Based on the CareerXroads(R) 2011 Annual Sources of Hire study (as noted on RecruitingTrends.com), the number one source for getting hired is still basically “who you know.” That’s no real surprise to those of you who already believe in the importance of networking and establishing relationships in order to help you increase your odds of landing a job. Some of the findings of the study might surprise you, though.
Referrals top the list at 28.0%, followed not too far behind by job boards at 20.1%. That tracks with something else I read recently that suggested job boards weren’t as close to a demise as many people thought not so long ago. Career sites came in a distant third at 9.8%, followed by recruiter-initiated hires at 9.1% and college recruiting at 6.6%. If you check out the complete report, you’ll see quite a bit more information about the results of the study, but this gives at least a brief peek into it.
For the first time since CareerXroads started doing the study (this is year 11), social media finally made an appearance on the list. It’s a somewhat lowly 3.5%, so it’s no near-term threat to referrals and job boards, but that’s not bad for its first appearance. From LinkedIn, job posts, groups and recruiter-initiated search of profiles seemed to show the strongest activity. Facebook and Twitter didn’t show strongly but were included. It might be too early to predict the progress of this trend now, although that probably won’t keep people from trying! The main point I suggest taking away from this is that you might eventually find yourself ignoring social media as a job search tool at your own peril.
If you don’t monitor the trends, as mentioned above and as I’ve noted before, you risk missing out on opportunities that more alert job seekers will capture. You could also appear to potential employers as someone who doesn’t keep up with the times and therefore might not be a progressive, active contributor as an employee. Caveat: I’m not a fan of jumping onto any bandwagon that passes by; however, a commonsense approach that includes being open-minded does strike me as valuable. In the case of social media, it probably means seriously looking at LinkedIn (if you’re not there already) and at least looking carefully at Facebook and Twitter. Others are cropping up, but my guess is that they’ll take quite some time to gain traction, if they stick around.
So dust off your career management plan and make sure it takes social media and other job search trends into consideration. I believe that’s what smart people will do.