Networking: Is it Your Career Insurance Policy?


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Networking: Is it Your Career Insurance Policy?

  1. 1. Networking: Is it Your Career Insurance Policy?
  2. 2. 2 Networking: Is it your Career Insurance Policy? Take a deep breath and step back from the blogs, the news, the videos, the conferences, the thought-leaders and—just for a moment— your smart phone, to consider this. Yes, the methods available to jobseekers to satisfy these criteria may have changed, but the criteria themselves are just as important to today as they were 20 years ago. And, the good news is that technology has actually increased the ease and effectiveness with which we can build your network. a quality CV through which you can market yourself a proactive and professional approach to job-seeking, and most importantly, the ability and willingness to leverage your network Universal elements of landing a good job remain the same: Between 60% and 80%* of jobs are unadvertised* of employers use employee referrals to source new hires 44% A referred candidate has a 35 to 1 chance of getting hired, compared with 500 to 1 for the typical candidate of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn of recruiters use LinkedIn to source talent93% 89% One in four recruiters has successfully sourced a candidate on Facebook of recruiters use Twitter to source talent 54% Networking in person check list  Talk about yourself  Show interest  Don’t ask for work  Have a plan  Be professional  Communicate well  Be proactive Networking online check list  Join talent communities  Join or create LinkedIn groups (or similar)  Twitter, blogs, and comment on specialist sites/blogs *Depending on industry and country. Source: #TruLondon event Source Source
  3. 3. 3 The brave new world of job seeking The employment market of today is a very different beast to that of 20 years ago. Technological advancement has forever altered the way that we communicate and interact with each other. It has also radically changed how we find, complete and advertise work opportunities. On one hand, the Web has opened the door to many new work opportunities. Jobs that didn’t exist even five years ago are now advertised through a vast array of online platforms, and technology has enabled access to jobs across geographic boundaries and employment jurisdictions. On the other hand, however, the connectivity of the Web has also increased competition for jobs at a time when economic conditions are already putting pressure on employment levels. Essentially, there is greater access to opportunities, but more competition for them too. To a job seeker, these conditions may make the prospect of acquiring a great role, with a great employer, seem implausible. In fact, faced with a deluge of information and an almost overwhelming number of job-seeking avenues, it might even seem impossible! Take a deep breath and step back from the blogs, the news, the videos, the conferences, the thought-leaders and—just for a moment— your smart phone, to consider this. Regardless of the change occurring around you, the universal elements of landing a good job remain these three things: • a quality CV through which you can market yourself • a proactive and professional approach to job-seeking, and most importantly, • the ability and willingness to leverage your network. Yes, the methods available to jobseekers to satisfy these criteria may have changed, but the criteria themselves are just as important to today as they were 20 years ago. And, the good news is that technology has actually increased the ease and effectiveness with which we can build your network.
  4. 4. 4 The growing importance of networks in recruitment If you believe the statistics, well over half of the jobs available at any one time aren’t advertised to the public. Depending on the industry and country, between 60% and 80% of jobs aren’t advertised: they’re not listed on job boards or offered through recruitment agencies. US reports1 suggest that 69% of vacancies are filled through ‘networking’, and there is no evidence that suggests the European job market is different on this count. But what exactly does it mean to have landed a job through your networks? The concept of ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ has always applied to the process of talent acquisition, but faced with a contracting job market and the growth of networks online, the trend of big corporates hiring candidates referred by their employees is increasing.2 In fact, a 2012 Millennial Branding and Experience Inc. study revealed that 44% of employers3 use employee referrals to source new hires. A referred candidate has a 35 to 1 chance of getting hired, compared with 500 to 1 for the typical candidate.4 1 From Tru London transcript provided 2 Source 3 Source 4 Source For businesses, employee referrals reduce recruitment costs and the length of time it takes to get a suitable candidate on board: they can bypass the mountains of fruitless applications generated through online job search sites and, arguably, find people who are a better cultural match for their organization. Increasingly too, employee referrals are done through online networks— through sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook (depending largely on your age group).
  5. 5. 5 The rise of social recruitment ‘Social recruiting’ has become the next buzzword in HR circles. This is all about sourcing talent by leveraging these social media and other online networks, including those of company sites. It is an approach from which employers garner two main benefits: it allows them to address one of the main pitfalls of the traditional recruitment process—the lack of overlap between job-seeker communities and hiring managers—and it also gives HR departments and recruiters the opportunity to passively market the organization’s employer brand. Essentially, employers and employees are building relationships with each other well before a job opportunity that may suit them both comes up. And, this means that job-seekers who actively network throughout their career stand a far greater chance of quickly landing a new job than those who don’t. Those without an established set of professional connections will be at significant disadvantage as companies will always begin with their existing network of job-seekers first. Networking, and branding yourself, long before you need to capitalize on it is a career insurance policy. But is it the most effective job-hunting tool?
