Networkers of the world unite (to get a job)

2007

It may be a truism, but when it comes to landing a new job, it really is who, not what, you know that counts – as a new poll has found nearly four out of 10 corporate high flyers got their job through networking.

The research by recruiter Hudson has found 39 per cent of workers earning between $75,000-$100,000 say they found their job through networking, contacts or word of mouth.

Networking, the poll of more than 2,000 workers reported, was also the most common way workers generally (more than a quarter) and managers (a third) landed their current job.

Faced with the prospect of an energy draining, time-consuming and expensive recruitment drive, managers overwhelmingly turned to employees and personal contacts as their preferred source of candidates for new roles.

Two fifths of managers said, where possible, they tried to promote internally when it came to filling an opening.

If this was not an option, the next most popular routes were employee referrals and personal recommendations (24 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively).

Three-quarters of managers said their company typically looked at the current employee base first when conducting a job search before considering any other candidates.

"Email and the internet make replying to an online job posting easier than ever, but in this situation, easy does not necessarily mean effective," pointed out Steve Wolfe, senior vice president at Hudson North America.

"Consequently, developing and maintaining a strong network of professional as well as personal contacts can mean the difference between landing an interview and getting lost in the crowd," he added.

The Hudson survey also cautioned managers against putting too much faith in the innumerable recent surveys showing a growing tendency among workers to flit between jobs.

In fact, more than four out of ten workers said they expected to stay with their current employer for more than six years, it said.

Yet there were still a significant minority (28 per cent) who anticipated switching companies in the short-term.

And more than half categorised themselves as either active or passive job seekers, meaning they were either actively looking for another job or would seriously considering leaving if the right opportunity presented itself.

"Hiring and retaining top talent in today's job market is a challenge, which is only going to intensify as the pool of highly skilled professionals continues shrinking," said Wolfe.

"This is why it is imperative for employers to not just react as jobs open up, but develop a formal recruitment strategy that provides a healthy pipeline of talent," he added.

The survey also found that just 14 per cent of workers make their resume available online.

Of these, 42 per cent believed their company was not aware their resume was posted and 41 per cent said their employer did know.

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