Secrets of the Job Hunt


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Study details trends in job hunting

Spherion Corporation, a staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions provider, today released the results of a study that tracked the job search techniques and methods used by more than 250 professional and executive-level job seekers taking part in a career transition program. The study found that the Internet continues to play an increasingly vital role in the way that candidates learn about and land opportunities. A number of online job search techniques, such as searching published ads online, submitting resumes online and use of email alerts are quickly replacing traditional practices of searching print advertising and networking.

Overall Internet Effectiveness Increases According to the study, 43 percent of active job search candidates learned about their next career opportunity by using the Internet, including 13 percent through online marketing (resume posting), 25 percent online published job openings, and five percent email/online networking. In addition, when Spherion tracked how candidates are landing job opportunities, 40 percent indicated they made a direct application to the employer. Of those, applying online was the most common method increasing from 38 percent in 2004 to 46 percent in 2005. Also, of those job search candidates who learned about an opportunity through published openings, only seven percent were print advertising.

The majority of candidates learned of opportunities through online published openings by employers or recruiters. These findings support an overall trend towards reduced print advertising in favor of online advertising.Networking Still Powerful Tool in Landing Job Opportunities, Less Effective in Learning of Them
When it comes to learning about job openings, Spherion found that networking has declined from 44.5 percent in 2004 to 34.5 percent in 2005 as a means of identifying the next career opportunity. In fact, there has been a sharp decline since 2003 in the effectiveness of networking among all candidates, all ages, income or gender categories.

However, networking is still quite effective in helping candidates land their next career move.

The study found that networking is the second most effective method behind direct application, with 32 percent of candidates reporting success. Within the networking category, referrals from within an organization (53 percent) and outside the organization (27 percent) were the predominant networking sub-categories.Executive Recruiters Remain Effective Partner in Assisting CandidatesIn total, recruiters accounted for nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of candidate connections with an opportunity. This includes direct recruiting (11 percent) via phone, email or mailing, as well as posting resumes online (6 percent), and posting the positions they are sourcing online (16 percent). Candidates also attributed recruiters when it came to landing the opportunity. In 18 percent of cases, an executive recruiter presented or referred the candidate to the employer.

Effective Job Search Techniques Vary Depending on Income, Age and GenderAfter factoring in demographic categories including income, age and gender, the study revealed some compelling differences in the effectiveness of different job search strategies.For example, job search methods ranged in effectiveness based on an individual's income level. For those candidates above $100,000 in particular, networking and search firms are more successful strategies. Published openings played a more important role for those earning less than $60,000.

Interestingly, online marketing is equally effective across all income brackets.In addition, a significant difference was found between the effectiveness of networking and published openings when it comes to gender. Men are more likely to learn about opportunities through networking, while women are more likely to identify leads through published openings."This study confirms the notion that the Internet is becoming the primary venue for both job seekers and employer recruiting efforts," says Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion.

"However, it is important that job seekers view the Internet as just one of the effective job search tools available to them and don't limit their efforts to just online outreach. Despite a slight decline in usage, networking and leveraging recruiters remain effective and viable methods of not only learning about job opportunities, but more importantly, in landing
them."MethodologyThe Spherion Candidate Tracking Study is based upon 252 most recently placed Spherion candidates between July 2005 and December 2005. The sample represents professional and executive level job seekers, excluding C-level individuals. Candidates were interviewed in an exit survey and were asked to share information on how they learned about and subsequently landed their next opportunity.

About Spherion
Spherion Corporation is a leader in the staffing industry in North America, providing value-added staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions. Spherion has helped companies improve their bottom line by efficiently planning, acquiring and optimizing talent since 1946. To learn more, visit

No comments: