Whether you’ve worked for two years or twenty, networking stands as an integral part of business. And it’s not about collecting business cards to maybe pull out later; it’s about making connections that will benefit both sides. Many articles focus on networking for the candidates – as they try to find work, it helps to have people whom they can speak with, offer help to down the road, or perhaps find a position with one day…or suggest someone else for a position. It’s really about mutual help. So from a company standpoint, it helps if you create networking opportunities for yourself that have a positive impact on hiring.
- Use social media. Social media literally and figuratively involves creating and using a network to connect with others. If you can utilize social media to get your name out to quality candidates and get them interested in you, that yields a stronger pool of applicants to choose from. Does your company have a blog it promotes from the company’s website and/or on websites such as LinkedIn? Do you have a Twitter feed that offers updates on newsworthy occurrences (recent developments, mentions in the local/national media, events that you sponsor/attend)? And make sure that any and all social media is current and constantly updated – if it’s seen as a gimmick or something you don’t truly pay attention to, that puts off candidates.
- Give something to get something. If you want candidates to have an interest in you, you have to be interesting. Do you offer events such as training sessions, dinners, white papers, or other invitations that would interest both passive and active candidates? Use social media here as well – post them where candidates can easily see them and link to helpful information using your webpage, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and the like. By offering opportunities, you foster networking ones that can bring in potential hires who have a background and interest in your industry.
- Don’t forget the old school methods. Studies show that 40 percent of all hires come from referrals, and they have a 46 percent retention rate after one year (as opposed to 33 percent from career sites and 22 percent from job boards). Keep your own network of business colleagues and associates strong, and don’t forget about your managers and other in-house employees who may know someone looking for a position who would fit well. With regard to hiring, you’re using a sort of reverse method, getting the referral before meeting the candidate, but a vetted candidate from a trusted source can save you time and energy in finding the right person.
Use networking to your advantage: You have numerous methods to use and benefit from. Reach out to the experienced staffing team at PrideStaff for other suggestions from those who do this on a regular basis – and add another networking powerhouse to your arsenal.