This Is Where Employers Really Look For Talent


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You’ve been on the job search for a while and aren’t having any luck. You’ve been using job board after job board, but you haven’t been successful yet. Why? You’re looking in all the wrong places.

A new survey conducted by SilkRoad found that while job search engines lead to the most job interviews, employee referrals lead to the most hires. You may think your job search is on track, but to get hired, employers need to be able to find you where they’re looking. So where are they looking for talent?

Here’s a look at the sources employers turn to for their talent needs and how to use them to up your chances of getting hired:

Employee referrals

When employers are searching for talent, they start with referrals. In the 2015 Recruiter Nation survey conducted by Jobvite, 78 percent of recruiters said they find their best candidates through referrals.

So how do you get referred and get hired? Start with your network. Reach out to colleagues, friends, and anyone you’ve ever worked with to find opportunities. Although job searching tends to be a personal activity, put the word out that you’re looking for a job. Who knows, a friend of a friend might know of a great position they would be happy to refer you for.

Social media

You know that employers will screen your social media profiles before they hire you, so you’re careful to stay professional online. But a squeaky clean social media presence isn’t enough to get hired. You need to target employers on social media and keep an active presence.

Although Jobvite’s 2016 Job Seeker Nation survey found that 67 percent of job seekers use Facebook to find jobs, their 2015 Recruiter Nation survey found that 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn, compared with just  55 percent who use Facebook. Employers are looking for talent on LinkedIn, so you should be there too.

But don’t limit yourself to LinkedIn — have an active presence across platforms to improve your chances of getting hired. After all, Adecco’s 2015 Work Trends Study found that the probability of being contacted by a recruiter increases with the number of social networks used by a candidate. If a candidate only uses one network, the probability for being contacted is a meager 16 percent, but increases to 46 percent when the candidate uses at least five platforms. In addition, job seekers with a professional or personal blog have a higher likelihood of being contacted, as are those who link their social profiles on their resume.

Social media is no longer just a screening method. Maintain a strong presence so employers can easily find you and see how great you are.

Internal hires

When we think about the job search, we usually focus on positions with a new employer. But you could be missing opportunities with your current employer.

In fact, a 2015 survey conducted by the Talent Board found that 50 percent of candidates have a previous relationship with employers. What’s more, the SilkRoad study found that internal sources lead to the majority of hires when compared with external talent sources.

Pay attention when employees leave, when new clients are acquired, or to other changes that would lead to a new or open position. Talk to your manager or HR department about potential career paths and where you want to move within the company. If there is a specific open position you have your eye on, explain why you’re perfect for the role. Reference past experience and successes with the company and how you could bring the same value to the job.

Employers don’t want to lose you, and they would rather give you a new opportunity than watch you leave. You will get hired if you search for jobs online — eventually — but a more proactive approach can speed up the process and improve your chances of landing a position. Know where employers are looking for talent, and be there.

Which sources do you use to get hired? Share in the comments below!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.