25+ Surprising Networking Statistics [Relevant in 2024]

27 December 2023
7 min read
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From elementary school to adult life, the people that surround you significantly determine your experiences, and your professional life is no different. 

This is why networking is so vital in building a career and finding professional opportunities, among other things. 

To help you understand the benefits of networking better, in this article we’re going to cover the most eye-opening networking statistics we’ve found on the internet!

Networking Statistics 

#1. In-Person Networking Statistics 

Networking - like most things - might have gone virtual, but that doesn’t mean that in-person networking has ceased to matter.

Take a look at these in-person networking statistics and judge for yourself: 

  • One of the biggest reasons why networking is beneficial is that 70% of the jobs are not even advertised on job websites and 85% of the vacancies are filled via referrals.
  • Traditional networking makes up 46% of the most effective ways of finding a job.
  • More than 95% of professionals say that face-to-face meetings are necessary for business. This is because in-person networking offers more accurate first impressions than online meetings.
  • While communicating with people, be mindful of your body language, facial expressions, posture, etc. Even something as simple as a handshake provides valuable first impressions for 72% of the people who do in-person meetings.
  • 70% of communication is nonverbal, hence knowing how to interact with people during in-person networking can be crucial for establishing a connection.
  • The best places for in-person networking are bars, events, job affairs, and places where people with the same interests as you interact the most.
  • Forbes published a study showing the importance and benefits of in-person meetings over online meetings. The benefits included helping build stronger relationships, creating better bonds, and others.
  • 77% of the people who like to network in person say, that they prefer in-person networking because it gives them chance to read other people's body language and expressions.

#2. Business Networking Statistics 

Networking isn’t only for job-seekers - it’s also an effective method for business owners to establish new connections or find new clients. 

Some of the most interesting business networking statistics are:

  • Employees who were hired via connections or referrals tend to stay longer and become an important part of the company. To add more points to that example, 67% of employers and recruiters confirmed that the hiring process via referrals is much shorter and less expensive than normal hiring processes.
  • This Linkedin survey showed that over 70% of participants were hired by a company where they had a connection.
  • According to this AudienceProject study on app and social media usage, 84% of people use Linkedin to strengthen their professional network.
  • One of the biggest reasons why businesses participate in networking is to get customers.  In B2B sales, over 40% of in-person meetings result in new customers.
  • 80% of B2B customers make decisions based on the experience they have with each other. This is a clear indicator of how important networking can be for business.
  • Business executives disclosed that they would lose 28% of their business if they stopped networking.
  • In-person meetings and maintaining relationships are hard for businesses, as 49% of them said the lack of time makes it hard or nearly impossible to keep in touch with their business connections. Here's where social media networking comes in handy.
  • Many companies use social media as a way to gain and maintain their connections. The three most used platforms are Linkedin (96%), Facebook (82%), and Twitter (82%).
  • 66% of event planners find their next customer during networking conferences.
  • From 5% to 20% of new customers are coming from trade shows.
  • Business cards are still important. 72% of people will get the first impression about your company from a business card and if it's tacky or looks cheap, 39% will decide not to do business with you.
  • Companies that invest in face-to-face meetings for networking earn 12.5$ on every dollar they invest.
  • 70% of the time networking presents new opportunities for business owners.

#3. Virtual Networking Statistics 

Online networking has become very popular over the past years and continues to be one of the main ways to connect with people in 2024. 

Let’s take a look at what the numbers have to say:

  • Online networking is preferred over in-person networking by 40% of people.
  • Social media platforms have become one of the greatest ways to connect and meet people, potential employers, or clients as 60% of the planet`s whole population uses them actively.  
  • The same LinkedIn study that shows how important networking is for landing a job revealed that 35% of participants have found new opportunities, gotten business deals, and landed jobs via casual messaging on the platform.
  • Spending time on social media platforms can be productive in terms of finding new job opportunities, as 14% of the workers found and applied to their current job using social platforms such as Linkedin or Facebook.
  • People will look up your social media before and after meeting you. 70% of employers use social media to evaluate potential employees and vice versa.

Benefits of Virtual Networking

According to Forbes, the major advantages of virtual networking are:

  • Accessibility. 92% of people have a higher chance of attending online meetings or connecting with people via social platforms rather than doing it in person.
  • Cost-effectiveness. 88% percent of participants said that virtual networking was saving them a considerable amount of money.
  • Increased flexibility. 76% of participants said online meetings offer them more flexibility in terms of location and time. Additionally, with online networking, people can save meeting videos or interactions for future review (49%).
  • Productivity. More than 53% of participants said they are more productive during online meetings.
  • Comfort. 16% of the study’s participants said that virtual meetings are much more comfortable and they feel less pressured.
  • Effectiveness. As of recently, people are a lot more inclined to start conversations online. In 2020, the conversation rate between connections on Linkedin has gone up by 55%.

