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 Kyle Schafroth on April 3, 2012 at 12:45pm


I appreciate the difference in opinion on these points but I still disagree:

1) "I disagree...that getting a job through a connection is not causation..."

Going back to my original post: having a connection to get you through some of the clutter and you end up in the job, no doubt is correlated but (I would hope) it is not the cause. You are asserting the following scenario: Jim knows Sally who is hiring for Job A therefore Jim gets the job. I call shenanigans on that hiring rep/recruiter as (back to my original post) if the hiring is being done on the basis of connections and not because that hiring rep/recruiter spoke with and determined that Jim was the most qualified for the job based on knowledge and skill set...I see a mailbox soon to be filled with complaints, law suits, etc.The knowledge and skills are a variable not being considered that actually (or at least should) be the cause for the job placement.

An abstract but more creative example to differentiate what I'm saying - each of the following correlations has been found through research studies:

  • There is a positive correlation between ice cream consumption and drownings
  • There is a positive correlation between ice cream consumption and murder (and other crimes actually)
  • There is a positive correlation between ice cream consumption and shark attacks

I believe it is a fairly easy jump in logic to realize that eating ice cream does not cause a shark to pop out of the woodwork and goes Jaws on the person enjoying his/her Ben & Jerry's treat (who by the way is having a Free Cone Day today April 3rd). There is a third variable to consider - the weather conditions associated with these events. When the sun shines harder people are more likely to consume frozen treats in the same way they are more likely to engage in water activities which opens the door for more drownings or shark attacks to occur. In the same way a greater density of persons in public as a result of the weather allows for more murders and other crimes to take place. 

2) "I disagree...and that social networking or plain dumb luck is not networking"

Back to my original post: "...don't differentiate or know the difference between professional networking and social connections". I believe this is just a matter of opinion on definition as I personally separate between the two.

I feel professional networking (i.e. someone I would vouch for professionally) and someone I happened to call at a company or a friend from college are not the same. Were I to spend time getting to know that person I called and create a dialogue that benefited both parties then yes; I consider that professionally networking.

Again, not trying to just rant and be the little kid shaking his head no, but I strongly believe that there are differences to identify. Correlation and causation are not one in the same and relative to networking and the situations being discussed I feel that a correlation exists however a causation does not nor should it. Networking has different 'levels or types' and again, this may just be a difference of definition. Companies all around may block employees from accessing Facebook at work but not LinkedIn as they are different networks with different goals - social vs professional is the distinction in my mind.

These are of course just my opinions and my opinion means as much as anyone's opinion can mean.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 3, 2012 at 2:36pm

Let's not lose sight of the fact that Ben & Jerry's is having free cone day today. :) Just kidding... but really Kyle I think you summed it up pretty well and have contributed much to this conversation. So thanks for that.

Comment by Kyle Schafroth on April 3, 2012 at 2:53pm

@Amy - I know right?! Sadly the closest Ben & Jerry's to me is still like 150+ miles away...a bit of a drive for even a free cone. We have enough ice cream, gelato (yum) and frozen yogurt places around here so I guess they will have to suffice.

Many thanks for the note - I never want to come off as the little brat so I hope this all reads as innocuous as possible. I merely have my opinions and clearly feel the need to support those views just as anyone is entitled to do so wit his/her own.

Comment by Shiv Akumala on April 6, 2012 at 12:13pm

Bob, nice article and very much needed. I fully agree with what you are saying and coincidentally this has been my experience as well. I agree with you 100% that most jobs are effectively closed thru networking and employee referrals. I'd like to point the readers to www.Antezen.com - a professional networking site which connects like-minded individuals (truly!!!). This site avoids keyword searches like most other job sites do. And jobs find you!!!

This was also pointed out at http://www.pluggd.in/antezen-networking-platform-297/ 

Please visit and register if you like what you see


Shiv Akumala

Comment by kevin on April 10, 2012 at 10:46am

I would have accepted 77%  BUT not 80%

doesn't everyone know it can only be true if its got a 7 in it!!! lol

Comment by Bob McIntosh on April 10, 2012 at 12:12pm

I'll take 77%, but not 28%.


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