Featured in Zoom Info’s October 2006 Newsletter
By Dave Mendoza, Strategic Tools & Sourcing Management Consultant
and JobMachine, Inc. Partner.
Sales Skills are Essential
Recruiters are challenged on many fronts, from narrow job specs to the reality of a decreasing labor pool. It’s now commonplace for recruiters to seek alternatives to their tired resume database. One way to enhance your talent pipeline is by broadening your outreach efforts. A warm referral is good, but an even better referral is from a contact you know and trust. What if you could replicate that result with an audience of potentially hundreds, if not thousands of new prospects as opposed to a limited rolodex of exhausted leads? What if you could improve both the volume and the quality of leads – would you agree in this value proposition – dedicating greater resources, your time and research efforts, to grow your networking efforts on behalf of your talent needs?
My blog, ” Six Degrees from Dave,” is an extension of my life-long pursuit of networking. One of the early characteristics of the recruitment blogosphere was the openness displayed by fellow recruiters with whom I networked. Gaining trust was accomplished by sharing personal details about yourself, what you thought and how you could contribute towards the needs of others. It’s easy for recruiters to communicate with others about their jobs, but they are not accustomed nor is it easy for them to communicate about themselves and who they are as people. Blogging is networking writ large, which is perhaps why I have taken so well to the medium. I can address my peers and contribute to discussions, sharing details about the latest techniques and software tools, always staying focused, evangelical in nature, promoting ‘relationships’ as the engine which powers my community building efforts.
The phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is a mantra we learn early in life. We are most keenly aware of it when we submit our college applications and as we enter the workforce. Today, after nearly a decade of recruiting, I have learned that the emphasis of one’s effort in effective networking is commonly misplaced. Meaningful and sustainable networking relies on an emphasis of “knowledge transfer” – what you learn – in your associations and likewise highlights the strength of your own personal branding – who knows you. I promote community with my peers contributing to discussions about the latest techniques and software tools.
Social networking used to be defined largely by power calls to foster candidate generation. Peer search techniques provide a wider audience via a “multiplier effect.” You can reference trade shows, trade organizations, periodicals, and patents into search engines to identify renowned experts in their discipline to locate colleagues. A variety of online social networks significantly advance networking techniques and reach, due to the broad menu of additional search capabilities with the ability to sort by industry, company, discipline, and organizations. A ZoomInfo result, for example, has the ability to cross reference and aggregate online profiles with contact information. A recruiter can create lists of peers instantaneously and in volume, with the added time-saving capability of exporting sorted data. It is a valuable tool you can leverage with other techniques and tools.
Why stop there? As a ‘CyberSleuth’, I proceed further, pursuing a viral marketing approach; pushing data to other online venues to make an introduction. Using OpenBC, Linkedin, MySpace or classmates.com, and others, I connect with relevant leads to broaden and further my pipeline of niche talent by increasing degrees of contact.
Why stop there? With online tools like H3, we can create rewards-based incentives and broadcast the power of referral networking for hires instantaneously using ZoomInfo’s JobCast campaigns and leverage search results with an even longer shelf-life.
Above all, provide functionality to the talent streams in your network. Create one for working professionals who are happily employed but are interested in a private, professional, and very personal way to keep an eye out for alternative opportunities (just in case they need one). And establish another for active candidates, featuring those capabilities, in addition to significant improvements in abilities to interact with recruiters through their dynamic network.
My colleague, Shally Steckerl, Founder of JobMachine, Inc., was kind enough to outline four essential networking rules:
1) Never demand or expect reciprocation.
2) Contribute value to your peers and to your talent audience and maintain cordial relations throughout. Don’t be shy about follow-through or follow-up.
3) Don’t burden your friends or your referral network unless the request has merit and always pass-it-forward when you have the means to assist your colleagues.
4) Look beyond the numerical strength of your network and emphasize the substance of your relationships
It is not uncommon to attract a wide response when you’re marketing a job description, and in the process, you create a perception of being known and worth knowing within talent communities. The manner of the introduction, the first impression, often dictates the fate of the next referral. It’s a viral marketing approach that extends the visibility of your job openings, and the rate in which referrals are forwarded and jobs filled. The concept is simple, yet the impact of online social networking, using these alternative approaches, not only extends the shelf life of our sourcing efforts to broaden talent pipeline, but it establishes the unforeseen benefit of highlighting our personal brand.
Social networking is my passion and it has broadened my personal brand, the results of which have extended my reach to a truly global audience, giving me a dynamic and synergistic outreaching presence. If you want to be found, electronic media makes the possibilities limitless. It sounds clichÃ©, but relationships with a personal touch have been the common denominator to all that I have done to build my talent base, they have broadened my scope of knowledge in diverse industries and built a self generating cycle of new friendships. Itâ€™s important to care enough to apply sincerity in your relationships to ensure that your networking persona never loses its humanity. It’s simply people connecting to people. Remember, you are only six degrees away.
Feel free to reach Dave Mendoza at email@example.com for On-Site and Webinar Training on Advanced Sourcing Techniques with JobMachine, Inc.
Dave Mendoza is a Strategic Tools & Sourcing, Management Consultant. Author of the recruitment blog, “Six Degrees From Dave,” An authority in advanced sourcing methods for passive talent, and partner on behalf of JobMachine, Inc.
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