People find jobs mainly through positive relationships with employers and employed friends who can attest to their skills and strengths. Finding the top five ways that people find jobs requires examining how job seekers search for positions as well as how employers look for qualified job candidates. You can improve your chances by being persistent and professional during your job search.
Having a foot in the door of an organization gives you an edge over outside job seekers. Forty-two percent of employers are expected to fill new job openings from their current staff, according to Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler in their March 2013 “Source of Hire Review.” Getting inside a company as a contract or temporary employee gives you a chance to show managers and staff that you can fit the culture and excel as an employee. Moreover, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of this route. Forty percent of employers surveyed for CareerBuilder’s 2013 U.S. Jobs Forecast said they planned to hire more temporary and contract workers. Meanwhile, 42 percent of those employers plan to make some of their temp and contract workers permanent.
Employee referral programs give job seekers a top shot at employment. Job seekers are three to four times more likely to be hired by an organization if a valued employee within that organization refers the job seeker, according to the “Source of Hire” report. Thirty-one percent of job seekers found their jobs through referrals by their employed friends, relatives or former co-workers, according to a 2012 Jobvite job seeker survey. Some companies aim for as much as 50 percent of their workforce to be referral hires, and provide rewards to employees who help them reach that mark.
Online social networks are among the top vehicles for finding jobs. In 2012, 52 percent of job seekers used Facebook to look for work, and Facebook friends helped 20 percent of them with job opportunities, according to Jobvite. LinkedIn is not far behind with 38 percent of job seekers using it to look for work. LinkedIn contacts shared job opportunities with 19 percent of those job seekers.
Rather than sifting through hundreds of resumes sent in through general job boards, 23.4 percent of employers in 2012 preferred hiring applicants directly through their company websites, according to the “Source of Hire” report. Comparatively, 18.1 percent of employers hired through a general job board. Many employers also hope search engine optimization of their job postings attracts applicants who know what they want, and who reach out directly after searching for their ideal jobs online.
Job and career fairs both on and off college campuses are a top way job seekers can meet employers. Even if asked at a job fair to fill out an application online, being face-to-face at the event helps set you apart from applicants who didn’t attend. Job fairs put a lot of control in your hands. Knowing the type of job you want, dressing professionally, providing resumes and exchanging contact information with company recruiters are among the ways to increase your odds of making job fairs a success.