80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking

According to a report from ABC News, 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. This percentage of networkers represents smart jobseekers who understand that looking for and finding work takes...work.

They understand that personal networking coupled with online networking will yield better results than spending the majority of their time on Monster.com, Indeed.com, Dice.com, CareerBuilder.com, and other job boards.

Smart jobseekers attend networking events consisting of jobseekers, business owners, professional associations, meet-ups, etc. However, networking events are not smart jobseekers' only, or even major, source of networking. They also utilize their rich network of former colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and others; or start the building process…and keep it going once they’ve landed a job.

Many experts will tell you that companies want to hire from within first; only when there are no appropriate internal candidates will they rely on referrals from employees (who get a bonus for a successful  hire) and people who will approach them through informational meetings. The latter category of jobseekers (you) have the benefit of getting known before the job is "officially posted."

"...employees who come to the company 'known by us' in some way are seen to be better hires and thought to get up to speed more quickly and stay with the company longer," Martin Yate, Knock em Dead series, writesAnd this includes you. This is where relentless networking comes in, whether you contact someone at a company so they can get your résumé to a hiring manager, or you contact a hiring manager in your desired department to set up a meeting.

Pam Lassiter, The New Job Security, understands that networking can be daunting, particularly for Introvert types, but encourages jobseekers to do it, "Using your networking wisely is a muscle you can exercise and develop if you haven't already. Outplacement and alumni career services surveys report that 65 to 85 percent of jobseekers find their jobs through networking...."

Some jobseekers misunderstand the purpose of networking. They think it's all about them. They constantly ask without giving, which is the quickest way to drive away potential allies. People who have the true networking mindset realize that they should first help others, before thinking of themselves.

The bottom line is that helping other jobseekers will help you. Paying it forward increases your odds of landing a job. And, there are plenty of great networkers who will help you, as they realize they'll eventually get help from others. They are patient and determined.

Here's what one of my customers, who recently got a job, told me about proper networking: "Have a conversation with people [as opposed to] giving them a 30 second commercial.  It's not about 'I need a job.'  Have a really good conversations with a few people at an event and listen to what their needs are. Think of how you can really connect with them and support them vs. just getting a business card."

Networking only makes sense, so I’m perplexed as to why some jobseekers don’t embrace it. I know that personal networking means going outside one's comfort zone, particularly if you’re an Introvert (as an Introvert, I know the feeling). Developing the attitude that “I just have to do it” will help you over the hump

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Comment by Christopher Poreda on March 27, 2012 at 6:38pm

Nice article Robert.  One thing that I do think is missing here is the foundation of the network contact.  I can network with people I've met on Recruitingblogs, Linkedin, and Monster.  It's what you do once you've made contact that makes all the difference.

Comment by Bob McIntosh on March 27, 2012 at 8:07pm

Thanks, Christopher. And definitely Online networking is just a precursor to personal networking.


Comment by Paul P Mosley on March 28, 2012 at 11:04am


I just posted this to my updates on LinkedIn® so people in my network can be made aware of this.

Please request me as a contact on LinkedIn® to network concerning sharing ideas, connections and employment opportunities.

Paul P. Mosley

Penobscot Executive Search LLC


Comment by Bob McIntosh on March 28, 2012 at 11:13am

Thank you, Paul. I appreciate your nod of approval. I'll send my request to you immediately and list you as "friend."

Comment by Karen Siwak on March 28, 2012 at 11:29am

I see that 80% stat getting tossed around a lot, but I've never seen any research that backs it up. My suspicion is that it's either an urban myth, or a misinterpretation of the original number, which is that 80% of successful candidates used networking in their job search. Based on the CareerXRoads study, only 1/3 of jobs are filled through referral, and Right Management's survey of the recently hired found that 40% found their job directly through networking.

This doesn't mean that networking isn't important - at 33% to 40% of direct hires, it's very important. Even for advertised positions, being well-networked can help you get better prepared to shine in the interview, and it can also mean that you get resume before the hiring manager sooner because somebody gave you an early alert that the ad is going up. I spend a lot my coaching energy on teaching my clients to be smarter, more strategic networkers, but I also counsel them that assuming they can ignore the job boards and focus only on networking could mean that they are leaving a lot of opportunities on the table.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 28, 2012 at 1:40pm
I think Karen is more than correct. Also think it is kind of humorous that with all the hype about social recruiting the latest trend seems to be that the job boards are still working as they always have and always will. Many times the networking piece of the process amounts to one person telling another to check out a job they saw on a board. They do, apply and get hired. Did they get the job by networking or through a job board?

Both, without networking they might not have ever seen it but they applied through the board posting.

My take is that a lot of people are "over networking". I am getting a bit worn out with people who have been candidates one one job unsuccessfully asking me to introduce them to one of my contacts who is associated with a company they are now applying to. I may have no knowledge of that company, not know if that previous candidate is a fit or if my contact is involved with the hiring process. Then they send email after email wanting to know what I have heard from my contact if anything.

I have had candidates who decided to start their own small business. Now because we are connected on LI they are sending me requests to take a few minutes of my time to discuss what they are selling. Spare me from all this networking frenzy.
Comment by Jerry Albright on March 29, 2012 at 8:48am

One quick question here.  Why was my comment not approved? 

Comment by Bob McIntosh on March 29, 2012 at 12:11pm

Quick answer: I don't want others to be slammed on my blog comments. Slamming me is a different matter. 

Comment by Bill Schultz on March 29, 2012 at 1:19pm

Here's a mini-slam.  That's too controlling.  We're all grown ups here.

Comment by Jerry Albright on March 29, 2012 at 1:27pm

So then, for clarity - you don't mind them being slammed with replies that agree with you - just not the ones that actually offer a difference in opinion?  Got it.  :)


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