Job Search by the Numbers


Many times, finding a job can be a full-time job. Find out what it takes to complete a successful search and find work you love.

Under the multitude of activities that are involved in a job search, the process often boils down to a numbers game. It’s all about meeting and managing increasing numbers of contacts to connect with the right people who are actually making hiring decisions. The more people in hiring roles that you can connect with the greater the odds that you will find the job that is right you.  

I’ve collected an interesting set of job search metrics and their significance to the search process. These numbers were compiled from extensive research and the personal experiences of 1,000 job seekers.  Understanding the numbers behind a successful search can help take some of the guesswork out of the process and allow seekers to focus on the right activities that drive success.

Approximately 75% of hires come from the seeker's Circle of Influence.

Let’s start with a stat that directly relates to the goal, getting hired. The majority of all hires come from connections in a job seeker's Circle of Influence through networking. Only 25% of hires come from answering advertisements. Therefore, it makes sense to focus the majority of your time on activities that help you identify, manage and grow your own network of friends, previous co-workers and superiors.    

Three Categories of People:

There are 3 categories of people that job seekers encounter during search. General contacts, Insiders and Decision Makers.  General Contacts represent the majority of the people that you will encounter during your search.  Insiders are people who can provide you with first hand information about target companies, jobs and Decision Makers of interest. Decision Makers are the people who actually make hiring decisions, so it’s critical that job seekers focus on identifying decision makers.

It takes 15-20 contacts to identify 1-2 Decision Makers

We have seen that most job seekers must connect with 15-20 contacts to identify 1-2 Decision Makers. The number of contacts includes both General Contacts and Insiders. This metric reinforces the importance of networking to grow a significant contact list.

It takes 25 Decision Makers to find a job

On average job seekers will need to connect with 25 Decision Makers to find a job.  When you look at the relationship of the number of contacts to Decision Makers, the importance of having systems in place to manage your network, activities and meetings becomes obvious.

A full-time search = 30-35 hrs/week

A full-time job seeker should plan on spending 30-35 hours a week on search. Part-time job seekers should allocate 10-15 hours a week to their search. So, it is important to assess your position at the beginning of your search and commit to the plan that best fits your situation. Job seekers who choose to commit to a full time search should be prepared to treat every day like a real work-day: scheduling meetings, calls and job related activities. 

1 great week of work

The most challenging aspect of job search is that the payoff comes at the end, when you get hired. So what does success look like while you are in the thick of your search? If you work 30-35 hours a week, attend 6-8 meetings or events, make 1 phone or personal interview and connect with 1-2 new Decision Makers–that is a great week of work.  Keeping track of incremental achievements like these are critical to maintaining your morale and momentum. Tracking your progress in a weekly status report can really help you stay on track and give you small victories to celebrate along the way.

Stuck In-between?
Shana Schutte
What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
Mike Ashcraft
Chance, Choice, or Sovereignty?
Dr. James Merritt
Career Advice Maximized
Brian Ray
Do This and the World Will Step Aside for You
Dan Miller
Follow Us

Want to access more exclusive iDisciple content?

Upgrade to a Giving Membership today!

Already a member? Login to iDisciple