Reid Hoffman – “Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful”
Recently I surprised a friend with a piece of career advice, “you should try and strengthen your recruiter network”. They said they had never heard that before. Recruiters are just those annoying people, right? Many don’t realise the influence a recruiter has, whether agency or internal, when it comes to a hiring process. If I believe I’ve discovered someone great I will make sure my team and hiring manager are aware of them immediately. I will present their profile and state why I think they should be hired. Recruiters are the gatekeepers of talent for businesses, if you can get them on your side you stand a better chance of getting that dream job.
Here are a few reasons to network with the right recruiters, and not just because I want more friends (cue the violins)…
FOUND A DREAM COMPANY? FIND THE RIGHT RECRUITER
Many people have a few companies in their mind that they think, “it would be amazing to work there”. If you’re one of those people, what are you doing about it? Sure, keep an eye on their jobs page but it’s better to be proactive. If the company is small there may only be one person in HR or recruiting that you need to make an introduction to, or if it’s a large company there may be a team of people dedicated to recruiting for all parts of the business. For example, Hudl is a medium sized business and we have 6 people on our Talent Team, I typically focus on hiring for Europe and engineering.
WHY A RECRUITER AND NOT A HIRING MANAGER?
Building a relationship with a hiring manager is a smart way to help your next career move, but there are advantages to befriending a recruiter. Very often a hiring manager is only aware of their hiring needs or of the teams they work closely with (especially in large companies). Also, hiring managers aren’t hiring all the time. You introduce yourself, they tell you they’re not hiring and you assume the company isn’t hiring. However, a recruiter can give you an holistic view of the company’s hiring needs and are often the first to know when hiring requirements are on the horizon.
NETWORK WITH AGENCY RECRUITERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Find 1 or 2 great recruiters in your industry, or for the industry you want to move into, to help keep an ear to the ground for opportunities. The best agency recruiters are constantly gathering information on their specialist area. Use agency recruiters for industry updates and allow them to get to know you so they send you relevant updates. If an agency recruiter believes you’re worth their time, they will introduce you first when it comes to job opportunities hence increasing your chances for a great career move.