How (in)efficient is your job hunting process?

How (in)efficient is your job hunting process?

Do you sometimes find yourself thinking, “I’m doing everything I can to find a job, and nothing comes of it”? Looking for a job can be a frustrating experience – especially if you feel like you’re being very productive, and yet you’re not seeing the results you expect.

However, we often find that when looking for a job, we don’t take full advantage of all the tools available to us. To be successful in your job search, you need to put in a lot of effort – you can’t afford to ignore some job search channels or approach them half-heartedly.

Searching for a new job: step by step

The process of searching for a new job comprises four steps:

  1. Define your goal precisely. Consider where you really want to work and whether your goal is realistic. If you still have doubts, take some time to make sure you are moving in the right direction.
  2. Position yourself. Discover what makes you stand out in the job market and why it is you who should be hired.
  3. Customize your application tools (CV, cover e-mail, etc.). Make sure they are tailored to your target and error-free. Ideally, in addition to a standard CV, you should have a dedicated “CV for ATS” and adjust it for each job ad before applying. We also recommend creating a LinkedIn profile optimized for both people and the algorithm.
  4. Access the hidden and visible job market. Your goal should be to generate offers and interest.

Let’s take a closer look at the job search channels, which are at the core of the steps above:

  • direct contact,
  • job ads,
  • networking,
  • headhunters.

4 job search channels

Application through job ads is currently the most effective channel, with an average efficiency of 32% over the past three years. In contrast with direct contact, as presented below, a clear upward trend can be seen in the case of job ads – in 2023 the channel’s effectiveness was as high as 35%, although five years earlier we calculated its effectiveness at just 3%. Be sure to adjust your application tools before each application!

Direct contact is nothing more than sending emails directly to potential employers. To use this channel to its fullest, we recommend choosing 60-120 companies where you would like to work, then spend some time finding the e-mail addresses of decision-makers at these companies. Analyzing the data from the last three years, we found the average efficiency of this method to be 31.33%. However, it is worth noting that since 2018 we have seen a significant decrease in the effectiveness of this channel (almost 60% in 2018 vs. 29% in 2023).

Networking ranks third among the most effective job search channels, with a 22.33% success rate over the past three years. At the core of this channel is the preparation of strategies for establishing and maintaining contacts with particular groups chosen from one’s own contacts. Unlike the previously mentioned channels, the effectiveness of networking remained virtually unchanged over the years analyzed.

Contacting headhunters turned out to be the least effective job search channel. Its average efficiency reached 14.33% over the past three years. It should be remembered that headhunters work primarily for companies, not for candidates. Nevertheless, this does not make this channel less important in terms of strategy.

In the post-pandemic era, we are more certain than before that no job seeker can afford to simply disregard individual channels or treat them superficially. Especially if they care about achieving tangible and real results.

To find out how effective your job search process is, we fill out our “Job Hunting Efficiency” form. Answer 9 short questions and receive a comprehensive analysis of your job search efforts: Click here!

If you are an experienced manager uncertain about your job search strategy, you can schedule a free 20-30 minute interview with one of our consultants to discuss any career-related issues: