Looking for Work? Here's How to Find the 'Hidden' Jobs

Looking for Work? Here's How to Find the 'Hidden' Jobs
Looking for Work? Here's How to Find the 'Hidden' Jobs

Sometimes, you just have to know where to look. With official unemployment stuck in the 9% range, jobs continue to be as hard to find as the proverbial needle in a haystack. HiddenJobsApp.com is doing its part to make the hunt a little easier.

Since launching in the spring, HiddenJobsApp.com has been tracking companies that are growing and hiring by sifting information not just from company sources but also from newspaper articles, online media, public announcements, and more. Many of these positions haven't been widely advertised, which can give users of its website and smartphone app a competitive edge.

"We make the job search more efficient, since we do all the legwork and the site is updated daily with new leads," says Chris Russell, founder of HiddenJobsApp and CEO of AllCountyJobs.com. They suss information in ways you might not and that many traditional job sites don't, like flagging articles profiling companies that talk about expected expansions.

HiddenJobsApp.com just released its list of the 10 states with the most "hidden" jobs:

1. Florida (23,598)
2. California (21,562)
3. Ohio (16,668)
4. Indiana (15,355)
5. Tennessee (12,042)
6. Michigan (11,778)
7. Texas (8,519)
8. North Carolina (8,062)
9. Georgia (7,839)
10. New York (7,128)

Florida was hard hit by the Great Recession, so it's surprising to see them on top. Also a surprise -- how well Midwestern states like Ohio and Michigan fared. "Jobs are being created there again," says Russell.

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In fact, the majority of the new job growth is in the Midwest and South, probably due in part to the cheaper cost of labor in those regions. Manufacturing, which began showing signs of life last year, seems to be continuing a comeback, Russell says.

So what does that mean for you? Job seekers in this weak employment market would do well to take a page from HiddenJobsApp's playbook. Read industry periodicals, your local business journal, and the business section of your newspaper, scouting for stories about companies that have strong sales growth, are launching new products or moving to bigger space. Those are the prime clues that a company will be hiring, Russell says.

Of course, some of these as-yet-unadvertised jobs are so well hidden that they might not even exist yet. We asked Robin Ryan, author of 60 Seconds & You're Hired!, to take HiddenJobsApp for a test drive. "I followed the links, especially since Florida has a very tight job market," Ryan says. "The Florida link goes to a news article stating Planet Hollywood is expanding, but it looks like the jobs will be added over three years. That helps no one now." As an alternative, Ryan suggests making a list of 25 companies and networking to learn who the hiring managers would be for the type of job you're seeking.

Still, anything that can give you a lead on job opportunities before they open can only help. "Pursue all possible avenues of the job search. You can't rely on just a job board," Russell says. "Do your homework and research companies that offer at least a modicum of job stability. It's important to take a proactive approach to finding work."