People Still Land Most Jobs Person to Person But Job Boards, Online Networking Gain Ground

PHILADEPHIA, PA, June 7 — Person-to-person networking continues to be job seekers’ most successful tool, according to a study by Right Management. The firm analyzed job data on the nearly 60,000 individuals throughout North America to whom it provided career transition services over the past three years. Right Management is the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup, the world leader in innovative workforce solutions.

Traditional networking was the source of new career opportunities for 41% of job candidates last year, while Internet job boards accounted for 25% of new positions landed.

Source of New Job (59,133 job seekers)

2010 2009 2008
Networking 41% 45% 41%
Internet Job Board 25% 19% 19%
Agency/Search firm 11% 9% 11%
Direct Approach 8% 8% 8%
Online Network (2010) 4% N/A N/A
Advertisement 2% 7% 7%
Other 10% 12% 14%

“The job search is changing and some approaches are losing ground to others, but classic, systematic networking continues to be most effective way to find suitable employment,” said Carly McVey, Right Management’s Vice President of Career Management. “Certainly technology plays a growing role. But online social networking may not always be separate from traditional networking since one so often leads to the other. A job seeker uses the Internet to track down former associates or acquaintances and then reaches out to them in person. And, just like a cold call, the Internet is a way to make an initial contact with a prospective employer.”

Among other findings:

• In 2010 for the first time “Online Network” was made a separate category and cited by 4% of the successful job candidates.

• The “Direct Approach” or cold calling is holding its own as an effective tool for many job seekers.

• Newspaper or periodical classified ads continue their decline as a source of new employment while Internet job postings play an increasing role.

• Agencies, recruiters and search firms may be regaining their place in the mix, perhaps as a result of a strengthening job market.

• “Other” may mean some combination of the above, or perhaps serendipity, direct referral or even good luck…and will surely remain an aspect of a successful job hunt.

As revealing as the data may be, a job search is usually a more complicated and multi-layered process, explained McVey. “Job candidates are encouraged to use as many tools as possible, every kind of research, any former contacts, and every opportunity to reach out to people who may be able to help. So in practical terms successful job candidates rely on a mix of approaches to find the new position most suitable for them.”

“Nevertheless, from year to year the data say that traditional networking is nearly twice as successful as any other job search method,” said McVey. “People tend to trust people they meet.”

About Right Management

Right Management ( is the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup, the world leader in innovative workforce solutions. Right Management helps clients win in the changing world of work by designing and executing workforce solutions that align talent strategy with business strategy. Our expertise spans Talent Assessment, Leader Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Engagement, and Workforce Transition and Outplacement. With offices in over 50 countries, Right Management partners with companies of all sizes. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies are currently working with us to help them grow talent, reduce costs and accelerate performance.

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