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Is “Six Degrees of Separation” the Key to the Hidden Job Market?
In 2003, research emerging out of Columbia University finally corroborated the age-old notion of “six degrees of separation” as legitimate, suggesting we are all much more connected than we realize. So in the face of increasingly negative media r
80% of jobs are hidden according to Flowork, a social capital development company based out of Toronto. That it may be in fact hidden in one’s existing social network, is a fact that most people largely miss, according to Flowork research. After all, with the rise in popularity of “cyber” social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, the focus has been increasingly on establishing new connections. Yet, ironically, most of us have no idea that one’s own circle of friends and family may contain a wealth of job-related resources. Thus, if the science supporting “six degrees of separation” is true, then Flowork’s research may be instrumental in aiding not only job hunters, but employment agencies, government program managers, HR professionals, and recruiters alike.
However, Flowork founder Dr. John-Paul Hatala suggests that few of us know how to truly tap into our existing social network and gain access to that elusive, hidden job market. He proffers several research-supported solutions, which can arm the newly unemployed with the know-how and confidence needed to make headway, in the face of an increasingly daunting job-search. Flowork’s research and associated training programs reveal that the main challenge facing job seekers, in terms of leveraging one’s own social network, is a profoundly yet deceptively simple one: how to strategically use it.
Indeed, most of us fail to think strategically about our social networks, Hatala suggests. People do not know how to approach their circle of friends and broach the topic. The good news, Hatala goes on to say, is that it is a trainable and learnable skill-set. Accordingly, it is this kind of research that informs Flowork’s training programs.
“Strategic social networking” then, will be a key for many of us these days, in order to penetrate what seems to an otherwise elusive, “hidden” job market. After all, the unemployment rate is higher than we have experienced for some time. By learning to leverage one’s social network, however, one can avoid becoming a statistic.
The answer, if the research is any indicator, may be less than six degrees away... it may be as close as your existing social network. According to Flowork then, the necessary strategy and specific know-how in terms of how to leverage our social networks may thus be the distinguishing factor which determines the success of some job hunters versus others, vis-à-vis this “hidden” job market that so many of us are now facing.
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Flowork International, L.L.C., is a social network research and professional development organization, based out of Toronto. It offers comprehensive training programs to: organizations of all sizes and demographics;