Nick Corcodilos of "Ask the Headhunter" reveals a startling stat in his recent column:
A study by Forrester Research found that only about 3 percent of jobs are filled by headhunters. A study by CareerXroads suggests it's more like 1.2 percent. Where does that leave all the other opportunities that might be right for you?
Where indeed? I find these numbers highly suspect. It is similar to the number tossed out by Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 911 that the Saudis own 7% of America. For the stat to be valid you first have to assume that 100% of America is foreign owned. And to believe the 3% or 1.2% number is to assume that ALL jobs could and would be necessarily filled by a headhunter.
First off I would start by asking what % of job openings are filled at all? Often companies have openings they don't bother filling. Was this number included in the survey? Secondly what % of jobs are filled internally? Many jobs are. In fact in a well run company most jobs should be. So neither of these options are open to a job hunter whether you are using a headhunter or not.
The real question is what % of jobs that are filled externally are filled by headhunters? The answer is a lot. And I would venture to say more than 3%. Externally filled jobs fall into three categories: Those filled by ads, those filled by headhunters and those filled by networking. The only option you have as a candidate to increase your visibility is to apply to ads; use headhunters and work your network. There is no way that ads and networking account for 97-98.8% of the jobs available to you.
That is just silly.