Why Networking Matters

You don’t have to be a social butterfly to network!

Just as you are in competition for the job you’re seeking, we in the recruitment field are in a constant race to submit the best candidates. Recently, one of our customers asked us to submit candidates for an open position. They had already found a candidate by themselves, but they wanted to see other candidates from outside sources. One of our recruiters searched and called and ultimately found a great candidate who was highly qualified for their position.

But the candidate the company had found was a known quantity, having come from a personal referral from within the company. Although the referred candidate did not have all the qualifications and experience that our candidate did, the referred candidate was known to have good character and be trainable. The referred candidate got the job, and hopefully he will do great things for his new employer.

What can you, a job seeker or career changer, learn from this story? It illustrates why networking matters! In fact, approximately two thirds of employee referrals end up getting hired, says Hannah Morgan, contributor to USNews.com. “You must find people who work inside companies you are interested in working for,” says Morgan. “Use your in-person network, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook to identify the names of people you already know. It doesn’t matter what role your contact is in. What matters is that you let them know the types of roles you are interested in and that you stay on his or her radar, just in case something comes up. It is always best to reach out to people before a job is posted.”

When trying to network, people are usually willing to help, encourages Marcelle Yeager of USNews.com, so don’t hesitate to ask for it. But don’t start out right away by asking “for someone to help you get a job at her company or to look at your résumé and give feedback. That’s a very forward move that a lot of people won’t react kindly to, and they likely don’t have the time. Plus, most people won’t do that without a personal connection of some kind.”

The big benefit of being recommended by a current employee, says Rachel Sugar of BusinessInsider.com, is that “the company has a better sense of who you are — at the very least, they know who you’re connected to, and they know something about who that person is — and you likely have a better sense of the company, too….Both parties know more about the other, and accordingly, the result is a more likely match.”

Plus, shares Sugar, research by Glassdoor, a career search website, shows that you’re 2.6% to 6.6% more likely to get and accept an offer if you know a current employee. And according to Morgan, if you can get referred by someone really high up in the company, your chances of getting hired skyrocket to 91%.

But what if you don’t know a current employee or have a personal connection? One hiring expert, Lou Adler, suggests that you use job postings as leads. Instead of applying directly to a job that interests you, first try to find someone at the company who can refer you, or send the hiring manager or department head a sample of your work to pique his or her interest in you. But don’t pigeon-hole yourself into one type of job, encourages Adler. Instead, send work samples to several different departments where there are openings. Someone else may think you’re the perfect fit. For more networking tips, read this.

If you’ve been wondering why networking matters, it’s simply the best way to find a new job. If you’re not a networker, however, says Sugar, don’t lose hope. It turns out that if you don’t have a personal connection within the prospective company, your next best bet is a referral from a staffing agency. GlassDoor’s survey found that staffing agency referrals yielded above-average results in landing a job.

Our staffing agency is passionate about helping people just like you find meaningful work every day. If we don’t have a current version of your resume, click here to post it, and visit our job board for professional and technical jobs while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions.

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