Job Search Networking
For now and the future, networking is a critical survival skill. For some of us, it comes easily. For others, not so much. This section of Job-Hunt will help you understand, cope, and succeed.
If you have ever been responsible for hiring someone, you know it is a scary thing to do, particularly if your success - as well as your job - depend on the quality of the work of the person you choose to hire. So you approach it very cautiously. You want someone with the right skills and experience. You also want someone you can trust, someone you can depend upon to do the job they were hired to do. Someone who will work hard, work honestly, do their best, do the right thing, AND be nice to talk with over lunch or coffee.
Take a Seat on the "Other Side" of the Desk - the Hiring Manager's Side
Imagine you must hire someone. The person will work for you, doing work that is very important to your success. If you hire someone who doesn't do well, you'll have to work harder to fix what they don't do well, and you'll have to explain to your boss why you picked that less-than-stellar employee, who will now be difficult to fire.
Impact of making the wrong choice in a new employee:
- Make your job more difficult.
- Impact your salary and bonus negatively.
- Make you look less than stellar to your boss, co-workers, and perhaps even customers.
- Potentially put your job at risk.
So, with your success and your job on the line, how do you find a good candidate to fill that job?
- You ask around. You ask other employees and maybe post the job internally so that anyone who knows anyone who might be a "good fit" is identified and contacted.
- You look out at your own network - the people you know personally and professionally to see if there is anyone who might be appropriate and interested or if anyone you know has someone appropriate in their network.
- You place an ad in the paper or on the Web, and you hope "the right person" sees it and responds.
Who Would You Hire?
When the whole process is over, you have two people to choose from:
- Louise, the stranger
Louise responded to the published ad. She has a great resume. She performed well in the interviews you and other members of your team had with her. The HR person says she met the requirements specified in the job description. Her references said good things about her, and she passed the background check.
- Michelle, the former colleague of a co-worker
Michelle worked with your co-worker Steve for 5 years, and he knows she is smart, reliable, and honest. He respects her and her work, knows several other people who feel the same way about her, and he has seen her make complex presentations to important customers, one of the responsibilities of the new job. HR says she met the requirements specified in the job description. Her references checked out, and she passed the background check, too.
So, both of the top candidates seem well-qualified.
And the winner is?
My bet is that you would hire Michelle. Because hiring Michelle (known-quantity) appears to be safer than hiring than Louise (the stranger), you would do what everyone else usually does and choose the known-quantity.
BINGO! This is why networking is the way most people find their job!
Networking Is Effective and Fun!
Networking has a bad reputation in many circles. Skeptics (or the inexperienced/uneducated) equate it with "using" people. But good networking, effective networking, is NOT "using" anyone. Good networking is people helping each other solve problems and succeed. It is a two-way street - always - or it doesn't last and it is not successful.
In this section of Job-Hunt, you'll learn how good job search networking works.
If you have any questions or issues you'd like covered, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.