May 17, 2011   view past issues

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State of the War for Talent II

This is the second in a two-part series presenting the latest findings from WEDDLE’s ongoing surveys of job seekers and recruiters. These surveys have been conducted annually since 1999 so they are some of the longest running on the Web.

The first column in the series focused on the views expressed by recruiters. This column presents the opinions of job seekers. To read the first column, please click here.

First, we wanted to know what was working best for job seekers. So, we asked them, “How did you find your last job?” They reported the following:

  • Ad posted on an Internet job board – 31.1 percent
  • Sent a resume into the company – 9.8 percent
  • Tip from a friend – 8.2 percent
  • Ad posted on a company’s Web-site – 6.6 percent (tie)
  • Ad in a newspaper – 6.6 percent (tie).
  • If the votes cast for posting a resume on a job board are added to those cast for responding to an ad posted there, the total rises to almost one-in-four (37.7 percent) of the ballots cast.

    Even more impressive, when asked “How do you expect to find your next job?”, almost half of the respondents (45.8 percent) cited either responding to an ad or posting their resume on a job board. That finding was more than four times greater than the #2 response which was Sent a resume into the company (11.9 percent) and better than five times greater than the #3 response which was Call from a headhunter at 8.5 percent.

    Then, we asked the poll respondents “In general, which job boards are most helpful?” Here, the findings ran counter to view among some that large, general purpose job boards are losing ground to smaller, niche sites. In our poll, both garnered exactly the same level of support among respondents or just over a quarter of the ballots cast (27.1 percent). Interestingly, Search engines for jobs (or what are sometimes called “aggregator sites”) also received the same 27.1 percent level of support.

    What About Other Sourcing Venues?

    In addition to job boards, employers also spend a lot of money on their corporate career sites, so we wondered what kind of return they’re receiving on that investment. We asked the respondents “How helpful are the career areas on employer Web-sites?”. The single largest response – garnering exactly half the votes – was Moderately helpful. That was followed by Very helpful at 18.9 percent and Not helpful- – not enough information about the employer’s open positions at 17.2 percent.

    Social media sites have also attracted a lot of attention from corporate and third party recruiters, so we asked job seekers “Have you used a social media site (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn) in your job search?” The results suggest that, despite social popularity, these platforms are still in the very early stages of adoption among job seekers. The two responses with the greatest support were Yes, but just a little and No, but I intend to in the near future, both of which garnered 29.3 percent of the vote. The next highest response was No, and I never will which captured 24.1 percent of the ballots.

    As a follow up, we asked those who had used social media sites to rate their effectiveness in job search. The largest response was Somewhat helpful which captured 36.6 percent of the ballots. And, in second place was No more helpful than other job search techniques, cited by 29.3 percent of the respondents.

    Finally, we asked our respondents to tell us “What is the single worst thing that has happened to you in a job search?”, And, as it has every year since we began asking it, the question produced the same unequivocal answer: silence does not make the heart grow fonder. Over a third of the respondents (33.9 percent) said their worst experience was You submitted a resume and heard nothing back to the employer, while the exact same percentage said it was You received no information or feedback from the employer once you entered its recruiting process

    The irony is that our research here at WEDDLE’s also reveals that the vast majority of employers DO, in fact, acknowledge the receipt of a resume. So, where’s the disconnect? It’s in the job seeker’s spam filter. Far too many of these messages are caught there and disposed of without ever being seen. What’s the solution? End every job posting with a standard statement that goes something like this:

    We at the XYZ Company greatly appreciate your interest in employment with our company. For that reason, we WILL acknowledge the receipt of your resume. To ensure this message is not caught in your spam filter, however, please add the following email address to the safe list on your computer:

    The respondents to our surveys are a diverse group with a lot of experience and all of the attributes of career activists. For this first quarter of 2011 report, they were 55 percent female, 45 percent male. Over a quarter (28.9 percent) were older than 56 years of age and exactly a quarter were 31-40 years old. The largest group (41.1 percent) described themselves as Currently employed, but actively looking for another job, followed by Not currently employed and actively seeking a job at 30.4 percent and Currently employed, but thinking about making a job change this year at 21.4 percent. Of those who were in the job market or intend to be, most were mid-level professionals (32.8 percent), followed by senior level professionals (13.8 percent) and entry-level professionals (12.1 percent). Administration and skilled trades also received votes with each receiving 6.9 percent of the ballots cast.

    Thanks for reading,


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    Resources for Recruiting Success

    You need the best resources to recruit the best talent. No matter how good you are, if you don’t get the support you deserve, your performance will be undermined.

    What are the best Resources for Recruiting Success? They are:

  • WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This 10th edition of the Guide called the “Zagat of the online employment field” includes The Top 100 – our pick of the elite among job boards and social media sites – and The Best & The Rest – a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by the career field, industry and location in which they specialize.
  • WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden talent market” online, this book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations and societies, the gateways to some of the best talent on the Web.
  • Finding Needles in a Haystack. Optimize your results when searching resume databases or social networking sites, get one, two or all three volumes of this extraordinary reference that provides over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.

    Cast Your Vote for …

    the best employment sites on the Web!

    Each year, WEDDLE’s conducts an open poll to determine which job boards, social media sites and career portals are considered the elite of their industry, according to the toughest judges on the planet. That would be YOU, the users of those sites.

    At the end of each year, the the 30 sites with the most votes are recognized as the User’s Choice Award winners. It is not, admittedly, a statistically valid selection process, but it does clearly measure the intensity of support sites have among their customers. And, as the only accolade in which actual users – recruiters and jobs seekers – select the winners, the awards are among the most coveted online in e-commerce.

    So, let the world know your choices for the best employment sites on the Web. Click here to cast your ballot for WEDDLE’s 2012 User’s Choice Award winners.

    Get The Career Activist Republic Today!

    If you read only one book this year, this is the book you should read!

    The Career Activist Republic takes a frank, provocative, yet ultimately hope-filled look at America’s workplace in the 21st Century. It describes a new cross-generational class of Americans that is wresting control from their employers and charting a destiny that works for them in the one-third of their life they will spend on-the-job.

    If you want to know:

    ” How the “global warming of work” is reshaping the American workplace,”

    ” Whether the American Dream is turning into the Chinese Dream,

    ” How a growing number of Americans are achieving real and lasting “career security,”

    then get The Career Activist Republic today.

    Clink on either of the links above or visit the secure online bookstore at