“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking.”
During a recent discussion about employment, someone challenged the oft heard claim that seventy percent of all jobs are found through networking. Hoping to discover the basis for these claims, I began to do some investigating.
In the end, I found out that the number is not a straightforward claim reported by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Instead, it is inferred through the data they report on in the JOLTS or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The three reported items that, when combined, create this number are:
- Number of hires
- Open positions
- Previously open positions filled by someone the employer already knew
In the JOLTS lingo, a hire is anyone who was hired in the past thirty days and an open position is a position that is actively being recruited (advertised) and could be filled in thirty days. There are always more hires than open positions, meaning that many positions that get filled are never advertised to the public – 40%, to be precise, based on the past year of JOLTS data. Once we include the number of jobs that were filled by someone known to the employer, the number soars to 70%.
Thus, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. If you want to play it safe and avoid statistics, you can always go with this quote from the Winter 2004-05 Occupational Outlook Quarterly, “Employers fill the majority of job openings through the unadvertised, or hidden, job market.” The situation hasn’t changed.