#4. Career Networking Statistics 

What you know matters, but who you know matters more. 

When two candidates with relatively similar skills and qualifications are competing for a job, the one with a connection to the company will always have the advantage. 

As such, networking with important people in your field will always give your career a hand, whether it`s for new job opportunities or promotions. 

The statistics speak for themselves: 

  • Professional networking is not only important for the current position, but also for future opportunities. 80% of the professionals believe that networking can be vital for progressing in your career.
  • 77% of recruiters actively use Linkedin to find potential candidates. Having relevant connections on Linkedin with whom you keep in touch can land you a job.
  • 46% of freelancers find jobs through friends and family members. Word of mouth plays a major role in getting more work, as one happy customer can pave the way for many others.
  • Having good relationships with your co-workers and higher-ups is something to be considered, as 70% of the jobs are not even on job websites.
  • 85% of positions are filled with personal or professional connections.
  • 35% of the people said that they got their current job thanks to their professional connections.
  • 24% of job seekers find out about job opportunities through their professional connections.
  • As many as 84% of Linkedin users use the platform to improve and widen their professional network.
  • Professional connections can help you with referrals to land a good job. Even though only 7% of applications are referrals, they make up 40% of the hires and have the highest rate of applicant-to-hire conversion.
  • While looking for a job, 15 out of 63 believe that they will find a position using their connections.
  • More than 70% of people believe that networking gives them a higher chance of career advancement.
  • According to a report by Jobvite, 18% of the workers have applied for their current position through their friends or former colleagues.

#5. Important statistics to know about networking 

  • For networking, small meetings are the best. Having 10 person meetings will be much more beneficial than with larger numbers.
  • Socializing online is one of the key aspects of maintaining your network. Just a simple conversation here and there will boost your chances of getting leads or offers for new opportunities by more than 50%.
  • Surprisingly, for small business owners, after bars and restaurants, favorite places to network are the gym (for 23%) and Airplanes (for 17%).
  • By networking, women and men have almost the same opportunity to find a job, men with the chance of 26% and women with a chance of 25%
  • Statistically, 38% of the workers participate in their company`s referral programs at some point. Hence, having connections with people in the industry you want to work in could work in your favor someday.

#6. Networking Challenges Statistics

  • Even though nearly 100% of people agree that networking is essential, it's hard to keep in touch with people. Studies show that less than 50% manage to stay in touch with their network.
  • While less than half of people manage to keep their connections alive, 41% of them said that they would like to interact more, but they have no time.
  • A Linkedin study showed that laid-off professionals have a hard time reaching out to their connections. Only 42% contacted their network for job opportunities and even less, 35% of them tried to make new connections online.
  • Most job-seekers don’t use social media platforms properly. Did you know that there are over 40 million decision-makers on Linkedin? Imagine the possibilities you can come across if you're actively using the platform.
  • 40% of Linkedin users (that’s around 100 million people) are active daily. Having a professional Linkedin account and reaching out to people can make all the difference in where you'll end up in your career.
  • Maintaining connections seems to be a major problem for everyone. Around 49% can't keep up with their network due to different reasons.
  • Millennials have the hardest time maintaining connections. 43% of them find it difficult to keep in touch with their connections, more than any other age group.

Networking Resources 

Want to learn more about networking? Check out some of our best resources here:

  • 9 Top Networking Tips to Use In Your Daily Life: Being nice and attentive to people around you takes little to no effort, but it might be just what you need to stumble upon a great opportunity! These 9 networking tips can be used in your everyday life.
  • 11+ Top Networking Benefits: It’s one thing doing something because you have to and another because you really believe in it. Check out these amazing network benefits that’ll convince you exactly how important networking is for you.
  • Networking Tips to Use in 2024: Not sure how to really “do” networking? This article with our best networking tips will help!
  • How to Network on Linkedin: Networking online has never been easier. Linkedin is one of the top Social Media platforms for networking and finding great career opportunities. You can learn more about proper ways to network with people on Linkedin and advance in your career in this article.

Key Takeaways

That sums up all the most interesting networking statistics we could find on the internet! 

Before you leave & start applying what you just learned about networking, though, let's do a quick recap of the main learning points:

  • Networking is one of the best ways to advance not only in your personal life but also in your career.
  • In-person networking is much more beneficial than online in terms of establishing stronger and better connections.
  • Social media platforms are a great way to network and keep in touch with your already existing connections.
  • Business networking is vital for a successful business and acquiring new customers.
  • Keeping in touch with your network is hard, but worthy of your efforts and time in the long run.