Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sources of Hire Survey

Where do companies find new employees? Organizations that track this information refer to the data captured as Sources of Hire (SOH). An annual SOH survey sheds some light on which strategies might yield the best results for job seekers attempting to obtain gainful employment.

The survey, now in its sixth year, covers 40 large highly-competitive, high-profile companies that employ nearly 1.3 million people. Smaller companies are less likely to track SOH data. So, these findings may not be consistent with how smaller companies find qualified workers.

The Sources of Hire survey was coordinated by CareerXroads. A summary is available from ZoomInfo.

Here are a few highlights from the most recent survey covering 2006 hiring data:
  • positions filled by internal transfers and promotions (34%)
  • positions filled by employee referrals (26%)
  • positions filled via the company website (21%)
  • positions filled via job boards** (12%)
**, CareerBuilder and HotJobs are the top three job boards.

Best Strategy

So, the best strategy appears to be getting your foot in the door, perhaps through a temporary assignment via a placement agency. Then, you have an inside shot at bidding for open positions -- full-time employees are usually given preference for these jobs.

Next Best Strategy

The next best strategy appears to be good old-fashioned networking. An employee referral is the primary source that companies use to fill vacancies with external candidates. So, expanding your network of contacts remains a reliable job search strategy.

Alternative Strategy

When you are not already on the inside and don't have an internal connection, you are nearly twice as likely to land the position if you apply via the company website, as opposed to, a job board. So, if you see the job you want on a job-related website, go directly to the company website and follow the online application instructions.

Suggested Game Plan

To improve your job search prospects, it pays to expand your network of contacts. One strategy for doing so was outlined in a Beantown Web posting published one year ago entitled Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

In this article I introduced readers to a social network for business professionals called Linkedin. My Linkedin network at that time consisted of one contact. One year later my network has expanded to more than 100 contacts. These contacts have more than 8,600 direct connections.

One key to successful networking is to offer something of value to your network of connections. Beantown Web is one strategy I use to offer value. If you are a Web professional and find that the resources I have made available on this blog have helped you, here are several ways for us to connect:
  • I would be happy to add your e-mail address to my distribution list if you don't already receive e-mail notices of new postings.
  • If you have an idea for an article or a service that could help your Web-related career I'd like to hear from you.
Where would you like to go today? Perhaps, I can help you get there? My contact information is listed in the right-hand column.