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Internet — Not Personal Networks — Key for Employment Opportunities

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 4.33.00 PMRecent findings by the Pew Research Center show the Internet is the central resource for American job seekers. In fact, “54% of U.S. adults have gone online for job information, 45% have applied for a job online.” For job hunters, leveraging the Internet is more important than even tapping personal networks.

Job seeking is also moving toward the mobile space. Pew’s survey indicates that 28 percent of people actively looking for work have used a smartphone as part of their search, including a significant number filling out job applications, building professional-looking resumes and writing and sending cover letters. Not surprisingly, 47 percent of these people say their phones are very important in looking for employment.

While the power of the Internet and mobility are undeniable, getting out from behind the computer could be beneficial for job seekers as well – and a big plus for employers, particularly entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur reports: “Unless you’re hiring a remote candidate, you’ll want to meet your candidates in person. This allows you to immediately get a feel for candidates who could be a good fit for your organization and fast track those people to the next step of the process. You’ll also have a chance to entice people who might not have otherwise thought about employment with your business.”

Furthermore, if employers rely solely upon online resources to find talented candidates, they could be missing the best opportunities. According to Entrepreneur, employers typically hire the best candidates after having met him or her in person at networking events. “The Internet will remain a reliable way to research and identify job candidates. However, entrepreneurs shouldn’t dismiss in-person recruitment as an option, since it provides a helpful way to network with community members. Even if it doesn’t yield a new employee, you’ll be able to network with others in your community and make lasting connections with both customers and fellow business owners.”

Regardless of whether employers in hiring mode rely upon the Internet, in-person meetings or a combination of both to connect with candidates, the most important aspect of recruiting is being thoughtful up front. As Rod Kurtz, executive editor for AOL Jobs, says: “Hire slowly; and fire quickly. Which means you want to put a lot of thought into it on the front end. Take your hiring very seriously.”