Networking as a job search behaviour: A social network perspective
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Although networking is typically recommended as a job search strategy in the popular press, research on networking as a job search behaviour is scarce. On the basis of social network theory, the present study investigated whether the structure and composition of job seekers' social network determined their networking behaviour and moderated its relationship with job search and employment outcomes. The data were collected in a large, representative sample of 1,177 unemployed Flemish job seekers, using a two-wave longitudinal design. Job seekers with a larger social network and with stronger ties in their network spent more time networking, beyond individual differences in extraversion and conscientiousness. Networking explained incremental variance in job offers beyond job seekers' use of print advertising, the internet, and public employment services, but not in employment outcomes. Some evidence was found indicating that networking might be more effective for job seekers whose social network contains weaker and higher-status ties.