Survey Finds Four Common Networking Barriers That Hinder Job Search Effectiveness

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ--(Marketwired - July 24, 2014) - Job seekers struggle with identifying and connecting with networking contacts during a job search, according to a survey of more than 440 job seekers by talent mobility consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison. The survey found that 31 percent of job seekers have a difficult time identifying networking partners, while 25 percent lack a clear strategy for attending networking meetings. Further, 24 percent struggle to make contact and 19 percent lack confidence in networking situations.

Lee Hecht Harrison surveyed 442 U.S job seekers via an online poll in April 2014 asking, "What area of job search networking is most frequently holding you back?" The survey identified:

Identifying potential networking partners   31%
Lack of clear strategy at networking meetings   25%
Making initial contact via phone or email   24%
Lacking confidence at group networking events   19%

"The reality is that most job openings are never advertised or posted, which means tapping your network is an essential job search resource to uncover hidden opportunities. In fact, 63 percent of job seekers land new jobs through networking," said Greg Simpson, Senior Vice President, Career Transition Practice Leader at Lee Hecht Harrison. "Developing a strong network and fruitful relationships takes real work. Individuals must be proactive and devote time to building and nurturing a strong career network of contacts."

Simpson believes a little coaching and guidance can turn any reluctant networker into a pro. Simpson advises, "Looking for people to network with? You won't find them behind a computer. Get out and join a professional organization and attend meetings. Before attending a networking meeting, find out who will be attending and set a goal for the number of people you want to meet. A networking event isn't the forum to ask for a job. But do ask for referrals so that you have a nice introduction into a targeted company. Make sure you're prepared to answer the question, 'What do you do?' And know what questions to ask so that it's a mutually enlightening discussion."

Simpson added, "Reduce anxiety about networking by practicing. Networking is simply about building relationships, exchanging information and developing new contacts. The key to success is found in making the time and always adding value to the conversation. It's a two-way communication strategy that will deliver job leads with a concerted effort."

About Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH)
Lee Hecht Harrison ( is the global talent mobility leader. We connect people to jobs through innovative career transition services and help individuals improve performance through career and leadership development. LHH assists organizations in supporting restructuring efforts, developing leaders at all levels, engaging and retaining critical talent, and maintaining productivity through change -- helping organizations increase profitability by maximizing their return on investment in developing people, while assisting individuals to achieve their full potential.