Networking has always been a key ingredient in recruitment. The days of sending your resume via job portals have limitations due to the competitive marketplace.
You have heard of how a goody-two shoes John snags a job at a tech firm because he knows Peter whom is influential in the organization.
Another story - how the son of a boss played tennis with his client and therefore, got recruited.
Who you know does matter – it’s just a fact of life now.
Question is, how often many take the conscientious effort to build their contact database over time? Usually a person quits, starts to pull out his phone book, dials Joe but has not been in touch for 2 years. A call like this doesn’t help much because there is a lack of a strong relationship.
It’s important to spend quality time (not just one session) to interact with specific business contacts. Some say it takes minimally 20 hours for one contact.
Even if there is no agenda, it’s good to catch up over coffee.
Get to know each other’s interest or discuss matters at a general level, for instance industry trends.
For the purpose of networking, let’s touch on how you can get started.
Construct a strong online profile.
LinkedIn is a great platform to use. It’s not resume writing, rather a summary of your corporate milestones. Update important information.
Imagine your friend is to read, what will be his impression? The end goal is to get the person on the other side to be curious, respond and discuss deeper with you.
LinkedIn has a section on testimonials. It’s good to consolidate a few, whom can vouch for your work.
There are several other functions you can use, including replying to other professional threads within your interest. That person could be your Hiring Manager in future!
If you have the domain knowledge, write articles that benefit the working communities. Share on LinkedIn, correspond with the people instantaneously.
Target useful events
Make time to attend. There are plenty of sector-specific functions. You can also check out chambers of commerce, association and your alumni.
Once you are there, get a drink, observe and slowly warm up. You will find that out of 10 people, 2 may be part of your “go-to” list. They are not your direct Hiring Managers but able to refer someone in their company. That’s where your point of referral commences.
Work with your partners
Recruiters (i.e. Executive Search firm) are your right hand lieutenants. Granted, there are plenty out in the market – some are two-man team, some are global firms. Still, they are your good source of job leads, they are your partners.
What you need to do is to pick out a pool of trusted Professional Recruiters whom are independent and reliable, represent you well and has a firm grasps about your industry dynamics.
Invite them out for coffee, not just in need of a job. It’s an opportunity to introduce and get to know them better. Good Recruiters will do that, recognizing that you are one of their top tier talent pool that could matched up to their clients’ requirements.
Often, I don’t hear stories of folks taking quality time interacting with business contacts, new and existing. They assume the market is saturated; the economic situation is in a downward spiral. There may be some truth in it, but the underlying belief is the depth and breadth of your network.
Conquer whatever inner thoughts and fear you have, go out there and meet people. Experiences can only be earned by being in actual networking situations.
Learn to acquire useful and qualified contacts. Then, nurture them and cultivate trust.
Once you reach to the second level of rapport, the question of "do you have any job opportunities" pops up easily and seamlessly.