I was speaking yesterday to a job search/networking group and one of the questions came up regarding the best way to get ‘found’ during your job search. By far the most effective way of landing your next position is personal networking within your industry. That Rolodex or LinkedIn group you have spent all this time creating has exceptional value to a job seeker. The number I repeat during my presentations is that 60-80% of all jobs are found through networking. I have NO idea where these numbers come from but I like them, I believe them and repeat them. Just makes sense, doesn’t it?
The reason for this post is that I find job search “professionals” like to disclaim the value that job boards (especially corporate job boards), other online sources and staffing companies have in the job search process. And to this I often respond that you are “only looking for one job”–so what difference does it matter where that job comes from?
To further support my thoughts on this I always mention my friends Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin, the founders and proprietors of one of the most intelligent employment websites around: CareerXRoads.com. Their commentary is priceless and, as a bonus, their primary audience is the HR professional. As a job seeker I have to tell you that having an insight into the world of HR and how HR professionals think is invaluable. Visit their site and seek out their latest (annual) Source Of Hire survey. Very much worth the time if you are wondering how to best spend your time (your principle resource) during job search.
To that end I am copying and posting an article from a recent CareerXRoads newsletter on Social Media. This article is kinda, sorta in line with my “what difference does it matter” point of view. (Go to their site if you like and subscribe. There is no cost. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have thoughts or comments worthy of passing on.)
Before I go: Cheers, Success to You and Good (Job) Hunting!
By Gerry Crispin, SPHR and Mark Mehler
Measuring the Right Thing is Crucial to Social Media in the Future
Over and over, the legitimate effort to apply metrics to our profession gets sidetracked when it comes down to the specifics. This is especially true with Social Media and all the noise it generates. Often we seem to be moving down measurement blind alleys that will be unlikely to help our long term cause: hire qualified and fully engaged candidates.
Recently, Mark and I were asked the following question:
“Your Sources of Hire study for 2011 states 88.5% of firms surveyed consider social media part of their Direct Sourcing efforts. But, I’m guessing that the folks who participate in this survey with you would be skewed to be among the most sophisticated portion of the corporate recruiting community. Do you believe that’s the case? So, do you think one can make the leap and extrapolate that 80-something % of US employers across-the-board are using social media to recruit in 2011? Does that sound right to you?”
Part of our answer went something like this:
- 15 years ago it would have been silly to ask recruiters “What percent of your hires involves the use of a phone?” The question is meaningless because the answer is a partial description of the means to an end and not at all crucial to the decision process (unless of course the ubiquitous use of phones was denied to either you or your candidates.)
- 5 years ago it would have been just as silly to ask recruiters “What percent of your hires were made by recruiters using email?”
- And, within another couple years the question “What percent of hires involve mobile social media?” will be as inane as the rest.
The question we should be asking isn’t how many were hired but “How is Social Media used in the decision process?”
- What data is important to influencing a qualified prospect to become more interested in converting to an engaged candidate?
- What access at what cost can social media offer to our firm and our pipeline of prospects that will increase our supply chain conversion rates downstream?
- What sequence of touch-points constitutes a ‘budding’ relationship that is likely to end in a productive employee?
- How does [ultimately] the performance of people we hired who first assessed us through social media before applying compare to those who were found, vetted and wooed but never bothered to do their own due diligence?
Social Media isn’t a ‘Source’ as much as it is an enhancement of the means to communicate interactively – for employers to find job seekers and jobs seekers to penetrate firms for transparency, to dig out relevant content, to analyze options and to execute in real time.
With all the hype to eliminate job boards and other means to attract attention, on any given day a job seeker might look at a digital billboard on the side of the road while contemplating a boss who is standing in the way of progress. And people, for any number of reasons, type the term ‘job’ into a Google search string 45,000,000 times a month. Not a few are delivered to good and bad job description links on job boards, or links from SEO or SEM. It’s what comes next that is key: a phone call, an email, a conversation connection on Facebook, Linkedin Group or your firm’s talent community.