Study reveals the most effective ways to find a job (or a new hire)

miner sitting by a control room

While 54% of all job applications come through job boards, only 17% of candidates who applied that way actually get hired, a study has found.

While more than half of all job applications (54%) come through job boards, only 17% of candidates who applied that way were actually hired.


That’s according to research from PageUp, a company that provides software to the human resources and recruitment industries.


The study found job boards became “noticeably less effective” (paywall) in 2020. It showed 80 applications through job boards were needed to get one hire, compared to 68 in 2019.


This is important data for both those of us who work in recruitment and candidates looking for jobs — because, helpfully, the report offers some great insights into the most effective ways to link up the perfect candidate and the right job.


What’s the most effective channel to apply for a job?


Here’s a graphic from PageUp’s report showing the various channels through which people often find candidates/jobs and how many applications it takes using that channel to fill a single position.

PageUp diagram showing the more effective channel to apply for a job

Some of these data points will come as no surprise — not just to people like us who work in recruitment all day, every day, but even to candidates who will have experienced some of this during their job search. Some of it is just intuitive.


For example, the most effective way to find a job/fill a role, according to the above data, is a “talent relationship”. That’s recruitment industry-speak for “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. This is literally someone in a company with a position vacant having a relationship with the right candidate. While just 2% of job applications come through this way, the report says it leads to 22% of hires.

Effective recruitment and job search strategies


Meanwhile the most ineffective channel is social media, which this data paints as basically the “throw some spaghetti at the wall and see if anything sticks” approach to recruitment. Filtering through nearly 150 job applications to find the perfect candidate is not a great use of anyone’s time. (“Who you know” is 34 times more effective as a job/candidate search strategy than social media.)


Interestingly, the study found recruitment agencies are a really effective way of finding candidates/jobs, with it taking an average of eight applications to find the right hire.


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Mining People International has more than 25 years’ specialist experience helping mining companies find the best candidates across every job category. Find out more here or get in touch today.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International