Recruitment Networking – how to get opportunities

You rollout the platform to get started. I have also written an article here.

How do you then specially network to get Recruiters contacting you? Or a company to warm up and therefore offer you an opportunity?

Probably, drink more cups of cappuccino with your contact to build a stronger relationship, you remember the boss son’s birthday and sent him a bottle of French wine.

Maybe it works, but it can be seen as an agenda in mind if it’s overly used.

The basic fundamental is not to reach out aggressively, simply because you need something in return. No one likes to regularly accept someone’s gift with a hidden agenda – and expect to offer a concession. Yet there is a need to connect to the right contact.  This is where some form of subtle selling is needed.

Put relationship first.

Develop a Real Interest

After meeting a new corporate contact in an event, resist the urge to ask for a job immediately. Instead, get to know the other person’s point of view, his perspective on things that he brings up during the conversation.

For example, after the pleasantries, he starts to talk about how America inward policy has affected Asia and subsequently, has an implication on his industry.

Do you quickly barge in and give your view?
No.

Listen. Understand and take a deeper interest in his thoughts.
Listen again.

Then, you spot one or two killer words that concern him the most. Recycle the words; reaffirm to confirm whether this is something that has been lingering in his mind. If he doesn’t give many clues, ask more. Ask how he feels about the entire situation. And you get further insights.

Gradually, you pick up useful intelligence and spin these keywords back into the chat. Phrase such as “I remember you speak about this….and this….how concern are you?”

If you do this, he gets another layer of impression of you – and you have a grasp on his trigger point.

That’s the first level of relationship building.

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Pick up the courage to meet new people and gain on-the-ground experiences. That doesn’t mean you attend every networking event. Go for selective few, use this approach and review thereafter.

What about Recruiters?

After getting your profile up in LinkedIn, it’s time to connect to the right recruiters.
You can ask to meet face-to-face.

Or do it electronically.

From a top-down level, go for the most established, especially global recruitment firms such as Robert Walters. The next level is your mid-sized companies or even two-three men team whom expertise is in a specific industry vertical.

Go to their website to get contact details.

From a bottom-up approach – use the search function in LinkedIn (send me an email if you are unsure how to do it). Type in “Recruitment Consultant” at the top. LinkedIn will pop up a number of names.

Then, drop them a note using LinkedIn “InMail”. If you can’t, find out the relevant people connected around who may be in the same industry.

Google to find out their email address.
In other words, be resourceful.

Prospecting 

Introduce yourself with one-to-two liners with an objective to look for a job. Nothing more than five sentences. Remember, they are constantly flooded with cold emails.

Don’t ask whether they have a job offer on hand – they may have but these folks don’t know you in person.  So, your role is to make sure the prospecting is crisp, straight to the point and industry relevant.

Lastly, ask for a “call-to-action”. Secure a date/time for a brief call.

Follow Through

Identify the top 10 most responsive contacts in your list.  This is your first degree network. Know what interest them the most.

Hence, if Mr. A likes cycling and he is keen on a competitive event, you have a promotional code, pass it to him.  If Ms. B will like a referral for her client, introduce her to someone you know that fits the criteria.

Be original.  The next follow through can be a Christmas e-greeting.  You just want to make sure your identify remains and he/she must think of you.

Finally, you pop the question of asking a job opportunity.  Altogether, it should take an estimate of three months per contact.

The caveat here is that, both sides have to be responsive.  Giving too much without much response takes up too much time.  Move on to the other contact who appreciates you.

Relationship First

In the call or meet-up, it’s about getting to know the other party better.
Therefore, angle your conversation towards the recruitment firm. (what it does, areas of specialization, how they sniff out potential candidates)

If it’s a direct contact, ask more about his job, his corporate work. Develop a sense of curiosity, to be open and learn more. Give a little more if you can, for instance sharing insights. Follow up with the intention to help, and not to look for job first.

Do it sincerely and consistently. When the time comes, it’s easy to pop that question to get an important referral.  Better still, a job opportunity at hand.

Trust is built over time, never a day.

That’s where you can get recruitment opportunities once the connection is developed.

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Recruitment Networking – how to get started

Networking has always been a key ingredient in recruitment.

The days of sending your resume via job portals have limitations due to the competitive marketplace. You have heard of how a goody-two shoes John snag a job at a tech firm because he knows Peter whom is influential in the organization.

Or how the son of a boss plays tennis with his client and therefore, gets recruited.

Who you know does matter – it’s just a fact of life now.

Question is, how often many take the conscientious effort to build their contact database over time? Usually a person quits, starts to pull out his phonebook, dials Joe but has not been in touch for 2 years. A call like this doesn’t help much because there is a lack of a strong relationship.

