The “Clicking and Applying” Job Search doesn’t work – you need an employee referral

‚ÄúClicking and Applying‚Äù for jobs, be it from a job board, or corporate career site, is not a very effective job search strategy. There are a lot of reasons this doesn’t work. I’ll dive into those reasons at another time.
The most important thing to know is this.

Employee Referrals are the #1 source of new hires in the US.*

This fact has been proven time and time again.
We’ve heard for years, ‚ÄúIt’s easier to get your foot in the door if you know someone!‚Äù

Well, it’s true. What’s also true, and what most job seekers don’t know is the following:

  • Candidates that apply through a referral have a 1 in 10 chance (or 10% ) of being hired. This might not sound very high, but consider the following: The chances of getting hired from applying for a job from a job board is approximately less than 1 in 300. (An ad on a job board can generate well over 100 applications. If the job is placed on 3 job boards, that’s over 300 applicants for a single job. If you get the job, your chances were 1 in 300.)
  • Employee Referrals almost always get their resume read and responded to. Imagine that… actually getting your resume read. That, in and of itself, would be novelty for most job seekers these days! This happens because of internal corporate structures. If an employee refers someone to the hiring manager, that resume is almost always read. This happens because the recruiting or hiring team tries to respond to the employee who referred the candidate, letting them know the status of the applicant. Additionally, most recruiting teams will take the extra step to contact the applicant as a courtesy to their fellow employee.
  • Because of this ‚Äúemployee courtesy‚Äù, Employee Referrals are almost always given the benefit of the doubt. So, as long as you meet the minimal qualifications of the position, there is a very good chance that you are going to get a first round screen or interview. Again, this is because of courtesy to their own employees who are trying to help with the recruiting process. If the recruiting team doesn’t respond to the employee or the applicant, how motivated will employees be to help recruit in the future.
  • In some employers, the chances of being hired as a referral are an astonishing 25%. That means if you apply to 4 jobs, in some of these companies, there is a chance you will get a job offer. *

    The best practice for generating job leads is by connecting with employees in the companies you want to work for and “Being Referable”.

    In another post, I’ll discuss the process of generating job leads through referrals.

    *= For the last 10 years Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXRoads, have been researching and documenting the top “sources of hires” for many of the largest corporations in the US. In their Annual Source of Hire Report they show some incredible evidence of the importance of employee referrals, to both job seekers and employers alike. Thanks as always, go out to Gerry and Mark!

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    3 Replies to “The “Clicking and Applying” Job Search doesn’t work – you need an employee referral”

    1. Paula,
      Thank you for the comment on my blog,
      I apologize for the delayed response. For some reason, I wasn’t notified that you made a comment on the site.

      How can I help with your job search?
      Are you using LinkedIn?
      Are you seeking out Employee Referrals?
      That is the #1 way to get your resume read. The #1 way to get an interview. and The #1 way to get hired.
      Feel free to email me directly. jonathan [at]

    2. Mariam,
      I just saw your comment.
      I haven’t heard of any other issues.
      Please let me know if you are still having an issue.
      I greatly appreciate the feedback.

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