While surveys show that personal connections are a primary source of hires, today's job seekers devote little time to their networks: Only 9% of their job search is spent contacting friends and relatives to find work, while 51% is devoted to finding ads and sending out applications, according to a paper presented at the Brookings Institution this March by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Columbia Business School's Andreas Mueller.
Over time, job seekers tend to get more discouraged and actually spend less time searching, said Mr. Mueller. "We found that the job search was a very depressing activity. They're sad when they start out, but the longer they are unemployed, the more depressing the episode of job search is," he said.
Meanwhile, about 27.5% of external hires come through a referral, more than any other source, according to staffing consultant CareerXroads.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2011