Most jobs are filled through personal networking – so what about posting?

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Are you waiting for your prince to arrive?

Posting (i.e. advertising) is the usually the first thing that companies do when they realize they need to hire.  But only 19% (at the most) of jobs are filled by this method AND for every resume sent that actually fits the position description, 99 are sent just because you have posted a job and the senders want a job – any job (and hope that you can grant them the job of their blurry dreams).

You can pick up another 10% by posting to specific, professional networking site. These will be different for each function/profession – you won’t find pharmacovigilence people on DICE, or expert programmers on DIA.

26 – 75% of jobs are filled by personal networking depending on the level and function.  Think about how you got your job – did someone suggest that you apply there?  Or did you meet the hiring manager somewhere?  Did you “go after” the job or just sit home and post your resume randomly online like too many folks do these days? 









Which methods do you use most frequently? Does the position lend itself to college recruiting, a career fair or temp staffing?  Or do you need some experience?  Do you frequently rehire alumni? Post your ads in print magazines? Use a consultant until you decide to hire him/her full-time?

No matter what methods you use, personal networking means that the hiring manager and the team, as well as HR, have to be open to talking with people outside the company.  They have to be engaged enough to want to promote the company and discerning enough to network with the appropriate people.  Your employment brand has to be consistent with what the team is saying and you need to be open enough as a company to engage with outsiders, whether that is face to face or online. 

How can HR improve the time to fill if there are so many moving parts that are out of your control?  We tend to like posting because it gives us some control and the ability to say what we have done and then measure it, but if it is really this ineffective, why is this the go-to method?

Of course you want to capture that 19% as well.  But you don’t want the rest to pass you by.

Are you keeping the metrics on your fills?  Which ones really were the postings and which were your employees telling their friends to apply through the website?  Which ones came as a resume the hiring manager told you to onboard? Which from a member of the team bringing in a friend from his/her previous company or school?  How can you measure and reward this? 

Even if you have only one opening in 2013, do you want to choose from the best or only from those who found and applied to the job ad?  Only those who were “looking” when you posted it or those with the skills you need?

To hire a recruiter or search services team is to put the networking on steroids and not just wait for your prince to come.  Recruiters will source the right people, call them and get either buy-in and resumes or referrals to the right people.  Meanwhile you can spend the time upping that employment brand.

Call me if you want to discuss your hiring strategy for 2013!


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  1. Brielle says:

    This is great information. I have been looking to hire executive recruiters for my business. We tried asking all of our employees if they recommended anyone, and a few did but they weren’t what we were looking for. So I think that recruiters are the way to go for us.

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