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Networking, one of the most common buzzwords of the modern professional’s vocabulary that’s thrown around a lot of conversations just like “the event is business casual”. Just as the latter would frustrate a professional who likes to dress with some panache, the term ‘networking’ now has many nuanced meanings and doesn’t shed much light on how to leverage it to illuminate the hidden job market. As someone who works in the recruitment industry I want to share a few tips I have found to help you get your foot in the proverbial door and perhaps a bit closer to the company or status that you aspire to.
Leveraging Recruiters – Give and Take
I know those annoying marketing calls that interrupt you throughout the day are beyond irritating, but that can be an excellent resource for you. (If no recruiters are calling you, reach out to them!) It doesn’t matter if you’re an AP clerk or a CFO, every single professional has dealt with recruiters and the key to building an effective network is the Give-and-Take conversation. Ultimately a recruiter is your friend (despite how pestering they can be) and if you scratch their backs they will scratch yours. A cold call is networking gold and the first step to building a good relationship with a recruiter and their firm. The recruiter will want a bit of information from you, like who you are, a bit of your companies’ organizational chart, projects etc. Talk to them about it! The benefit to you is that during the conversation the recruiter is writing up a profile about you. Make a significant part of the conversation about yourself – email them your updated resume, contact and focus on your particular software/technical expertise. Every other recruiter at the firm will have access to this information and the positive digital footprint you leave will pave a path to other conversations with other recruiters at the firm about opportunities that they’re working on.
The Free lunch
Recruiters love leveraging their expense claims, you should too! After you have built a rapport set up a lunch or a coffee meeting with them. This is the best way to make a friend and have a personal conversation with someone to have an impact. I have had coffee with accountants at various companies and this led to me going to their charity volunteering events, personal social events and of course jobs for me to recruit for. If you want to talk about your company and the new things that are happening there any recruiter worth their salt will be sitting down with you. The best part of this is that you will be able to build a strong rapport with this person, connect on personal interests and diversify your network in more ways than you thought possible. They will keep you up to date with other networking events that they are privy to, they will update you on market trends/analysis and most significantly they will have you top of mind when they are working on a great opportunity or if they hear of or an opportunity their colleague is working on! This is what will expose you to the intangible “hidden job market” and get your resume in front of hiring managers before there’s even anyone else to consider.
According to LinkedIn’s 2015 recruitment trend guide, 58% of Canadian companies hire passive candidates. This means that they look for people who are currently working and given that the global recruitment industry produces about $400 billion dollars I’ll give you one guess as to how 58% of Canadian companies are finding those passive candidates. Bon appetite!
Walter Lytasz is a Placement Consultant at Adecco. Visit http://www.adecco.ca/en , https://www.linkedin.com/pub/walter-lytasz/89/32/626