Networking for Beginners
In the recruitment game, networking is a key activity which helps identify potential leads which in return will contribute to your pipeline. Without an extensive network, the capacity to have a consistent workflow may seem impossible. Networking will assist you in securing bookings which will keep your activity at the level you need, in order to achieve your goals.
Through this blog I aim to reach out to the new kids on the block with the hope in reducing the fear factor! Networking should be embraced and included in your day to day activities. A phrase that has stuck with me over the years in relation to networking, “you only get out what you put in”, this could not be further from the truth.
In today’s times, there is a networking group for almost anything! Geelong is filled to the brim with networking events such as breakfasts, after 5’s and specific network groups including ENG (Engineering Network) & GYP (Geelong Young Professionals). These groups will provide great opportunities to meet face to face and develop immediate relationships. In my opinion, this strategy is more effective than sitting at a desk and making 100 cold calls.
OK, so you have booked your first event and you walk through the door. What now? Where to go? Who to talk to? Take a deep breath, relax and remember these helpful hints:
- ENGAGE – Wow, 200 professionals engaging in conversations may seem overwhelming at first. Enter the room with confidence, have your elevator pitch ready! This is a brief snap shot of who you are and what you’re about. This will hopefully break the ice and let the conversation flow avoiding those awkward long pauses, which we have all had.
- INTERACT – This is difficult at times due to some conversations taking longer than others. But remember, you’re there for a purpose and not everyone in the room will be a match for you. In my experience, I’ve attended events and only meet 3 people, which is not a bad thing. Quality is far better than quantity! Don’t be afraid to end a conversation, thank the person for there time, exchange business cards and work the room.
- PREPARE – If possible, research who may be attending the event. This will help you identify who you would like to connect with. Alternatively, this is a little trick I have learnt over the years, arrive early as there may be a guest table with all the names / badges of who is attending. By being prepared, this is a massive contributor to identify and quantify quality leads.
These three simple tips are sure to help you as much as they have helped me over years.
I now love networking events and thrive on the excitement of meeting new people!
Go get em!
For more tips and insights, follow me on twitter - @ChrisHealyPAW or #recruitmentman
Written by Chris Healy, 6th May 2016