  6. 6. 6 The best network is not necessarily the biggest The extent of your network, and its make-up, will largely depend on how long you’ve been in the workforce, as well as how you have shaped your career. A professional network isn’t about the number of people who know your name, it’s about how many will refer you to a prospective employer or help you climb the career ladder. A good network is based on trust—and that’s only built through direct, positive contact with you. So, you might have 500+ LinkedIn connections, but if the majority are from your current or most recent employer, or you have never interacted with them beyond sending an invitation to connect, then the value of this network, in terms of being able to leverage it in a job search, is questionable. Real, mutually beneficial relationships with your connections will strengthen your network, as will ensuring its diversity. So, it’s vital to approach networking in a way that will genuinely maximize opportunities and offer value to both sides. Applying the same basic etiquette to online relationships that you would to offline relationships guarantees the strongest results. Namely, be interested in others, respond personally and in a timely manner to requests and questions, and always be mindful of giving back where you can.
  7. 7. 7 Networking in person In the Internet age it’s easy to feel that what you do online is all that matters. While online activity is an increasingly strong aspect of marketing yourself, you should apply some of these basic tips when networking in person too: • Talk about yourself – but not too much. Have a 15-second elevator pitch that sums you up professionally in a friendly and succinct manner. • Show interest – listen more than you speak and ask questions. • Don’t ask for work – the purpose of your meeting should be to gather information only, not to ask for a job. Never put the person you’re meeting with in an awkward position. Engage with them so that they want to help you. • Have a plan – at every event you attend, plan to make connections with between three and five people. At informal one-on-one meetings, state your objective for the meeting and subtly keep the conversation on track. • Be professional – dress and act the part to ensure you make a good impression. Always have clear, fresh business cards on hand and remember to ask the other person for theirs. • Communicate well – make eye contact, speak clearly and shake hands firmly. Use the person’s name and at the end of your interaction, thank them for their time. • Be proactive – if meeting someone for an informal one- on-one, research their organization prior to the interaction. After the meeting, follow up with an email of thanks. If the person connects you with someone from their network, let them know how the subsequent meeting goes. Whether you’re networking face-to-face or over a forum, remember that it is a two-way street. Show as much of an interest in the other person’s situation as you’d like them to show in yours.
  8. 8. 8 Networking online From creating online profiles and starting your own blog, to connecting with recruiters or engaging with a company’s corporate online community, there are many options for establishing a professional online presence. As a minimum, every jobseeker should have a thorough – and professional – profile on LinkedIn or Facebook, but there are other, creative ways to engage prospective connections. These include: 1. Join talent communities According to blogger Stephanie Lloyd: A talent community is an opt-in, interactive forum where individuals with particular skill-sets and interests can interact in a personal and meaningful way with corporate HR and company management in order to better understand – and be a part of – the firm and all that it has to offer... Talent communities offer job-seekers the opportunity to connect with current and past employees, recruiters and other job candidates, and some include an employee referral feature. Deloitte New Zealand’s ‘Into Deloitte’ Facebook page is a great example5 of a talent community. 2. Join or create LinkedIn Groups (or similar) There are thousands of LinkedIn Groups that you can quickly and easily join for almost every type of role and employment interest. Some companies have their own Groups and will allow non-employees to join for the purposes of talent engagement. If the right group for you doesn’t exist, consider starting it yourself. Seek out people you think would find it valuable and invite them to join. Consider how and what information you can share within the group (either as the leader or as a participant) to make it worth everyone’s time. Unemployed college graduate turned Hubspot marketing writer Lindsay Kirchell leveraged her LinkedIn profile to promote her blog, connect online and offline relationships, and target hiring managers, and ended up landing her dream job.6 3. Twitter, blogs and commenting on specialist sites/blogs Following and engaging with company Twitter accounts, as well as key influencers in your local area or field is a great way to get your name out there and build knowledge as well as connections. Think about what you can contribute to these existing conversations that demonstrates your expertise. Remember, it’s not just about following people and reading their blogs, it’s about asking questions, providing feedback and getting involved. 5 Source 6 Source
