Keeping in touch with those working friends pays off…

Internal Hires, Referrals Were Most Hired in 2009


Last year, employers filled more than half of job openings with existing employees, a new study to be released Friday shows.

Internal transfers and promotions accounted for an average of 51% of all full-time positions filled in 2009, down from 39% in 2008 and 34% in 2007, reports CareerXroads, a staffing-strategy consulting firm in Kendall Park, N.J. Survey respondents included 41 companies that employ a combined 1.8 million U.S. workers. Last year these firms collectively filled 176,420 positions.

For the 49% of jobs that were filled with external recruits, referrals accounted for the most hires — 27% — and about the same number as in 2008. On average, these yielded one hire for every 15 referrals received. Meanwhile, company Web sites and job boards accounted for 22% and 13% of external hires, respectively.

What the findings indicate, says Mark Mehler, co-founder of CareerXroads, is that networking is the most effective strategy for landing employment. “Job seekers should use job board and corporate sites to find information about openings, but they should use their network to apply,” says Mark Mehler, co-founder of CareerXroads.

Among the job boards that respondents credited for netting outside talent, came out on top, accounting for 42%, however one respondent claimed a significant portion of these. netted 12% of external hires, while aggregate job sites, which advertise openings from multiple job boards, hooked 10%. Classifieds provider accounted for 2.8% of external hires.

Survey respondents also said outside talent was found via job boards that specialize in advertising open positions in specific categories. For example,, a job board for the technology sector, netted 0.8% of external hires, as did, which lists only positions paying salaries of $100,000 or more. All other niche job sites that employers identified were collectively credited with bringing in 27% of external recruits.

Going forward, the survey found that 48% of respondents expect to increase hiring in 2010 compared with last year, while just 11% predicted they’d reduce hiring. The remainder said they expect to make no changes to their head counts.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported Thursday that there were 2.5 million job openings on the last business day of December 2009. The seasonally adjusted job openings rate increased just slightly to 1.9% from 1.8% the month prior.

Source: Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2010