One of the biggest hurdles job seekers face is getting out behind the comfort zone of their keyboards. Yes, we all know networking takes effort and requires us to pick up the phone, get out and meet people and leave the comfort zone of our offices. We also know that applying to hundreds of jobs on line is a complete waste of time. So forget tallying up how many jobs you have applied for, and spend your energy instead connecting with those who can get you in front of hiring managers.
Networking saves companies money
If you understand how most companies go about hiring it might convince you to stop sending your resume into the proverbial black hole. Robert Merrill, Sr. Technical Recruiter with Fusion-io explains how he goes about starting a search. The first thing he does is meet with the hiring manager to develop a recruiting plan. Merrill asks, “Who in your network and your team’s network would be good candidates to consider for your opening?”
Only after exhausting this network does Merrill look at resumes generated from the company ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and job boards such as Glassdoor and Indeed, which don’t cost anything. Only then will Merrill tap job boards, such as Careerbuilder and Monster because they are too expensive. Merrill says 30 to 40% of the jobs he fills come from employee referrals.
So what is the best way to get your foot in the door? Merrill suggests mining your network and attending Meetups or professional association meetings focused on your area of expertise is the best first step. “You don’t want to be asking for an informational interview until you have established a relationship with the individual first.” Participating in professional groups is a great way to meet people and develop those relationships, Merrill adds.
Networking gives you a jump on the competition
The best time to be seeking a job with a company is before the job is open. We call this the ‘opportunity curve’. If you have networked your way into a company before a job is listed on the open market, you have not only eliminated your competition, but you have also saved the company money because they don’t have to advertise on the open market.
The next time you look for a job think about how your target companies go about searching for talent. Developing your networking plan first will not only get you in front of employers faster but save them money in the long run. Networking is a win win strategy for everyone. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.