As a talent advisor, networking needs to be part of your long-term success strategy. It needs to be an activity that is part of your total recruiting effort. Just like creating a talent pool and reaching out to potential recruits to build strong candidate pipelines, asking professionals to be part of your networks or talent communities should be part of what you do too. I traditionally ask people to join my network in my initial outreach because I believe it is a nice way to end a message or note. You too can try that. But if they don’t connect right away, and you really want them to be part of your talent communities/networks, circle back later, after the hire is made, letting them know your interest in them being part of your network. Also, as you build your talent communities be sure to choose your connections carefully, requesting only those who make sense as well as those who you believe will see the value of the connection. Please take note that building strong networks takes time—- some take weeks, months or years. But, whatever the timeframe, the time to start is now. Long term, if you want to be successful in our industry, it’s all about who you know and who knows you.
The Value Of Your Networks
Business networking and more specifically recruiting networking involves making connections not only with likely recruits or potential clients, but with those who you feel will be good for referrals for both people and business. Basically, it is all about creating trusting relationships and friendships with other businesspeople that can be mutually beneficial. It is also a great way to continue your education because you can learn from others as well as exchange ideas. Often these open discussions result in building strong bonds and trust.
Staying Connected & Being Accessible
Staying connected means to personally interact with your connections with outreach and responding to their inquiries- remember it is a two-way street. Engaging with your connections can be as easy as asking them to network with you, answering their requests, sharing relevant meaningful information or simply just catching up. It truly depends upon the existing relationship as well as how much engaging you want to do to stay connected, but it must be done. Engagements can be done on an ad hoc basis, scheduling a face to face meeting or call. Reaching out on average 3-5 times per year is typically more than enough allowing one of the touchpoints to be during the holiday season. Staying connected and accessible should not be a full-time job but part of it!
Building Talent Communities To Help Build Your Own Brand
It is good to be mindful that your talent communities were not created just to fill roles but a chance to highlight you as an expert, a thought leader as well as a resource for career advice, career movements and potentially business. Networking amongst your community has been proven to be linked to many measures of professional success. In building your brand, feel free to show the world you are an expert by sharing what you have learned during your daily activities. Sharing can be simple— It can be done in an email, with a call, a text and of course through social media. Compared to years ago, where there were limited networking mediums, social media today actually amplifies the ability to network endlessly and authentically. As I do use social media, I still prefer to send email messages, even pick up the telephone or shoot a text to share some highly relevant content. Be sure to share intelligence with your connections, it will be well worth your time.
Build, Cultivate, Engage
You And Your Networks Are Your Best Recruiting Tools
Creating and cultivating engaged talent communities are a must for those yearning for a long-term successful career in recruiting. Tapping into your networks as you begin to fill your open roles is a great place to start your search and a great way to stay connected as well as engage with your connections. Employing this strategic approach to recruiting can shorten the time to present qualified candidates as well as cultivate, maintain and grow your talent communities. Once someone agrees to join a network most understand and have agreed in some form to be open to networking, listening as well as potentially moving for the “right” position so please don’t hesitate to reach out to them as often as it makes sense. As you continue to build, cultivate and engage I encourage all of you to use your networks as you recruit top performers.
I See The Value Of Building Networks and Being Part Of Them
Having been in the recruiting business for many years I have been fortunate enough to have built many networks and talent communities as well as being asked to be part of just as many, in both scenarios, I discovered as well as experienced the many benefits of doing so. With that said, I thank my early mentors for setting the mission to make networking part of my daily routine to build my personal brand and to showcase our company. Today it continues as I try to be there for my inner circle networking members for support, to listen, react and to be a valuable resource. I encourage all of you to make networking efforts part of your daily activities.