counties served by Workforce Solutions.)
  3. Click on the size of the company that interests you, along with some options like city, zip code and keywords.
  4. Submit and select from the listed terms that are displayed and mark ‘keep checked.’
  5.  Follow steps 1 and 2 on the next screen. Click on “View Employers.”
  6.  Click on “Map Employers” and presto!

So how do you use the list?
Easy, pick up the phone and call the company or check the employer’s website to see if they are hiring.

Why is this useful? Employers do not need to advertise on Monster or Career Builder because people are contacting them. You now have a list of how to contact them without running searches and without rummaging through Monster or Career Builder. This is how you will find the hidden job.

Someone, please pass the cognac on ice.
Until next time, Juliette.

J. Chacon is a Senior Employment Counselor that specializes in placement for Workforce Solutions – Northeast. She has over 10 years of experience in workforce development and recruiting.

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