Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
JOB SEARCH / APR. 12, 2015
version 5, draft 5

Let the Job Find You


Looking for a job may be hurting you more than helping you, according to an Economic Letter by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Researchers looked at search behaviors of employed workers between 1995 and 2005 by reviewing data provided by the Contingent Worker Supplement (CWS).

See also: How to Find a Local Part-Time Job

Employed workers are obviously less likely to search for work than those who are unemployed. Yet trends show that a small percentage of people do search for employment while working on a job.

The CWS survey separated this job-hunting group by three different demographics:

  • 7 percent of workers 16 to 24 years old searched while employed.
  • 2.3 percent of workers 45+ searched while employed.
  • 9.6 percent of recent college graduates searched for work while employed.

The total percentage of people who were employed and looking for work made up 4.3 percent of the general population. These same people were six times more likely to transition into a new job than workers who never reported they were looking for work.

Similar instances were associated with the jobless who found work through searching versus the unemployed who chose not to search.

Of course, this finding is a conventional understanding of how the job market works—a jobseeker that puts in the time and effort usually finds work before a non-searcher.

However, a shocking revelation shows there were a decent percentage of people who found a new job even when they didn’t search for one at all.

Recruitment Finds the Non-Seeker

Exactly 1.8 percent of people who didn’t report that they were actively looking for work did find a new job. Those who said they searched for work were reportedly 11.3 percent.

Although there is a major difference between the two numbers, experts say that non-seekers make up a large portion of new hires in the job market.

Finding a new job is not exclusive to jobseekers. People who don’t search can transition into a new career, too; probably not as quickly, but it does happen.

Both unemployed and employed non-searchers have similar success stories.

The two groups are hired at higher percentage rates than people searching for work:

  • Employed non-searchers make up 25.7 percent of overall hires (or job-to-job transitions) compared to searchers who make up only 7.4 percent.
  • Unemployed non-searchers make up 42.2 percent of overall hires (or jobless-to-employed transitions) compared to searchers who make up 24.7 percent.

A substantial part of these flows appears to be people who did not actively search but who seem to have been recruited by employers.

Although there is minimum information on recruitment activities in the U.S. job market, there are certain companies that do not rely on job vacancies.

A report from 2013 shows that 42 percent of hires each month was the product of recruitment.

Researchers conclude that this may explain why there were more employed non-searchers landing jobs as poaching may have played a major part in the matter. These new hires were more likely to accept job-to-job transition positions within the same career field since it just so happen to fall into their lap.

See also: 5 Tips to Improve Your Online Job Search

Overall, non-searchers—whether employed or unemployed—make up the majority of new workers hired since there are more people who don’t search than there are that do.

Instead of searching for the job, let the job find you.

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'





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