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Sunday, July 10, 2011

It Still Comes Down To Who You Know

Person-to-person networking continues to be job seekers’ most successful tool. We recently analyzed job data on the nearly 60,000 individuals throughout North America to whom we provided career transition services over the past three years.

Traditional networking was the source of new career opportunities for 41% of job candidates last year, while Internet job boards accounted for 25% of new positions landed.

Source of New Job
(59,133 job seekers)

The job search is changing and some approaches are losing ground to others, but classic, systematic networking continues to be most effective way to find suitable employment. Certainly technology plays a growing role. But online social networking may not always be separate from traditional networking since one so often leads to the other. A job seeker uses the Internet to track down former associates or acquaintances and then reaches out to them in person. And, just like a cold call, the Internet is a way to make an initial contact with a prospective employer.

As revealing as the data may be, a job search is usually a more complicated and multi-layered process. Job candidates are encouraged to use as many tools as possible, every kind of research, any former contacts, and every opportunity to reach out to people who may be able to help. So in practical terms successful job candidates rely on a mix of approaches to find the new position most suitable for them.

Nevertheless, from year to year the data say that traditional networking is nearly twice as successful as any other job search method. Time and time over, the data proves that people tend to trust people they meet.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bosses Get Busy With Emails on Weekends

One in three employees often gets emails from their boss over the weekend and they are expected to reply, according to a new survey we conducted at Right Management. An additional one-third of the 569 survey respondents also reported getting emails from their boss on the weekend, not often, but just from time to time.

The survey findings are another indication of an increasingly 24/7 workplace. Everybody once thought technology would reduce the drudgery and make the workplace more efficient. Sure, technology has delivered great benefits to employees, but also crosses the boundary between the workplace and the worker’s own private space. It seems one can no longer get away at all from work or responsibility.

We specifically asked if workers were expected to respond to the emails from their boss, so we were not talking about broadcast emails or purely informational communications, but those intended for a particular person and looking for a response. It’s now taken for granted that everyone has to check their work email during the weekend.

Continuous, borderless communications are now a workplace fact of life. I suppose it’s possible weekend emails serve to smooth out the pressures of a Monday morning, but likewise they may become an intrusive nuisance. We know workers are feeling exceptional pressures, and so many weekend emails may be counterproductive.

Managers set clear expectations about what really needs to be addressed over the weekend. And if emails might just as easily wait until Monday, say so. If you don’t have to send an email on the weekend, don’t send it. Create it in draft form and hit ‘send’ on Monday morning. Workers need down time. Weekends should be a time to re-energize. When bosses expect employees to be constantly at attention, you get productivity loss.