Is LinkedIn still the best networking platform for senior professionals? Or is it more fine-tuned towards recruitment at a junior to medium level, rather than adding networking value for the highly experienced individual? Vanessa Rogers investigates.
Did you know that it’s really not feasible for us to attempt to relate to, or to nurture, as many as 150 connections? But a recent study of over 2 000 LinkedIn users has shown that most 35- to 44-year-olds have as many as 270 connections; and at least 62 percent of all LinkedIn users have over 150 connections.
Let’s rather streamline things, says Guild.co founder and CEO Ashley Friedlein, who believes human beings are simply unable to appreciate, or maintain, so many relationships – either in their professional or personal lives. "We're realising that we need to focus on the relationships that actually matter, rather than chasing connections just for the sake of it," she enthuses.
Other points to note from her Team Guild survey are that 45 percent of respondents find LinkedIn "cluttered, full of marketing content, sales and spam", despite it otherwise being considered "a highly successful global business model"; and up to 59 percent of respondents see the LinkedIn of today as a place more suited to finding a job or hiring someone, rather than as the best professional networking solution.
Critically, at least 62 percent of respondents believe only 20 percent of their LinkedIn connections provide some value to their onward career trajectory.
Senior professionals – such as CEOs, members of senior management, along with business founders and owners – tend, then, to be on the lookout for a more exclusive space in which to network with a smaller number of trusted, and equally senior or established, professionals. And this is particularly true for non-executive directors, who do not engage in the day-to-day management of an organisation, but are instead consulted on its policymaking and planning exercises when sitting in on board meetings.
This is where an online networking initiative of BossJansen’s is making strides – entitled Boardroom International, this global executive networking platform has been created to cater towards the needs of C-Suite and non-executive directors.
According to BossJansen director, Jeremy Bossenger, “Success in any profession rests on you setting some time aside each week for networking. But volume is not where it’s at. Instead, we’re finding that senior executives need to be ‘intentional and purposeful’ in their efforts to build the kind of network that will truly uplift them in their career and individual aspirations going forward. Key to this idea is being deliberate about how and with whom you network. Those with whom you truly gel and support on the path towards their goals, are likely to provide a similar level of support for you in the near future. Boardroom International is proving an amazing platform for this kind of strategic, senior-level networking,” he enthuses.
Benefits of membership range from exclusivity and a vetted member contingent, to confidentiality, access to executive referrals and new business opportunities, along with direct applications for global non-executive director, chairperson and C-Suite roles, at the same time as you are able to maintain secure and confidential business groups wherever in the world you may be placed.
And there are ethics involved – such as recognising the need for company boards to be composed of internationally literate and mobile non-executive directors; that these individuals should bring the requisite oversight and valuable insight to their board roles; and that they should not have interests in a company on whose board they have been invited to sit.
Where else can you discuss key business topics, regulatory issues and current trends among true peers from an experience, and exposure, point of view. To sign up for Boardroom International, please go to: https://boardroominternational.com/.