Question of the day: What are the advantages/disadvantages for recruiters maintaining large professional networks?

In follow up to today's RBC Daily and the great article yesterday from - Lessons from Successful Networkers .......

What are the advantages/disadvantages for recruiters maintaining large professional networks?

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Targeted (niche) Large Networks = Leverage

I agree with Brian.  "Targeted (niche) Large Networks=Leverage"

Simple: it's not how many people you know, it's how many people know you.  

In the old days a client was paying for access to your Rolodex and your ability to manage the process quickly and effectively.  Today, nothing has changed other than the Rolodex is electronic.  The recruiter with the biggest Rolodex (and knowing how to use it effectively) usually wins.

To John's point, you can be an expert to everyone, in your chosen niche (for me it was C level accounting and financial executives).  

I am sure it depends on what you do and what your style is, but I see only advantages. Even from mentioning a job post on job-related groups I run and on my status I get references and traffic. You just need to cut through clutter; but we all have to deal with junk mail anyway. I think it takes one's energy and time to keep network small and private, sometimes more so than cutting through clutter.

We also get both referrals and new business by being visible.

Depends on how you use it.  I have a small group - 25 people - that I consider my close/core professional network and I have another 150 people that I consider my professional network.  I talk to the 25 people monthly for various reasons (me seeking information or them seekling information) and we are very helpful to each other.  I talk to the 150 people at least quarterly - when I am conducting a search or find information that could be of value to them.  The larger network in turn has larger networks of their own which they share when I am conducting a search.  I don't find it time consuming, I consider it part of my practice. 

More targeted networks can provide good resource for referrals to candidates and prospective clients - size is not the most important criteria. Of course, if you give back to your network, you'll be more likely to get help when you ask for it...

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