It’s important to spend quality time (not just one session) to interact with specific business contacts. Some say it takes minimally 20 hours for one contact!

Even if there is no agenda, it’s good to catch up over coffee. Get to know each other’s interest or discuss matters at a general level, for instance industry trends. Then, you can insert Mr. A, a Portfolio Manager, in your excel spreadsheet. Easily, you can text Mr. A to find out the challenges of working in the fund management space.

For the purpose of recruitment networking, let’s touch on how you can get started.

Construct a strong online profile

LinkedIn is a great platform to use. It’s not resume writing, rather a summary of your corporate milestones. Imagine your friend is to read, what will be his impression?

The end goal is to get the person on the other side to respond and discuss deeper with you. LinkedIn has a section on testimonials. It’s good to consolidate a few, whom have worked together with you, vouch for your capabilities.

LinkedIn Contacts

Portfolio done, selling comes next.

Search for second degree level in the HR/talent management division. Aim for 5 contacts first. Drop a LinkedIn “InMail” to introduce yourself. Consider a paid version of LinkedIn for a month to reach out. I can’t think of another powerful, structured software that has the “network effect” ability – so yes, subscribe to try. No guarantee but worth a shot!

Target useful events

Make time to attend. There are plenty of sector-specific functions. Once you are there, get a drink, observe and slowly warm up. You will find that out of 10 people, 2 may be part of your “go-to” list. They are not your direct Hiring Managers but able to refer someone in their company.

That’s where your point of referral commences. Salespeople are good at this. Hence, continue to put in the extra effort.

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Do something for others

This is not to say you literally do a task, hoping to get something in return. Often, it’s about goodwill. Be genuine and try to offer help where possible, where you have the power of influence, extra insights to provide or a recommendation to an Influencer. When it’s your turn to ask for a job opportunity, Mr. A may just refer you to someone whom he knows – and you get to the right person who has the authority to hire you.

Work with your Partners

Recruiters (i.e. Executive Search firms) are your right hand lieutenants. Granted, there are plenty out in the market – some are two-man team, some are global firms. Still, they are your good source of job leads, they are your partners. What you need to do is to pick out a pool of trusted Professional Recruiters, probably up to 3, whom are independent and reliable, represent you well and have firm grasp about the industry dynamics.

Invite them out for coffee, not just in need of a job. It’s an opportunity to introduce and get to know them better. Good Recruiters will do that, recognizing that you are one of their top tier talent pool that could matched up to their clients’ requirements.

Conclusion

Often, I don’t hear stories of folks taking quality time interacting with business contacts, new and existing. They assume the market is saturated; the economic situation is in a downward spiral and therefore the job market is weak. There may be some truth in it, but the factor to determine success boils down to the depth and breadth of your network.

And to do this, one needs to take an open mind. Conquer whatever inner thoughts and fear you have, go out there and meet people.

Gradually, you gain experiences in corporate mingling.  Experiences turn to habitual, feel comfortable corresponding with C-Suites. From there, take on a strategic position, leverage your contact database and ask for any exciting job opportunities.

Who knows – you may be the appointed person to land a job that you once never expect.

50 amazing interests beyond your full time job

There are dynamic individuals pursuing their unique passions till their interests develop into visible career pathways – either way or start their own business.

It’s no longer the average Grab Driver or a Deliveroo cyclist. Turning a flexible job into their personal transportation business can be a possibility over time.

A songwriter decides to make a mark beyond Singapore, venturing abroad to seek success. A Tarot Card Reader decides to set up her shop in the alley of New York. An Acrobat working for Cirque du Soleil.

Depending on the stage of an individual’s career life, there can something worthwhile to fill in. It’s just like gazing at the crystal ball……

Take the leap of faith.

In Singapore, we are practical folks, who shouldn’t be right? But if finance is not the primary concern and dreams make up more than 50%, here is a list of 50 interests worth taking a hard look:

1) Data Scientist
2) Private Investor
3) Market Trader / Remisier
4) Blogger / You-Tuber (must aim to be the top 5)
5) Sculptor (e.g. toys, clay, soap)
6) Private Tutor
7) Acrobat
8) Chauffeur
9) Social Media Marketer
10) Web Developer
11) Music Composer
12) Animator
13) Stuntman
14) Singer
15) Fengshui Master / Fortune Teller
16) Electrician
17) Taxidermist
18) Massage Therapist / Reflexologist
19) Consultant (e.g. relationship, business)
20) Corporate Trainer
21) Instructor (e.g. swimming)
22) White Hat Hacker
23) Motivational Speaker
24) Magician
25) Merchandiser
26) Dancer
27) Tour Manager
28) Designer (e.g. graphic, fashion)
29) Cartoonist
30) Artist (e.g. tatoo, make-up)
31) Bodyguard
32) Cobbler
33) Handyman
34) Web Influencer
35) Butler
36) Professional Poker Player
37) Writer
38) Researcher (e.g. UFO, medical, science)
39) Car Racer
40) Conservationist
41) Grave Digger
42) Busker
43) Brand Ambassador
44) Undercover Agent
45) Professional Conference Organizer (PCO)
46) TV Host
47) Website / Software Developer
48) Investigator (e.g. CSI, Paranormal)
49) Storyteller
50) Priest

Happy exploring! (and realize your potential)

A young Job Hopper. Rotation and Talent Grooming – which do you prefer?

