Feature: The Source of Employment Survey
As most of us know, there is an almost limitless number of ways we can look for a new or better job. The trick, of course, is to find those that deliver the best results. If we focus our time and efforts there, we are likely to improve the odds of our finding exactly what we want and doing so in this lifetime.
Traditionally, networking has been cited as the most effective job search strategy. Many of the best openings are never advertised-they are part of what’s called the “Hidden Job Market”-and the only way to tap into this secret cache of opportunity is by connecting with friends and colleagues who can point you in the right direction. If you know the right person or can network to them, you will find the dream job you’re looking for and, no less important, avoid most of your competition in the job market because they won’t even know it’s available.
And then, of course, there’s the Internet. More than a little has been said about its helpfulness as a job search resource, especially the employment areas that can now be found on many organizations’ Web-sites. Indeed, the Society for Human Resource Management has just launched a special designation for these areas-the dot.jobs (.jobs) address-to help job seekers connect with employment opportunities posted at employer sites. In the not too distant future, if you want to work for some great employer, all you’ll have to do is surf over to SomeGreatEmployer.jobs, and you’ll have instant access to its job openings.
But are those two strategies the best ways to get employed-to find your dream job and be offered it by the employer? That, it seems to me, is the question we really want to answer. Networking, for example, is not everyone’s cup of tea, and if you do it poorly (or not at all), it’s unlikely to connect you with the job you want. And locating jobs on an employer’s Web-site is a far cry from being actually getting an offer. Indeed, many applicants describe the experience as akin to sending their resume into a virtual black hole. They apply, and nothing happens.
So, what’s the best source of employment? To get at the answer to that question, we recently polled the visitors to our Web-site to determine where they found their last job. This Source of Employment Survey is the first of what we expect to be an annual look at what methods get results in the job market.
This year, we had over 1,500 participants in our survey. Here’s what they told us.
What were the least effective ways to find and land a job? Our respondents pointed to the following:
In fact, neither of these job search methods was even as effective as starting your own company and creating your own job; that strategy garnered 3% of the votes.
Equally as important, people seem to be learning from their experience. When asked where they expect to find their next job, they overwhelmingly gave the nod to the sources that were most effective in finding their last job. According to our respondents, they’ll use:
All of the other methods and sources of employment garnered less than 4% of the responses. For example, responding to ads posted on a company’s Web-site was selected by just 3.2% of the respondents; that was even less than the 3.9% who said they were simply going to mail their resume to the employer.
What do these findings suggest for what you should do to find employment in your dream job?
Number 1. Apply for openings posted on job boards, but invest your time wisely. There are lots of alternatives, so it’s important to select the sites that will serve you best. I recommend that you use two general purpose sites (e.g., Monster.com, Yahoo! HotJobs, CareerBuilder.com, Best Jobs USA, NationJob Network) and three specialty sites (one that focuses on your career field, one that focuses on your industry, and one that focuses on the location where you want to live and work).
Number 2. Network on the Net. Face-to-face interactions are important, but they’re time consuming and not something everybody enjoys. So supplement whatever traditional networking you do with online networking. Participate in the discussion boards at the sites of your professional association or college alumni organization. That will increase the number of people who know you and thus your reach into the job market … and you can do it in the privacy of your home while wearing your fuzzy slippers.
Number 3. Don’t ignore newspapers. In fact, make them an integral part of your job search strategy. And remember, most newspapers have both a print edition and an online job board, so spend some time with both to ensure that you don’t overlook an opportunity.
Number 4. Don’t ignore corporate Web-sites, but don’t rely on them either. They are useful sources of information about the culture of an employer and about what the experience of employment will be like … or what I call the 5W’s-what will you get to do, what will you get to learn, what will you get to accomplish, who will you get to work with and what will you earn.
Conventional wisdom isn’t wrong. You need to use a range of tools to find and be offered your dream job, particularly in today’s competitive job market. Our Source of Employment Survey will help you identify those that have been most helpful to others … and, we hope, will be most helpful to you, as well.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and benefit from your recommendation.
