Workplace Rights

Weekly (4/15/13)

Topic of the Week  Five Surprising Hiring Statistics: And What You Can Do About Them

  • Network.
  • Know how you add value.
  • Be computer-friendly.
  • Play to your strengths.
  • Try again.

Five Surprising Hiring Statistics: And What You Can Do About Them

Most people have no idea about the process that a company goes through when hiring new employees. It's a mystery. Recently I came across some intriguing statistics from Heather Huhman, of Come Recommended, that provides insight on both the hiring process and what you can do to increase your odds of getting the job. Which reminds me of prison guard Alfredo Malespini. This Pennsylvania officer had a marital dispute which led him to try to remove his wedding ring by shooting it off his own finger. You just can't make this stuff up. The ring remained in place, but his finger was mangled.

Many job seekers shoot up their own chances of getting hired by having no idea about the hiring process and what they can do to tilt the odds in their favor. Here are five key statistics, and corresponding strategies, to give you insight so that you can be one of the people who do get hired.

Network. At the end of 2012 there were 3.6 million job openings. But here's the kicker, 80% of available jobs aren't advertised. These jobs are filled through networking in what many experts call the "hidden" job market. How do you increase your visibility in the place where 80% of the jobs are? Network among former coworkers, friends and family who will vouch for the contribution that you can make at work.

Know how you add value. You're not job hunting in a vacuum, studies show there are 118 job applicants for each position. That means it's often not good enough to sell yourself, you've got to show how you're better than the competition. One key way to do this is to show actual accomplishments in your past jobs. Document how you reduced costs by 10% or increased sales by 12%. Be specific. Don't have that kind of data? Then start collecting it.

Be computer-friendly. 50% of applications get weeded out by computer scanning software. If you want to survive the process until a human being actually views your vita, you need to learn how to use key words in your application and resume.

Play to your strengths. Human resource people tend to look for certain traits in a job seeker. Common favorites are multitasking, 36%, initiative, 31% and creative thinking, 21%. Show off these skills and you'll get the attention of the hiring manager.

Try again. 56% of employers report that a candidate rejected their job offer. I've heard many stories of hiring managers who were embarrassed to open up a job search for a second time, for fear of appearing to be a failure. That's why it makes sense to recontact an employer a while after you have been turned down for a job. Who knows the position could still be open, they might look forward to hearing from you again.

Don't shoot off your chances at a happy marriage with a new employer, follow these tips so you can be a more savvy job seeker.


Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via


Thought of the Week

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

–Red Adair

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

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    from Come Recommended

    They'll Probably Ask: Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions

    • What were your responsibilities?
    • What did you dislike about your previous job?
    • What were were starting and ending levels of compensation?
    • What is your greatest strength and weakness?
    • What problems/challenges did you face and how did you handle them?


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