By Mark Bartz
As my full time profession, since 1997, I've helped people land positions. For those of you who know me personally, you realize I was only eight years old when I started. OK, maybe I was older than that.
I've seen a lot of changes in the job search "game" since 1997, e.g. we have LinkedIn profiles, Twitter and social-media. We have some amazing online job boards and online job search tools. We still have classic tools, e.g. resumes and cover letters. I've always tried to find advantages to help my customers land their desired positions. Here's the thing. I've never really had solid statistics to show just how valuable certain job search tools are. I've only made calculated guesses as to the statistical value of a professional resume, or a professional LinkedIn profile, etc.
Finally, I am able to say I've got some solid statistics for my customers. Here are the numbers.
Question: percentage of career opportunities that go unadvertised? Answer: 85%. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. That sets the stage for the following.
Question: How many job applicants are hired out of 100 job applicants? Answer: 1. Surprised? Probably not; we've always known the figure was about 1%.
Here's where you'll want to sit down: it's the next question: How many job applicants are hired out of "referred" applicants? Answer: 1 in 10 (!). Source of data: Jobvite.com report, Increase Employee Referrals in 5 Easy Steps. Some obvious reasons for why referrals are now so critical to your job search strategy? According to the same Job.vite.com report, p. 2: "Referral hires are widely known to stay longer on the job, perform better, and have greater job satisfaction as well as have shorter time-to-fill periods." Then there is the cost issue: Cost per hire of an agency employee? Answer: $7389 Cost per hire of a direct hire? Answer: $4870 Cost per hire of a referral hire? Answer $963.
I've a challenge for you. If you are seeking a new role, try this. Apply to 10 positions. For each position have a referral. Get your resume together. Have a solid LinkedIn profile. Do your homework on the company: make sure they are strong. And let me know your results. There is an old saying from Henry Ford: "If I had asked them what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Ford created something completely new - a game changer. I believe referrals are our "game-changer." Referrals get you into the "1 in 10" game, which beats the heck out of the old "1 in 100" game. And gives you something superior to faster horses.