The Best Way to Find a Job Now
Life + Money

The Best Way to Find a Job Now

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The data has shown a steadily improving job market for a few years now, but some job hunters are still reporting trouble finding a new gig. They may not be tapping their most valuable resource: their network.

Seven in 10 human resource professionals say that employee referrals are their best resource for finding candidates – but only 7 percent of candidates consider them a top source, according to a new report from the research firm Future Workplace and the career networking site

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Rich Milgram, the founder of Beyond, recommends that candidates expand their network by attending industry conferences, meeting former colleagues for lunch, and making connections online. “A strong application coupled with quality referrals will provide job seekers with an advantage in the hiring process,” he said in a statement. “You should constantly be exploring new ways to nurture and expand your referral network, and it may be even easier than you think.”

Building your network beyond your current company is key, since it’s easier to land a job externally than to make a move within your organization. The survey found that more than 40 percent of job seekers found it difficult to make a lateral move at their current company, but most were optimistic about the broader job market.

Workers may also see leaving as the best means of climbing the career ladder. Only half of those surveyed said that their employer had helped them advance their career. HR managers may agree with that assessment. More than half of them said they could enhance their employee experience this year by investing more in training and development.