Networking, not surfing the Net, still lands most jobs: Study

Despite new technologies, ‘classic, systematic networking’ still works best
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/30/2012

Networking, not sitting behind a computer surfing the Internet, is the most effective way to find a job, according to a recent study.

The study of 46,000 individuals, who received outplacement services from Right Management, found networking topped the list of job hunting tactics for the fifth year in a row.

“Our data from both the U.S. and Canada continue to hold steady and show what we’ve always maintained,” said Monika Morrow, senior vice-president of career management at Right Management. “Direct personal contact with real people is to be the most successful way to find new employment.”

Traditional networking has been the top source of new employment for the past five years, while Internet job boards are about half as effective, the study found.

“The job search world is always evolving, and one method may lose ground to another, but classic, systematic networking is persistently the best way to find suitable employment,” said Morrow.

Technology plays a growing job search role, said Morrow, and online social networking may in fact be combined with traditional networking since one may often lead to the other.

“A jobseeker may use the Internet to track down former associates or acquaintances and then reach out to them in person. Just like the cold call, the Internet is a way to make an initial contact with a prospective employer.”

Nevertheless, the biggest challenge we face with individuals receiving our service, Morrow said, is encouraging them to do rigorous outreach to people who may be able to help them in their search strategy.

“Younger people sometimes expect to solve the whole thing online, and this sometimes works, but real people reaching out to real people always proves to be the best way.”

The “direct approach” — or cold calling — as well as agencies, recruiters and search firms nonetheless remain effective tools for many jobseekers. But newspaper or other classified ads are losing ground while Internet job postings play an increasing role, the study found.

“Job candidates are always prompted to use as many tools as possible, every kind of research, all former contacts, and every opportunity to reach out to people who may be able to help,” said Morrow. “So the job candidate typically relies on a mix of approaches to find a suitable new position.”

Effectiveness in landing jobs
(Data is shown for the period Jan. 1 to June 30 for each year)

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Agency/recruiter

14%

13%

10%

9%

12%

Direct approach

7%

7%

8%

8%

9%

Internet job board

25%

26%

24%

19%

19%

Newspaper/periodical

1%

1%

2%

6%

7%

Other

7%

8%

9%

12%

12%

Networking

46%

45%

47%

48%

41%

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