Because it’s a little bit hard is why it’s actually valuable for job seekers because it kind of weeds out a lot of people because it’s a little bit daunting once you figure it out, like the community super tight. So, yeah. I’ll kind of explain it this way. So as a quick primer on what Slack is, to anyone who’s never used it before,
Anybody’s a little bit intimidated by it – and I want to relate this back to like how to find a job with it. Slack’s an application that I would describe, as a non Slack employee , but it’s a combination of like a message board with a direct messenger with like rich media integrated. So companies use it and basically a lot of places don’t even use email very much internally because you can create separate threads, separate channels about different topics even to the project level. So people on different projects might be discussing one thing or another.
It can be direct messenger, you can talk with your team, it can integrate with like all sorts of external stuff like Google drive and everything else. So it’s a really powerful workplace tool that a lot of people just get really, really into. Now, notice I’m not saying it’s a social media tool or it’s even designed for any other stuff we’re going to talk aboutand that’s because I don’t think it really was. But some of the great side parts of it is, one, they give away a lot for free. So, if you’re a corporation using this you’re probably paying on a per user license type thing but for regular people, if you just want to set up a Slack group with your friends, totally free. There’s some limitations but those limitations, realistically, for like a standard networking group never really kick in.
And two, you can invite anybody you want, it’s not like limited to your domain. So what this has ultimately happened is a lot of people who are just avid Slack users because of what their company does, has started creating private groups of any topic. So a lot of the things when I’m talking about like how to find a job on Slack, there’s not some job board listed anywhere or anything else like that.
There’s not some secret place where like, just everything’s, you know, it’s finding people’s private communities and joining them. So there’s apparently like a little bit of a challenge kind of getting into that. But once you do, it’s super powerful.
I would say there is probably two aspects of this ultimately. One, the goal here is to access the hidden job market. Like we talked about that a lot in terms of jobs are never posted but they’re being hired for, or how do you network your way into places or how do you set informational interviews?
So like the first it’s just like any other organization once you start or any other kind of like social form, once you’re into it, if you’re talking, let’s say you’re in like a DEI specific community, you’re just talking with people about whatever topics you’re finding interesting. Maybe you’re asking questions about what you can be doing in your company related DEI.
You’re having things not about job searches, but you’re talking about you know, maybe if it’s a dev group, you’re talking about development questions you have or if it’s whatever, you’re just kind of getting ingratiated in the community. You’re meeting real people this way. Like a lot of these groups are local.
So like a lot of the ones I joined or Chicago groups like these are people here in your area. And once you start doing that and having these conversations it’s so easy to turn that into a one-to-one direct message where it’s not weird where like you know each other now, you know what I mean, with whoever you’re kind of talking to.
So it’s a good way of, especially now, like during a pandemic you can’t go to networking events, you know what I mean? But it’s a good way of doing that. It’s more powerful than LinkedIn because I think that the challenge with LinkedIn is that it’s public. So everyone finds it a little bit weird.
It’s like networking on Facebook almost. Whereas these are like close, tight-knit groups where people are just more open to talk. There’s not like there’s no trolls out there. No, one’s judging you. Like everyone’s a little more one-to-one, kinda helpful.
[00:03:31]A lot of these organizations have job boards straight up. So, and I know that like you and I are kind of like, okay, sure everyone should apply to jobs but don’t put all your stock in it, but I’ve seen tons of jobs posted that I’ve not seen posted anywhere else. A lot of companies will have like openings.
They’ll post just stuff within these Slack groups first before they post anywhere else and there’s less people in these groups. So like if you’re finding it that way and you’re applying that way, like you’ve got less competition.
So it’s just, it’s kind of a no-brainer from both a networking standpoint and a kind of, you know, applying to jobs standpoint. There’s a whole slew of opportunities of people you can meet and jobs you can apply for in these places.
And I mean, I’m assuming that the hiring manager might allow you to directly contact a hiring manager rather than, you know, going through the whole HR layers of everything.
I mean, typically it’s the hiring manager, who’s posting the job or someone on the team and they want you to respond.
They want you to apply and say, you’re interested and you’ve got a direct one-on-one relationship with whoever is putting this thing out there. It’s rarely HR, you know what I mean? If it’s a tech community and its development manager actually posting the job saying, “Hey, I’m hiring for my team.”
Like, what more do you want? It’s like a perfect layup, you know, it’s not just a job posting, it’s actually, it’s something posted in a thread like they’re copying, pasting a job description and saying, “Hey, reply, if you’re interested in, we can chat or something like that.”
Is there a way to actively conduct a job search through Slack?
I would say personally, if you’re in a community like this, like saying, “Hey guys, I’m looking for some help. I need to find something new” people will totally open to that. I would recommend you start participating in the group a little bit before that. Like your first post shouldn’t be, “Hey guys, I’m new to the group.
I needed a job” you know what I mean? Spend at least a couple of weeks just kind of getting to know people and talk about whatever topics are out there. You know what I mean? I know that there’s some people too who might be in a job right now. It’s not just that they’re unemployed and looking for work.
But they don’t feel comfortable posting on LinkedIn that they need help because everyone’s going to see that. But depending on the community, they can see who’s in there, they know if their boss is in that group or not, you know what I mean? No one in these groups are going to rat you out, you know?
So it’s one of those things where I think there’s more upside in terms of being vocal about the need to look for a job in a closed community like, a Slack group versus something that’s public like in LinkedIn.
If you’re new to Slack and you want to start exploring groups, is there a way to search? How do you explore what groups you might want to join?
There is not, and that’s actually a good thing. Most Slack groups you find them word of mouth or you just kind of Google them.
A lot of them will have web based signups. So I mentioned I kind of created my content DIY content creators group. The Chicago tech diversity initiative. If you just Google that you’ll find their page and you send them email address to sign up and then you’ll get an email invite.
The way you get added to any Slack group is through an email invite like they send through the Slack channel. So if you spend some time like Googling, you will find some like Chicago, Slack community, some things will pop up. But word of mouth is the best. So like I would start by going on LinkedIn and just asking, like making a post,
“Hey, does anybody know some cool Slack communities in my area that you’d recommend” for whatever you’re interested in, not just job seeking, but like any other special interests you have. Cause again, it’s more about getting into groups that are aligned with your interest areas not like job seeking groups.
It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, like you can join a group and you’re in it forever. Like you can just be a fly on the wall if you’re not like looking right now or you don’t have a lot of time. You don’t have to participate, you know?
It’s cool to be able to kind of go back and like go through the threads whenever it’s kind of convenient for you.
But if you are in a situation where you need to be more active, like okay it’s time to get things going with your search, that’s when you can kind of jump in and just participate in whatever conversations are happening and whatnot. So, it can be a huge time commitment if you want it to, or it can be something that you keep an eye on certain areas, check it once a week, see if anything cool happened or anything
interesting. And then, just reply as needed.
If you can take the time to figure out how to use Slack for your job search, it’s a good way to find positions where there’s a lot less competition.