Networking is an essential aspect of business and building a career. However, many professionals are still skeptical or reluctant to network, even after knowing how crucial networking is to guaranteeing success.
There are far too many benefits of networking to ignore it completely, and the data proves just that.
Networking is the most successful way of finding a meaningful job and attaining career success. 80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success, almost 100% believe that face-to-face meetings build stronger long-term relationships, and 41% want to network more often.
If you’re skeptical about networking, the statistics in the article will show you how important networking is to your career.
You’ll learn both the benefits and challenges of networking and the advantages and disadvantages of in-person and online networking.
By the end of this article, you’ll see just how important networking is to building and maintaining your career.
Networking is a great way to meet people who may become your employers or business partners someday.
When hiring, recruiters have the incredibly tough task of picking one person from hundreds of applicants. Choosing somebody they know and have interacted with before is an easier decision than selecting someone they’ve never met or only met through a brief interview.
The same goes for business partnerships. Clients want to work with professionals they trust. Networking is the primary way to build that trust.
Networking has become essential to getting acquainted with those in your industry so that they can become your client, partner, or employer someday.
Networking for Your Career
Networking is vital for those who want to move up in their career. According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. In fact, according to CNBC, 70% of jobs are never published publicly.
These jobs are either posted internally or are created specifically for candidates that recruiters meet through networking. According to LinkedIn, 70% of professionals hired in 2016 had a connection at their company, and 80% of professionals consider networking vital to their career success.
Though it’s possible to get a job by simply sending your resume aimlessly to job boards and postings, these statistics clearly show that networking is the best way to create a successful career and maintain job satisfaction.
Networking for Business Relationships
Networking not only helps you start a career but also helps you succeed at it. Oxford Economics published a thorough study on the importance of networking for business relationships.
Business relationships can include clients and customers, partnerships, and vendors.
Networking is one of the most important ways to find and keep customers. The close rate for meetings is 40%, meaning that in-person meanings end in a sale or deal almost half of the time.
Furthermore, 75% of customers either require or prefer in-person meetings, meaning that you can lose clients simply by not meeting them in person.
The refusal to network with customers can also affect business profits. Executives reveal that they’d lose 28% of their business if they stopped networking.
Trade shows are another great way to network for your business. About 5-20% of customers are found through trade shows. Furthermore, professionals say that networking with vendors (48%) and prospects (43%) are the top reasons they attend trade shows.
This study clearly illustrates that building relationships through networking is the key to building trust and loyalty amongst all of your business connections. Without networking, many businesses wouldn’t be successful.
How To Network Statistics
Online networking has taken over the business world in the past decade, thanks to social media platforms like LinkedIn.
LinkedIn was specifically designed for those who want to network but can’t always do it in person. Since then, online networking through platforms like LinkedIn has been a huge success for millions of professionals.
According to a study done by LinkedIn in 2017, 35% of participants said a casual conversation through LinkedIn Messaging led to a new opportunity.
These opportunities could be jobs or career changes, sales leads, or business deals.
In fact, 25% of participants said that LinkedIn helped them establish a new business partnership. And 61% of participants believe that regular online interaction with their network can lead to possible job opportunities.
A study by Forbes asked participants about the top benefits of using technology for networking.
The top benefits of online networking were:
- Saves time (92%)
- Saves money (88%)
- More flexibility in location and timing (76%)
- Allows the participant to multitask (64%)
- Increases productivity (55%)
- Ability to archive sessions (49%)
- Less peer pressure (16%)
COVID has been a challenge to anyone who loves in-person networking. However, before the pandemic, in-person meetings were an essential way to network. According to HubSpot, nearly 100% of professionals believe that face-to-face meetings are crucial to keeping long-term business relationships.
A study by Forbes listed the top benefits of in-person meetings as opposed to networking by technology. The top benefits were:
- Building stronger, more meaningful business relationships (85%)
- Better ability to read body language and facial expressions (77%)
- Ability to bond with co-workers/clients and more social interaction (75%)
- Allows for more complex strategic thinking (49%)
- Better environment for tough, timely decision-making (44%)
- Less opportunity for unnecessary distractions (40%)
- Leads to higher-quality decision making (39%)
- Easier to focus (38%)
- Fewer disruptions and delays (23%)
As life gets back to normal, more and more people are bound to return to in-person networking due to its success in building business relationships.
Challenges of Networking Statistics
According to LinkedIn, although 79% of professionals agree that networking is valuable for career progression, only 48% consistently keep in touch with their network.
Furthermore, about 38% of professionals said it’s hard to stay in touch with their network.
Why is this? Though networking is incredibly valuable, some challenges keep people from connecting with their network.
Not Enough Time
The main reason why networking is a challenge is that professionals don’t always have the time to keep up with their network.
In fact, a LinkedIn survey discovered that about 49% of participants said they didn’t have enough time to network.
According to HubSpot, about 41% of networkers want to network more frequently but don’t have the time.
It’s hard to discuss networking without addressing the elephant in the room. Before 2020, many networkers would attend in-person events to meet new clients and create business relationships.
However, COVID put many people out of work and prevented professionals from meeting each other in person safely.
COVID has also decreased the number of available jobs. Many people laid off last year are still looking for work.
The stigma against laid-off professionals has prevented many from reaching career success again. Those who were laid off are often embarrassed and less likely to reach out to their network for help.
According to LinkedIn, since the pandemic began, only about 42% of professionals reached out to existing connections for job opportunities, and only 39% have asked people in their networks for introductions. Furthermore, only 35% have made their own introductions to new connections.
Though the past year has been challenging for business, the job market, and networking, things are starting to look up. Hopefully, everything will go back to normal soon, and people can network in person safely again.
Networking is vital to the business world and the job market. Most people find their jobs through networking, and many sales and business leads happen because of networking.
Despite all these benefits, according to HubSpot, one in four professionals doesn’t network at all. Hopefully, this article clarified why networking is essential for your job search and career if you’re one of these professionals.
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