It’s Who You Know
Current wisdom teaches us that ‘Networking’, or word-of-mouth, is the most effective way to land the right job.
A plethora of avenues for networking have blossomed in response to this paradigm. Meet-ups, conferences, formal and informal job fairs, networking events, Chamber of Commerce meetings, User Groups, a variety of specialty or industry meetings, all of these have added employment related components to their meetings or are specifically intended to introduce employers and potential job seekers.
Online tools have added a networking component. LinkedIn, the most notable allows one to see who they know or who your contacts know in almost any company. Indeed.com is another strong player in this world and there exists other smaller, often niche sites with similar facility. Professional organizations like IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), DAMA (Data Management Professionals), Society for Technical Communicators, etc. also provide networking assistance.
Current statistics say that 70% of current jobs are attained through word-of mouth or professional acquaintances. Which may lead one to ask, ‘Why do I need a recruiter’?
Good Recruiters are Good Networkers
I would assert that it is precisely this data that should drive employers and job-seekers to professional recruiters. Good recruiters have extensive networks of candidates and have long-standing, deep relationships with hiring authorities in their network. As professional networkers, successful recruiters deliberately cultivate and grow these relationships and work to spawn new ones. With every placement can come additional job seekers to fill client needs. With every job filled comes a satisfied customer who can introduce additional contacts within their firms and from their professional network whether it be industry peers or prior employers.
Job seekers, Human Resources professionals, Hiring Authorities and Senior Executives should recruit and vet their staffing agency partners as carefully as they do their prospective employer or employee respectively. Using similar criteria they can examine successes, industry alignment, work history, company reputation, years of experience, stability and cultural fit.
Established, local SMB agencies are often a great place to start. Chances are they have senior leadership that has rich history within your marketplace. Individual reputations are fiercely guarded, they have the flexibility and desire to please clients on a one-at-a-time basis, valuing each placement. Volume is not a critical factor that in larger agencies can lead to lack of attention.
Check out your recruiter online. How long have they been in the industry? Who are they LinkedIn with? A bunch of recruiters, or an impressive list of Senior Executives and/or the type of talent you are seeking? Do they have a strong list of recommendations from non-recruiters? Ask your recruiter about their relationship with the employer you are interested, how was it formed, how long has it been? For the employer, ask about parallel searches successfully completed, and ask for references.
We in the staffing business are indeed Professional Networkers.
If networking and word-of-mouth are the current paradigm for successful job-seeking, recruitment then seek out a strong agency and recruitment partner who has knowledge of your industry, target marketplace and a strong existing network and you can capitalize on the BEST resource to get the job done.