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Why Company Leaders Need to Help Employees Advance Their Careers A recent national survey finds a huge disconnect between employers and job seekers. It's time they got on the same page.

By Matt Mayberry Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner, HR professional, CEO or in any leadership position that requires recruiting top talent for your organization, I am sure you are always looking for the most efficient ways to hire great talent. On the other hand, if you are an eager job seeker looking to land your dream job, you are probably always asking yourself and searching for the best ways to stand out and jump start your professional career.

Related: Want That Promotion? Reign in Your Quirks, and Be a True Team Player.

A recent research study may help both parties do just that. Future Workplace, a research firm dedicated to rethinking and re-imagining the workplace, and Beyond, The Career Network, announced today on April 19, 2016 their results from a national survey. The survey includes 4,347 job seekers and 129 human resource (HR) professionals.

The main takeaway from this survey is that there is a the major disconnect between employers and job seekers. According to the 71 percent of HR professionals that were surveyed, employee referrals are the single best source for finding great candidates, while only a whopping 7 percent of job seekers who were surveyed view referrals as their top source for finding a job.

While employers view referrals as one of the best sources to find great candidates for their organization, job seekers and employees strongly view career advancement as one of the most important things to them. Company leaders should really start to rethink how they can help employees advance their careers. Only 50 percent of the job seekers who were interviewed said that their most recent employer has helped them advance their career in some sort of way.

Related: No One Should Feel Guilty for Jumping Off or for Staying on at a Job. Me, I Jumped!

I have written a lot about the importance of an organization creating a culture that helps employees not only advance their career but also provide them with the resources and tools to help them achieve personal goals and dreams as well. This study has proven that job seekers and employees are very passionate about working for company leaders who truly want to advance their career and help them out in more ways then just providing them with a paycheck. This type of atmosphere instilled in an organization will help to increase employee engagement, drastically help with employee turnover rates, and, ultimately, drive more success.

One characteristic that will greatly serve all job seekers in a positive way when searching for a job is to continue to refine their skillset and looking for ways to expand their horizon. Dan Schawbel, who is a partner and research director at Future Workplace, says, "I always urge my generation to become passive job seekers so they can gain leverage and power over their prospects. If you're unemployed, you can turn into a passive job seeker right now by freelancing, selling items on sites like Amazon and eBay, being an entrepreneur, or blogging."

He goes on to say that, "By engaging in these activities while you search for a job, you won't have gaps on your resume, you'll be practicing new skills and potentially make side income so you will be less desperate for a job, which makes you more attractive as a job seeker."

Related: How to Make the Salary You Deserve

If you are the one who is doing the recruiting and hiring for your company, implementing a strong focus on career advancement could help you stand out from competitors and increase your chances of landing top talent. If you are a job seeker, focusing on referrals and constantly looking for ways to expand your skillset should be where most of your attention goes.

Matt Mayberry

Keynote Speaker and Peak Performance Strategist. CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises

Matt Mayberry is an internationally-acclaimed speaker and maximum performance strategist. He is the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a company that specializes in helping individuals and organizations escape mediocrity and claim their greatness. He is also a former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears. 

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