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Source of Employment Survey Results


The IAEWS has announced the publication of the Source of Employment Survey (SOE) Report. It is original and empirically-based research that is unique for several reasons:


• By simultaneously questioning both job seekers and recruiters, the SOE Survey provides a 360-perspective on the state of job search and recruiting, primarily in the United States;


• By soliciting job seeker and recruiter responses throughout an entire year, the SOE Survey offers more than a single point, snapshot of the state of the job and talent markets; and


• By using an inclusive approach that invites the widest possible participation, the SOE Survey produces a high fidelity gauge of both job seeker and employer/recruiter opinions and behaviors.


In addition, this year’s report presents and contrasts data collected over an eight year period one year before the Great Recession began, and ending five years after it ended. And, it provides in-depth analysis of the dynamics and implications of those data. The following are illustrative findings from the report:


Back then job seekers were asked How did you find your last job?, respondents gave the following top five answers:


31.7% Responded to an ad posted on a commercial job board

11.6% Got a tip from a family member or friend

9.5% Responded to a newspaper ad

9.3% Networked at a business or social event

8.5% Sent a resume into the company

29.4% All other


Now, job seekers were asked the same question about finding their last job and provided the following top five answers.


24.5% Responded to an ad posted on a commercial job board

12.8% Referred by an employee of the company

11.3% Got a tip from a family member or friend

10.2% Responded to an ad posted on a company Web-site

7.3% Contacted by a recruiter who saw my resume in a job board database

33.9% All other


Similarly when employers and recruiters were asked What percentage of your new hires is sourced by posting jobs at a commercial job board?, the responses were:


0 new hires 4% of respondents

1-15% of new hires 37.5% of respondents

16-25% of new hires 16.7% of respondents

26%+ of new hires 41.7% of respondents


And now, when we asked employers and recruiters What percentage of your total openings are filled by job boards? the responses were:


0 total openings 2.6% of respondents

1-25% of total openings 23.1% of respondents

26-50% of total openings 7.7% of respondents

51-75% of total openings 30.7% of respondents

76-100% of total openings 35.9% of respondents


The responses of both job seekers and employers and recruiters strongly refute the conventional wisdom, at least as it has been espoused by some in the recruiting field, that “job boards are dead or dying or dinosaurs.”


Quite the contrary, they’ve made it clear that the claim, itself, is dead.

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