Great recruiting goes far beyond referral programs. The most effective recruiters build on their personal connections and create a talent network. A talent network or “connectors” are a web of motivated people who know potential candidates and can bring those candidates to you. Below are a few ways develop your network:

  • Focus on developing a talent network rather than a talent pool.
  • Use your connectors to know when a passive candidate is about to become an active job seeker. ASK: Do you know anyone who is unhappy in their current position or that a management/company change is going to happen?
  • Motivate them to make quality referrals ASK: What can you do to help them for making the referral?
  • Build longstanding relationships with well-connected individuals. Always ask for referrals, not resumes.

  • Referral programs make a good starting point, but in the "build it and they will come" theory there are flaws, so you should always have connectors. Gladwell did a survey of 400 people and only 12 of them were exceptional connectors. When you find a connector hold onto them and keep your relationship strong. Wondering how to spot a true connector? Here’s a few key indicators:
  • They have 4 to 5 as many acquaintances as the rest of us.
  • They systematically collect and store people’s contact data. e.g. Do they use Plaxo, LinkedIn, to help them?
  • They frequently distribute news pertaining to people’s careers.
  • They know people just well enough to call them on your behalf.

  • Maintaining a well oiled network is not an easy task. It takes work and dedication. Personally, I spend 2-3 hours per week maintaining my network. A few tips to build strong or stronger networks are:
  • The same as asking referrals, don’t be afraid to ask people you are networked with if they know of anyone who would be interested.
  • Start building your network today. Ask people you know their birthdays, etc and send a card on that day.
  • Drop them a note just to see how they are doing every once in a while for no reason.
  • Sign-up for sites that allow you to network. I recommend LinkedIn.
  • Remember – it’s not the quantity of your network, but rather the quality. Choose wisely who you connect to. What purpose will they serve?

Views: 109

Comment by Ambrish Kochikar on January 28, 2010 at 9:53am
nice post, Jennifer! i'll think of it as the building blocks of building a network. i really liked the reminder right at the end. it's a very difficult task but you put a lot of sensible ideas to start developing good habits that pay off in the long run.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on January 28, 2010 at 6:56pm
Good point about true connectors. The reality is that building our network takes time. I strong believe in pay it forward.

There are may opportunities to connect with your network, particularly if you have invested in a good database system. I have found using an app (Business Card Reader) for iPhone makes capturing of business cards a breeze. You will be surprised how many people respond after receiving new year greetings and reconnect.
Comment by Jenn Francine on January 29, 2010 at 12:05pm
Great points Ambrish! Good habits definitely go a long way, the importance of being effective is to keep at it and keeping it going. Charles I am going to have to see what they have availble for Droid in regard to a business card reader, it is yet another great way to stay connected!


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