The average work span of a young Graduate in Singapore is about 2 years.

Youth is on their side.  Empowerment is what they seek for,  envisioning the possibility to make an impact in a fun-filled environment that doesn’t reek of any bureaucracy.

Employers are constantly seeking new ways to delight them.  After all, the new generation is considered to be highly educated and widely travelled.  Using technology, they think of new ideas to old problems.  We need them, they are energetic and youthful.

But how often are they equipped with deep knowledge and real-time experiences to make better informed decisions?

One can’t gain a significant advantage after being on the role for a short period of time. Even if they claim otherwise, how will they eventually manage things and people?

What may happen is that they will apply for another job in a different firm if things are getting mundane, does not fit what they seek for. To most, it’s perfectly alright to try on various roles since this is the exploratory stage.

That’s part of the career self-discovery stage.  Fully understandable. Taking on different designations open new realms of opportunities.

However, if it’s done excessively without knowing where to go at some point of time, one’s specific talent can be made questionable.

Frequent job rotation, though offer diverse exposure, will nonetheless lead to “jack of all trades but master of none“.

A Master typically hones his/her skills, challenges oneself to hit the ultimatum.

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Depending on the industries, there needs to be a longer period of time of getting oneself immersed into the role – take the school of hard knocks, make mistakes and being molded into stronger characters.

Additionally, the process of updating their resumes with many jobs could be causes for concern. Questions arise such as “seems like you apply for several jobs….”, “why do you apply for more than 5 jobs within a year, with each lasting less than 2 years?”

Certainly, a young graduate does not want to look like a serial Job Hopper without any target in mind. One can’t gather a wealth of knowledge and a robust corporate network within a short span of time.

So, how do we identify such tendencies of young Job Hoppers?

Today is my first day of work. After my probation period, I am out of here

The odd mindset you will be “out of here” after the grace period, When the clock strikes the final hour, it’s time for you to pack up, regardless of how your work turns out.

Gosh….don’t you feel lethargic saying goodbyes and hellos and pressing the start button again and again.

I can quit my job anytime. I study in the best school, the highest educational pathway and have grades which are superbly excellent

Education provides the stepping stone.  Workplace internships are just the launch-pads.

What’s missing here is people-to-people relationships.  School does not equip you with corporate communication skills.  Wherever you go, communication is important to get tasks done.  Most firms are looking for team players, not individualists.

If one uses educational qualifications as the shortlisted criterion and therefore conditioned to think they are highly marketable, they may be wadding in treacherous waters. Without solid corporate achievements and network, there is lesser marketability. And this takes time to build up. One must also learn how to sell your profile as well.

I am 90% confident the grass is always greener on the other side. The grass never turns blue. Never!

Of course the colors of the grass remain. After all, we live in Singapore. But the grass has numerous insects living in between the forages. Can you see with your naked eye?

Similarly, can you confirm your next job be able to match what you expect?

It’s like a spinning roulette. You are simply running around with the betting chips. If you hate your boss now, you may hate the working environment in your next job. And you start the blame game without evaluating your own first.

I can earn more by switching jobs regularly. My credentials are well sought after by the industry

Let’s do a reality check here.

If a current employee works in his job for up to 2 years, depending on his assigned role and the industry technicalities, how likely will his expertise be highly sought after?

Can he/she be comparable to another with 5 years of work experiences in the same company with similar job scope?

Put the same person into a work scenario.  Chances are, the incumbent will find it hard to explain, face challenges to offer solutions since there are limited experiences. Unless there is a little genius inbuilt – a considerable amount of time to grow is needed on the job, take on more important responsibilities.

Conclusion

It’s great to jump right on to the next job with time at your side. Self-reflect, search an area of interest that resonates with you. But if one is conditioned to be rotate jobs like a flip of the pen, this will lead to frustration.  The wheel never stops spinning at the same level. Just like a rodent running in circles.

Talent takes time.  Once you find something that makes you self-satisfied, aim to be the best.  Be on the job longer, develop deeper abilities to make yourself hugely marketable.

And you can state specific accomplishments in your resume.