How Networking Pays: Not Just a Job, but More Money, Too
Life + Money

How Networking Pays: Not Just a Job, but More Money, Too


You may have heard the oft-repeated statistic that 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking. It turns out that networking not only helps you find a job, but results in better pay, too.

Research published last week by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that workers who landed jobs through networking earned on average 6 percent more than those who found jobs through direct contact with employers.

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Why do jobs landed through networking pay more? Part of the answer may be that employers may be more comfortable with the quality of the match with a job candidate who comes through a trusted referral.

“Employers do not have full information about the quality of job applicants and firms learn about a potential worker’s ability if the firm employs individuals from the potential worker’s network,” the St. Louis Fed researchers wrote.

But David Wiczer, an economist at the St. Louis Fed, and two co-authors of a recent working paper also report that better-connected workers had access to better jobs.

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Despite those potential benefits, networking is still a challenge — or downright distasteful — for many workers. A survey published in the Harvard Business Review earlier this year suggested that many of us recoil at the thought of professional networking, with some people finding it so unappealing it makes them feel “morally and physically dirty.”