Psst! Most jobs are never posted online!

If you've been online looking for a job, this message might come as a shock to you: the job you want is probably not online. In fact, only 12% of people get hired by applying for jobs through job boards, according to a SilkRoad Technology annual study. They covered more than 13 Million Applications, 600 Thousand Interviews and 300 Thousand Hires! In other words, it is MUCH better to call a company directly (or, even better: ask someone to refer you in to the company) than it is to apply online.

John found this out the hard way. Here is his story:

John's story: 229 online applications, but not one single interview

When John came to our online tools for help, he was at his wits’ end. He had applied for 229 jobs online, and had not gotten one single interview. He was angry, confused, discouraged and convinced he would never find a job. When John hit “refresh” on his job search (and watched all the videos and read everything in this section), everything changed. He stopped applying for jobs online and started networking.

John found the job he wanted just 3 weeks later! 

5 things you need to know:

  1. Most of the jobs out there are "hidden" (unadvertised)
  2. Referrals trump any other method for getting hired (62% - 80% depending on the industry and job, according to many studies)
  3. Only 12% of people get hired by using job boards to apply for jobs (SilkRoad Technology)
  4. Networking is by far the fastest (and best) way to get hired ... and you CAN learn how to do it well
  5. Everything you need to know about all of this is sitting right here online for you - in the Job Hunt Toolkit

You should not entirely ignore online jobs! 

Half the reason only 12% of people get hired by applying for jobs online is that they don't know where the traps are. So, please do not entirely avoid online job postings. Just make sure you jump to our "work smart online" section to learn how to do it the easy and effective way!

By the numbers: how most people get hired

Most people get hired through networking & referrals.

A powerful 2016 report by SilkRoad Technology (Source of Hire Report) tells the story best. SilkRoad studied 13 million applications, 600,000 interviews and over 300,000 hires. They found the following:

  • 62% got hired through NETWORKING & EMPLOYEE REFERRALS (talking to people who work at the company)
  • 26% got hired by applying directly with the company itself
  • 13% got hired through external referrals (networking)
  • 12% of people got hired through job boards (Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder)
  • 9% through recruiters (recruiters networking to find their own candidates)

A delicious little secret: Referrals rule! 

Companies love people who come in by referral! In fact, referrals have such a strong advantage that employers will choose a less-qualified candidate who was referred over the "perfect" candidate nine times out of ten.

A Glassdoor report put it like this:

  • The applicant to hire ratio for applying online is 1:250.
  • The referral to hire ratio is almost 1:2.

iCIMS backed this up with a report that shows that two-thirds of candidates who come in by employee referral will get hired. WOW! Do you still want to waste your time applying for jobs online? Or, would you prefer to spend your precious time finding someone inside the company to refer you to the hiring manager? Please tell me you choose door #2!

At first blush, asking for referrals and networking seems harder than applying online, but look a the numbers .. you can get hired after only one rejection by networking, or after 249 online applications!

Why referrals trump all other methods 

This is the time when most people are shouting on me "Why?! What is going on?! I'm a fantastic candidate! Why does it matter if I come in my referral or by applying online?" I understand intimately why things work this way, because I spent so many years on the hiring side of the desk. I saw it happening every single day. Furthermore, I know what it's like to live with a bad hire (excruciating!), and hiring people through referral are one of the best ways to reduce your risk of making a bad hire. Allow a recent study by iCIMS report to explain it better:

  • 88% of employers rate referrals above all other sources of quality hires.
  • Referrals integrate fasterfit betteroutperform others and stay longer.
  • Referred candidates get job offers two-thirds of the time. 

Why job boards don't work nearly as well

When job boards first hit the recruiting scene, I was in love. Honestly! I started recruiting in 1997 with just a desk and a phone ... cold calling into companies trying to find qualified candidates who were willing to talk to me. All of a sudden, with job boards, I could post a job and get people to reach out to me while I was sleeping! Even better, they were pre-qualified! It was incredible! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and the online application world has become so saturated, it's become much harder to hire that way. 

Job board hires have dropped 23% over the past 10 years, according to the International Association of Employment websites. With over 5 million jobs posted online in just one month (Bureau of Labor & Statistics May 2016), it looks like applying for jobs online is the easy way to get hired. It isn’t.

But once again, part of the reason is this: people don't know how to apply online. They get caught in all the online traps, which means that employers never even see their applications. I am not telling you to entirely ignore online job postings. I'm just telling you that you need to get educated about the best way to use them.

Jump to the "Work smart online" section to learn how to avoid the biggest online application traps.

The hidden job market

While the "hidden job market" conjures up images of hiring managers hiding job postings in their desk, that’s not what’s going on at all. It really means that their jobs are unadvertised. Here's why:

"Are you trying to get me fired?" asked Jim, a senior recruiter, when the Director of HR told his team that they had to post every single job opening online. When she asked him what he meant he said "We don't have time to post every job, and we certainly don't have time to sift through all the unqualified online applicants."

I tried to tell the Director of HR that this would happen if she went barreling into that meeting with a "post all" attitude, but she didn't want to listen to me ... because she did not understand. She had never sat in the recruiting chair, and she simply did not understand how much time it takes recruiters to create and post jobs online. She also did not understand that half of online applicants are not qualified.

Those are just two of the reasons that most job openings never get posted online.

You don't know what you don't know ... but we do!

If your head is pounding, relax! You are not alone. I'm right here, ready and waiting to tell you a few more surprises who gets hired and why ... AND give you the tools to avoid the traps. If you hang in there with me, I will save you months of frustration and rejection. All you have to do is watch the rest of the videos and read the rest of the modules. It might look like a lot, but it goes quickly ... and more importantly, I know things that you do not know! For instance, did you know that your references can accidentally sabotage you if you don't prep them correctly? Yup! It happens all the time ... but it's not going to happen to you.

So, if you need a break by all means take it! But don't skip any sections. You won't know you needed to read it until that topic bites you in your big toe.