Networking Effectively


Did you know that 70% of jobs are hired through networking and using your own contacts? That these jobs are often never advertised because they are filled before the need to advertise?

Networking is about building relationships, sharing information and finding sources of support. As a recruiter, I am constantly telling candidate’s the importance of networking. It is an ongoing life skill, maintaining your network should be something you make time for every week, not just when you are looking for the next role or employee.

In a candidate short market it is also vital for employers to network if they wish to beat the competition to the best talent. 

Start with people you trust and respect; those that have similar values to you

Your best advocates are people who know you, those with whom you have worked previously and those who can refer you on to new contacts.

This may be current work colleagues, ex-work colleagues, friends, family friends, contacts through sports clubs, contacts through your children’s schools and so on. 

The most successful people share information.

Exchanging information allows new insights you may not have thought of. Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities and talent. Engaging with your contacts allows you to sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help. And the more people you know, the more people you can influence. 

Always remember your connections will also have connections, giving you an even wider network. You never know who people might know – this is very important!

Ensure you have some in your network with large and broad connection base (i.e. CEOs, recruiters or business development) in your network. Remember having recruiters who you trust, who understand your business, your leadership style and team culture can give you access to off passive job seekers or new job opportunities for you.

If you are considering a new hire or a new role, the most important task is to know what you are looking for.

It is very important to do this before you start approaching people for assistance. If your contacts know what you want, it is much easier for them to assist you. Consider the type of skills, experience, personality and culture fit you require. 

Always let your network know that you are looking for new talent or potentially looking for a new role. Spread your “feelers” as far as possible and thank people for their help. 

Most candidates put considerable thought into finding their next position. This process starts weeks, if not months before they “actively” start looking for new opportunities. These are passive candidates.  Quite often they have confided in their close network that they are thinking about their next job or have sought advise on career direction. 

Contacts will only refer candidates they genuinely feel are great as they will not want to damage their own reputation. 

Key Points to Remember:

  • Successful people share information
  • Ask your current contacts for referrals
  • Offer to refer people to them. What you give out will come back
  • A good network is about quality of contacts not quantity
  • Build strong relationships with 1 – 2 recruiters who know the market. They should be central to your network
  • Once you have hired a referred candidate, live up to the expectations you set as a leader.

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