Should Recruiters Attend Networking Events?

>> Aug 31, 2018


Recently Erik Deckers, owner of Professional Blog Service, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yo..., presented a webinar on branding yourself as a recruiter to the members of DirectEmployers Association. The following is a guest blog post from Erik.

I've been a heavy networker for several years, and one thing I can count on when I attend a networking event is that I will never see a single "back office" person at the game. It's always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS the sales and marketing people.
image:pixabay.com/en/stadium-arena-convention-auditorium-485328
Always

We've heard all the reasons why this is so: They're the "face" of the company. You don't do sales or marketing. Office people aren't "people." Everything you need to do your job can be found right here in the building.

Bull!

There are professional associations and networking groups for just about any profession you'd care to name. I've attended meetings and gatherings of technical writers, purchasing managers, foundry production managers, printing professionals, sign makers, and even HR professionals.

Everyone has had something to contribute to each other, to their association, and even to their industry. But where the great networking happens is when someone shows up to a meeting they usually wouldn't attend,  just because the two sectors are related, even a little.

What would happen if a technical writer and a professional printing meeting? Or a foundry production manager and a purchasing manager? Or even an HR professional and a sign maker?

I don't know either, but I'm willing to bet you could see some pretty cool stuff happen.

So Why Should RECRUITERS Attend Networking Events?

Because it's going to make your job easier. It's going to make it possible to find the professionals you've been searching for.

Let's say your job involves recruiting a lot of computer software engineers. Where are you going to find them? Online is going to be your best bet, but it's not the only place. You can stand out from your competition — yes, you have competition: other recruiters who are trying to win those same professionals — by going to the places where those computer software engineers gather.

No, not Star Trek conventions.

User groups. Association meetings. Networking groups. Conferences and conventions.

Because even professionals in a so-called "solitary profession" like software engineering still need to gather with other software engineers, share information, and socialize.

The best place to find a bunch of software engineers all gathered together at once is at their meetings or conferences.

The phrase "fish in a barrel" comes to mind.

The whole point of networking is not to meet as many people as possible or to find one person to spend talking to for an entire hour.

It's a simple psychological thing. Similar situation is describing in Chinua Achebe's most famous work Things Fall Apart. I won't retell all plot in this article, but if you don't know what this story about, strongly recommend you to read it : https://artscolumbia.org/literary-arts/prose/things-fall-apart-summary-42656/.

It's to see a few people you can find time to talk to later over coffee or lunch, develop relationships with, and possibly use as a resource to help with future recruiting efforts.

Consider attending some of the events and meetings of some of your target job candidates. Join their organizations. Serve on committees that will put you in contact with the decision makers, thought leaders, and best-connected people in the organization.

Those are the people who will know who's looking for a job and can refer them to you. They're the ones you'll call when you have an opening and need a top-notch candidate. They're the ones who will pass the word to their networks, saying, "Janice at Global Services has an opening for a network manager, and needs to fill it yesterday."

By getting out of the office and going to the gathering places of your target candidates, you'll make your job much more comfortable, and your success rate much higher. It just takes some effort and some willingness to shut off your computer and get out of the office. At least, until after you finish this blog post.

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