LinkedIn, Referrals, Social Recruiting and Job Boards Effectiveness

How important is LinkedIn, other social networks, referrals, and company career web pages to your successful job search and how dismal are job boards?

The “New 2013 Social Recruiting Survey” by Jobvite as well as CarreerXRoads 2013 Source of Hire survey strongly supports the job search advice from Transition to Hired: network, get referrals, get insiders to refer you, have a social presence online that boosts your professional image, focus on LinkedIn, and if applying to jobs apply through the employers’ career pages and forget the job boards.

Jobvite and CareerXRoads
According to Jobvite “…Annual Social Recruiting Survey is the most comprehensive survey of its kind. The survey was conducted online in June 2013. 1600 recruiting and human resources professionals completed the survey in response to either an email or a social media invitation.”

CareerXRoads conducts a “sources of hire” survey and report annually. Gerry Crispin & Mark Mehler have formed an international consulting practice that works with corporations to better understand and adopt recruiting technology solutions to their staffing strategy and process. 

Social Network Ranking
Not surprisingly recruiters and human resources professionals rank LinkedIn as the most important social network for recruiting. It also ranks as the number one social network for searching for candidates, contacting candidates, keeping tabs on potential candidates, vetting candidates pre-interview, and posting jobs.

Finding Fit
The social profiles, regardless of the social channel, provide recruiters and HR pros with more information to make confident decisions with respect to a candidate’s professional fit.

On LinkedIn, these same employment professionals key on professional experience, length of professional tenure, and specific hard skills.

On facebook, twitter, blogs, and Google+, they focus on cultural fit, industry related posts, and professional experience.

Social Footprint
By seeking out your content and social footprint throughout many social channels, recruiters and HR professionals can gather information to “make better informed decisions” says Jobvite. This bears repeating, as I outlined in The Panic Free Job Search: Unleash the Power of the Web and Social Networking to Get Hired, both positive and negative re-assessments happen depending on what they find. “Profanity, and grammar and punctuation errors trigger negative reactions among recruiters over 60% of the time,” Jobvite reports.

Where do the Best Candidates come from?
“The highest-rated candidates are sourced through referrals, social networks and corporate career sites”, says Jobvite, and “Candidates sourced through referrals and company hiring pages are more likely to get hired faster and stay on the job longer” (see Diagram-1)


 Diagram-1 – Source Jobvite

Networks are the key to finding qualified candidates. Best quality candidates come from own company and employees’ network – according to 64% of respondents to the Jobvite survey.

The New Headhunter
The new headhunter is the corporate employee, “68% of companies offer referral compensation to gain a competitive edge in hiring,” noted Jobvite.

Interpreting the data from Jobvite and CareerXRoads

Is the data accurate?
One reason it may not be is the source of the hire is often tangled as CareerXRoads explains “Today, it would be just as hard to imagine a hire that wasn’t intertwined with multiple sources located at varying points on a stretched out recruiting supply chain that reaches from early education to talent community.”

Referral is the winner
The best way to get a job is still through networking and referrals according to CareerXRoads, ”90% of the hires attributed to referrals were Employee Referrals. Weighted averages over the last decade have ranged from 23% to 30%.”

Referrals vs. Employer Career Web Pages
The probability of getting hired drastically increase according to CareerXRoads when referred through an internal referral 1/10 compared to 1/79 when you apply directly through employers’ career pages.

Secure lasting employment
Clearly Jobvite concludes if you want a long lasting job and to be considered a better employee long term take the following into consideration “Candidates sourced through referrals and company hiring pages are more likely to get hired faster and stay on the job longer.” (see Diagram 1)

Job Boards …well they suck
Skip the traditional job boards for applying to jobs. Instead use the boards to gather the intelligence and as mentioned previously apply directly through the employers’ website.

Nick Crocodilos reports on the PBS website “ …CareerXRoads’ survey results suggests that was reported by employers as the source of all hires only about 1.3 percent of the time” and Nick also states “Yet employers reported to CareerXRoads that they make only about 1.2 percent of all their hires via CareerBuilder.” These are shockingly low numbers attributed to Monster and CareerBuilder, when you consider Monster claims 24 Million job seekers and CareerBuilder claims 23 Million unique visitors a month!

LinkedIn is a must. If you are employed and looking for another job, then LinkedIn is a no brainer and a great tool for building your professional network while employed.

If you are unemployed it is a great tool for getting the networking intelligence you need to score a great job. It is also a great tool to showcase your professional experience, length of professional tenure, and specific hard skills, in order to impress employment professionals. The bottom line is, if you are not on LinkedIn you don’t exist in the eyes of many recruiters today.

Other Social Networks
If you want to be found and selected, use more than one social channel and post industry and professional related information, obviously a blog which positively boosts your professional profile is a plus. The social channels most tracked after LinkedIn are facebook, twitter, blogs, and Google+.

Transition to Hired Job Search Advice
Network, get referrals, forget the job boards, and apply directly to employers through their career pages. When applying through employer career pages get a boost from an insider or contact the decision maker directly.

Focus on networking and getting referrals by connecting with insiders who can help you land a great job, faster and one where you will be valued as a quality employee and have longer tenure.

LinkedIn is still the number one source for recruiters and HR professionals so be on it and optimize your profile and content. Use LinkedIn to attract HR professionals and recruiters and also to uncover and connect with insiders whether you are employed or unemployed.

Create a compelling social footprint that boosts your professional image online by providing valuable content on multiple channels.

Furthermore use good recruiters and remember to network with the new headhunters, the insiders, heck they get paid well for referring you!

With our job search advice and the data to back it up why would any professional want to find a job any other way than the Transition to Hired way?

About the author:
Paul Hill is a Job Search expert and the Chief Instructor at Transition to Hired and the Ultimate Job Search Boot Camp. He is also the author of The Panic Free Job Search book and can be reached through his web site at or at 416-831-6964.