  9. 9. 9 Social media for recruiters Once thought to be the exclusive domain of higher level professionals, recruiters can now be considered a powerful ally for jobseekers of any level—and social media provides an accessible platform on which to build these relationships. While employers still hire recruitment agencies to source top candidates for their talent pools, the Internet now enables them to cast the net much wider than was previously possible. From managing a pipeline of talent via LinkedIn Recruiter or Facebook’s networking apps, to participating in talent communities, recruiters are constantly expanding and honing their networks. Here’s a snapshot of recruiters’ activity in social media: • 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source talent • 89% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn • One in four recruiters has successfully sourced a candidate on Facebook • 54% of recruiters use Twitter to source talent • Recruiters post jobs on Twitter, as well as Tweet My Jobs and Twit Job Search7 Social media is now a key tool in any recruiter’s toolbox. They use it to manage contacts, search for specific skills, and to tap into all their contact’s networks in order to broaden their candidate search. Given that social media is front and center for recruiters, it pays to bring these professionals into your own network and start building a relationship well before you may need their direct assistance to find work. Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to advise them of any candidates within your own network that may suitable for a role they advertise through social media, or indeed to just check in with them from time-to-time about trends, changes or opportunities in your industry. It’s these kinds of mutually beneficial relationships that good networking is built on, and recruiters are an important part of that picture. 7 Source
  10. 10. 10 Conclusion Now, as in the past, job seekers leverage their networks for access to the ‘hidden job market’. The fact that they do this hasn’t changed, but how, when and where they do it has. In our post-social media world, the concept of a ‘network’ may have different connotations, but at its core it is still about connection. And to the jobseeker, or people actively managing their career, connections are still very, very important. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook enable job seekers to develop dynamic online profiles that serve as inbound marketing channels for their job search activities and other interests. They also help us connect, interact and find like-minded people to work with. Learning to build a high-quality network that provides value to both sides is still the key to being a good networker. And, even as technology plays an ever-increasing role in helping us to build and sustain our networks, the value they add is still up to us as individuals. As they say, you get out of things what you put in, and that’s especially true of our personal and professional networks.
  11. 11. 11 Crowdsourcing through Kelly experts: All trademarks are property of their respective owners. an equal opportunity employer. © 2012 kelly Services, Inc. Kelly promise You’re unique and you’re different, it’s what makes you, you! At Kelly we understand that not everybody wants the same thing out of their work. Whether you’re just starting your career or have many years of experience behind you, we are committed to helping you find a role that’s just right for you. Every person’s path has its own twists and turns and in this new world of work, it can be tricky to navigate through. You can find useful DIY career information at and when you decide to contact us directly, we’ll work together with your passion and expertise to guide you to your next challenge. Whether this may be in the flexible and temporary workforce or as a permanent employee, Kelly is here to help every step of the way. Kelly facts Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 550,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2011 was $5.6 billion. Visit our website and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. Stefan Renzewitz Stefan is the Operations Lead for Talent Sourcing in the DACH region. He has strong experience in Career Event, Employer Branding and Talent Relationship solutions including campaign planning and execution with a focus on graduates and young professionals (Business, Engineers and IT). Sally Hunter As RPO Practice Lead EMEA for the Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group, Sally is responsible for the RPO proposition from client relationships via the account manage- ment team to consulting on HR transformation. Sally has extensive experience in the human capital sec- tor, including leadership positions within strategic account management for staffing providers to operational delivery. Bence Bak Bence Bak is EMEA Sourcing Manager. Bence has 4 years experience in both researching and sourcing for different levels of candidates in the IT industry. Currently responsible for training and maintaining the knowledge base for different stakeholders, creating new standards and processes around proactive search and implementing a new international IT system. Lauren Clovis Lauren is EMEA Marketing Manager, focussing on employer branding, candidate communications and events organisation. With a strong background in finance recruitment and a history of working on client premises to deliver contingent workforce solutions, Lauren’s experience focuses on both B2B and B2C audiences. Astrid Akse Astrid is HR Manager EMEA at Kelly Services. Having worked for several years within recruitment leadership roles, Astrid is now responsible for HR across the EMEA region. Astrid has an international outlook and her current role focuses on internal recruitment amongst other responsibilities. Stefano Giorgetti Stefano is the Managing Director and Vice President of Kelly Services in Italy. He has a strong history of working within the recruitment industry and is currently an innovation champion for Kelly focusing on improving the candidate and customer experience.