Section Two: Site News You Can Use
DigitalMediaJobs.com launched its site as a resource for those seeking employment opportunities in the following fields: Internet, mobile/wireless, online marketing, search engine-related, Web design and development, digital audio and video, interactive and games and entertainment. It joins its sister sites: OnlineMarketingJobs.com and JobsinSearch.com.
ExecuNet, a job search and recruiting network for executives, released the results of its survey of what recruiters think the job market will look like over the next six months. The overall outlook? Most expect the second half of the year to be slightly better than the first half, which saw a 15% increase in senior level search assignments. Where will the growth occur? According to the respondents, the top five industries are likely to be pharmaceutical/biotech (up from #2 at the start of the year), healthcare (down from #1 at the start of the year), financial services, high tech, and business services. The career fields expected to be most in demand are sales, operations management, marketing, finance and general management. That list remains unchanged from the start of the year with one exception: business development dropped out of the top five from its original position at #2.
The Gallup Organization surveyed Americans and found the following percentages of people either somewhat or very worried about their financial information being stolen from: the Internet-62%, their mail-55%, a retail store-53%, a restaurant-47%, their garbage-40%, their home-33%, and at school or work-25%. Given this high level of anxiety, it’s important to remember a couple of self-protection guidelines: First, when posting a resume on the Internet, do not list your home address and telephone number; use a cell phone number and e-mailbox. Then, check them at least twice a day so that you respond quickly to any inquiry from a recruiter. Second, do not provide sensitive personal information over the telephone (e.g., your social security number, bank information), even if the caller claims that they saw your resume online and are conducting a preliminary telephone interview on behalf of a prospective employer. Legitimate employers and recruiters will never request such information over the phone. Third, get copies of any release you sign when interviewing with an employer or recruiter. You may have given them permission to verify your employment or even check your credit, but they have an obligation to collect only the information you have released and to protect that information on your behalf.
Hudson, a global recruitment, staffing and consulting firm, announced the results of its survey of workers’ vacation habits, and it’s no wonder that stress levels are at record highs. Almost a quarter of the respondents (23%) said that they would check in with the office on most days while on vacation. Among the managers in this group, the results were even more distressing; 38% of them said they would give the office a call every or almost every day. Even worse, four-out-of-ten entrepreneurs said they would likely check in with the office by e-mail or phone even as they’re supposed to be relaxing and recharging. What’s our advice? Treat vacations as an on-off switch. Either you’re on vacation or you’re off; there’s no middle ground. You can’t truly relax while you’re working around the edges, and you can’t work effectively while you’re trying to relax.
The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey of 371 HR professionals and found that 80% either agreed or strongly agreed that an organization should take personal ethics and off-the-job behavior into account when making hiring and promotion decisions. In other words, the notion that what happens outside of work stays outside of work is just plain wrong in today’s workplace. Employers know that employee acts outside the workplace can and do reflect on the organization’s reputation and success, so they are more aggressively monitoring and reacting to what they find. Said another way, there are consequences for what we say and do in the world around us, even if our words and acts are technically protected by the freedoms we enjoy in this country. For example, you have every right to bad mouth your employer in your personal blog or in a public online discussion board, but don’t be surprised if your employer finds such behavior inimical to its interests and shows you the door.
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. You’re a top notch recruiter who’s just relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. Which of the following sites would put a chill on your search for a job in the area?
2. You’ve got 15 years of experience as a field operations manager in the telecommunications industry. If you’re looking for a new challenge, which of the following sites would connect you to top employers?
3. You’re an experienced technical writer who prefers to work by telecommuting. Which of the following sites would put your search for a new gig on hold?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories
Jobwerx Manufacturing Network
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – Contract, Consulting
Distribution of jobs: International
Number of jobs: 34,373
Salary levels of jobs: $51-75K/year, $76-100K/year
Offer a job agent: No
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: 365 days
Restrictions on who can post: Must be in the industry
Other services for job seekers: Listserv for networking, Assessment instrument(s), Career information, Links to other sites with career information
Answers to Site Insite
1. BestRecruiters.com, the site of a company that publishes a directory of recruiters.
2. All of them.
3. TeleWorker.com, the site of a software company specializing in “informed telework decision-making.”