Networking remains a critical component of your job search, because referrals are still the number one source of new hires. The fact is that more recruiters are using social media to coax additional referrals from current employees, or find "passive" candidates -- qualified people who aren't actively looking for work. In fact, data from a survey by social recruiting analytics firm Jobvite, plus a study of large employers by consulting firm CareerXroads, suggest that recruiters use social media as a communications tool to drive prospects and referrals rather than a substitute for job postings or other sourcing methods. Nearly half of all employers make at least one hire for every five referrals, and 65 percent encourage referrals by offering employees bonuses or other perks. Because internal candidates are filling fewer jobs than in previous years, companies need to tap external sources to fill open positions. Another finding: Nearly 46 percent of large companies source most of their new hires from job-board postings, while about 30 percent find an equal number from postings and database searches. Specialized job boards (like Dice) are most effective, as some 59 percent source 1 to 10 percent of their hires from job board hires using those sites. About 10 percent source 11 to 25 percent of job board hires from them. Then there's your social profiles: Eighty six percent of recruiters are likely to look at them. More than half respond negatively to posts mentioning drugs, sex, profanity or containing spelling or grammar errors. Forty seven percent say it hurts you if you've posted pictures involving alcohol consumption. Our conclusions:

  • Networking is important to a successful job search.
  • Social media is a great way to network as long as you use it wisely.
  • Companies still rely on job postings, especially for highly skilled candidates like IT professionals.

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