The title was the subject of an email I received from early this afternoon. For years, online job boards like Careerbuilder, Monster and HotJobs have entertained us with commercials like the one below.

Unfortunately what they don’t tell you is that in a majority of professions, personal networking is still the key by a larger margin than they are ever going to admit. A report out today in the Star Tribune sites Labor Statistics data that suggests 85% of job hunters find employment through direct company contacts, in some fields as high as 95%.

(Jobs found through networking – 85%)

That means that an on average only 15% of all jobs are placed through other channels (online job boards, classified newpaper ads, etc.). Having used job boards with both my own career search and for staffing projects, I understand the frustrations that occur on both ends of the chain. Though a dated article, it seems to sum up the major issue faced by online placement,

… some job seekers say they are becoming particularly disenchantedwith big online job sites. Users say the boards often have out-of-date listings and that inquiries go unacknowledged by potential employers. In fact, many users are finding that job hunts conducted solely online rarely produce jobs …

As with many issues in everyday life this a two way street that both employers and potential employees need to work on in order follow the principle: Right People – Right Job – Right Time. For employer the following list of hiring mistakes needs to be avoided.

  • Overly-narrow job specifications
  • Human Resources does the recruiting
  • Hiring “what comes along”
  • Failure to prep the candidate
  • Failure to leverage the interview into other useful contacts
  • Talk, talk, talk
  • Inadequate reference checks
  • Unreasonably long decision process
  • Unreasonably long job offer process
  • Leaving your team out of the loop

This is critical not only to the reputation your human resources department has outside the company but also for your internal stakeholders.

For job seekers, my recommendation would be to get out from behind your computers (imagine the irony) stop relying too much on job boards and “press the flesh.” If the hiring manager even has time to get to your resume, by limiting yourself to an electronic document you look just like any other candidate. Even if you are currently unemployed there are ways of making yourself visible:

  • Get back in touch with old colleagues
  • Attending seminars and lectures
  • Having lunch with friends
  • For a comptuer option – Try LinkedInWorking LinkedIn

We are social creatures and ongoing research indicates that we constantly take cues from one another on how to interact and function in everyday life. By participating in this dance you will not only find out about potential opportunities, but put a face to your qualifications and enhance your chances of actually finding your dream job.