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How to start a relationship that will create future job opportunities

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

How do you then specially network to get Recruiters contacting you? Perhaps, a company to warm up and therefore offer you an opportunity?

Probably, drink more cups of cappuccino with your contact to build a stronger relationship, you remember the boss son’s birthday and sent him a bottle of French wine.

Maybe it works, but it can be seen as an agenda in mind if it’s overly used. The basic fundamental is not to reach out aggressively, simply because you need something in return. No one likes to regularly accept someone’s gift with a hidden agenda – and expect to offer a concession. Yet there is a need to connect to the right contact.

Welcome to the "RASA" approach:

Relationship first

Add value to the other party's needs

Strengthen the rapport

Ask what you need - job opportunities!

We'll cover the "R" & "A" portions in this article.

Relationship first

After meeting a new senior-level corporate contact in an event, resist the urge to ask for a job immediately. Instead, get to know the other person’s point of view, his perspective on things that he brings up during the conversation.

For example, after the pleasantries, he starts to talk about how America inward policy has affected Asia and subsequently, has an implication on his industry.

Do you quickly barge in and give your view? No. Listen. Understand and take a deeper interest in his thoughts. Listen again. Then, you spot one or two killer words that concern him the most.

Recycle the words; reaffirm to confirm whether this is something that has been lingering in his mind. If he doesn’t give many clues, ask more. Frame in a way that let him speak about the entire situation. Your aim is to get further insights, understand his pain points. Gradually, you pick up useful intelligence and spin these keywords back into the chat. Phrases such as "I remember you speak about this....and worried are you?" If you do this, he gets another layer of impression of you - and you have a grasp on his trigger point. He thinks "hey...this dude recalls what I just said....what I am most concerned about....interesting...."

To ensure he falls under your top 10 - insert his details in your "inner circle of corporate contacts"

Add value to the other party's needs

Now comes the value creation part.

Take the effort to message that person based on his interests, so that he remembers you.

Share relevant articles.

Anything you read, you hear and you bounce this off to your relevant contact.

Therefore, you are seen as someone who creates value here. If you do it consistently over time, there will be a point that the relationship will elevate to the second-level.

Trust is strengthened.

There should be a point in time (usually after the rapport is strengthened) where you feel comfortable to pop in the million-dollar question

"just curious - do you have any job opportunities for me?"

By then, the person may just think "this guy sounds sincere, let me see how I can help..."

You just scored a jackpot.

A caveat here - it doesn't mean this works for everyone. You have to size up if he is the right contact. What this means is you put relationship first, job opportunities second. There can be situations that you end up with nothing.

Secondly, it must be seen as genuine.

Lastly, effort is required but the rewards are unbelieving there.

Use the same approach for new people who sit in the leadership team for promising firms.

By the way, both need to have the same level of thinking and connection. Hence, the first impression (and what you said) in the first impression counts.

My advice is:

Don't be a Salesman

Be a Value Creator

What about Headhunters and Recruitment Firms? After getting your profile up in LinkedIn, it’s time to connect to the right Recruiters. You can ask to meet face-to-face. From a top-down level, go for the most established, especially global recruitment firms such as Robert Walters. The next level is your mid-sized companies or even two-three men team whom expertise is in a specific industry vertical.

Go to their website to get contact details. From a bottom-up approach - use the search function in LinkedIn (send me an email if you are unsure how to do it).

Type in “Recruitment Consultant” at the top. LinkedIn will pop up a number of names. Then, drop them a note using LinkedIn “In Mail”. Pay a one-time monthly subscription if you need to have "In Mails". You can always cancel your subscription thereafter.

If you can’t, find out the relevant people connected around who may be in the same industry.

Sometimes LinkedIn will reveal your level of contact network.

In other words, be resourceful.

1-1 Meeting

It's the beginning of a potential relationship.

During the call or meet-up, it’s about getting to know the other party better. Therefore, angle your conversation towards the recruitment firm.

Be curious to gather more details, politely inquire with the intention to know them better:

- where the recruitment firm is based and their surrounding offices

- industries' focus (e.g. consumer goods, technology, aviation)

- the person-who-speak-to you - portfolio he/she is in charge

- how they sniff out potential candidates for these roles

Remember the "RASA" approach?

Relationship first?

Doing above is the beginning.

Then, start introducing your brief profile in less than 2 minutes. Go straight into your unique abilities that make sense to the job roles which the recruitment firms have mentioned.

Just a point to note - do not focus on yourself only in the conversation.

If the Recruiter likes you, understanding you are a potential candidate - perhaps there can be a higher chance to place you in front of the Hiring Manager.

Therefore, bounce back to the other party at any time during the conversation. Ask how he/she feels about your profile. Such open ended questions (using the word "feel") tends to elicit broad answers. Hence, the interaction is two-way. That's a positive start to a relationship.

In short, speak with the intention to create rapport, and not rush to look for a job first.

It just takes less than 10 minutes in your opening call to have that first impression.

Add value to the other party's needs

The Recruiter does has his KPI. (key performance indicators)

Help him achieve that, find out where you can add value (such as referring a friend to him/her) and you may get a concession in return. Give a little more if you can, for instance sharing key insights around the employment landscape, local labour trends or statistics from the government

Do it sporadically - things you know and the Recruiter will like to get some information or you sense he/she is interested)

A classic example - middle-aged Singaporeans find it hard to get jobs which you can read and send over to the Recruiter. The end goal is not being intellectually correct but to initiate conversation - and the Recruiter thinks you are creating some value here.

The Recruiter remembers you over time and may just ring you for any potential job opportunities.

Of course, we won't have time to deal with all recruitment firms. That's the reason why I have written an article about screening questions. It's to help you choose the qualified Recruiters to be on your side. You'll possess an army of hunters in the job market!

The "RASA" approach has been fundamentally useful for many individuals - job-seekers, mid-career individuals and even early-stage fresh graduates.

Specially curated to help you develop your own networking style. You'll get the full RASA method, apply in conversational situations - digitally or face-to-face.

Sharpen your RASA approach and networking skills real-time by developing a networking plan. Not sure how to do it? Have a complimentary 1:1 Discovery Session with us now.

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