Depending on your personality, there are generally two types of outlooks on networking events: optimism and opportunity…..or indifference and aversion. The truth of the matter is that networking is essential for a multitude of reasons even outside the obvious of connecting with potential customers or clients.
Utilizing networking events to your advantage from a recruiting standpoint has a similar strategy as networking with potential customers or clients for your services or products except that the end goal is not necessarily to secure a deal (unless you’re at a career fair of course). Whether it is a national summit, statewide conference, or local chapter meeting, these events can work to your advantage by helping you control things you may not otherwise be able to if you did not attend.
Listed below are some key areas on which to focus when networking to help improve your business from a recruiting perspective.
Reputation – Being visible in the market provides the opportunity to have a direct impact on the reputation of not only your organization, but yourself as well. This gives you a chance to promote your organization with body language, enthusiasm and your personal style, all of which may not come through full force when speaking on the phone or in a formal business meeting. When people can see for themselves the qualities that make you a consummate professional, this can help reinforce your personal strengths in the marketplace. This type of presence can help reinforce a solid reputation and may lead to candidates wanting to work with you and your organization.
Brand Building – If you are able to reach multiple points of contact within your industry on a regular basis, there is an opportunity to continue to build upon the brand of the organization. Being able to help control the messaging that the market receives provides you with an advantage when it comes to building your brand. Do you put an emphasis on work/life balance? Do you offer perks other companies do not? Are you on the forefront of an emerging product? Let the market know. This may help attract talent to your group that may have otherwise not been interested.
Establishing Stronger Relationships – This is a great way to strengthen connections between people you’ve known for years and folks you hardly know. Quality face time with your network enables a chance to deepen existing relationships and ignite new ones. There is a special bond that forms when you can shake one’s hand, notice their authenticity, appreciate their wit, or admire the quirks that make them who they are. Stronger relationships will help augment the reputation you’ve cultivated, the brand you have built, and thus help you have an impact in the marketplace.
So, in closing, if you are recruiting for your company, get out there and network!