When did the flower chocolate combo become cliché? How do you balance the lads/ girls nights out with making time for bae? What is love? I don’t have the answers to any of questions I’m genuinely asking you, please, tweet me @recirp I’m so lonely…
…anyway wht I do is that professional relationships are crucial to having a successful career in recruitment: you’ve got to hone your networking skills to gain them and master relationship management to retain them. Here’s how:
Eighty five percent of people feel that in-person meetings and conferences build stronger, more meaningful business relationships [Virgin], that’s a strong stat. But it makes sense right? How many times have you recounted that hilarious anecdote about the time a new client misheard an intro and thought they were going to meet Liam Payne from One D when it was actually Liam Pen… from HR? A million times right? Who could blame you, it was an hilarious misunderstanding. Now how many emails trails or voice messages can you do that with? People are more interesting in person: there’s body language, tone of voice, eye contact and that all-important handshake to absorb when you’re a face to face. Don’t be afraid to get out there, visit clients at their office to get a better idea of their culture and working environment. Take the time to have lunches with candidates looking for career guidance, you’ll be surprised at how much stronger a connection you can make that way.
Whether it’s attending an expo or visiting new offices, it’s always a good idea to be on the look out for new contacts to add to your network. But don’t look at it as just a numbers game, making a few meaningful connections is much more valuable than lots of weak ones. Think about how a new connection could be helpful for both parties. Successful networking is about mutual benefit, say a client has been complaining about a problem that stretches outside your remit, why not put them in touch with a someone you know who could help with that specific problem. The client will be grateful for the help, the new contact will be grateful for the referral and they’ll both remember you fondly for your thinking of them.
The best relationships, including professional ones, take dedication and are about quality not just quantity. Think about it like planting an oak tree. You start off small, maybe it’s a promising intern or apprentice who shows lots of potential but just needs to get more experience under their belt to break into the industry they’re passionate about. You have to take your time nurturing them, checking in with them after you’ve secured each placement for them, showing you care about their them in the long term not just when they’re looking for new work. Be careful not to overwater (stifle) them by emailing every week with different offers though- instead get an idea of the form and frequency of communications they prefer (by asking them) and check in that way to see how they’re getting along and to offer any tips- maybe you could write a regular blog on topics that would genuinely interest the kind of candidates you’re trying to engage with. Over the months and even years, you’ll see them progress through the ranks and you can help them secure every role on their way up. The people to switch from one company to the next frequently these days- that means every candidate is a potential repeat customer if you treat them right!
Source: 'The importance of face to face networking' https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/infographic-the-importance-of-face-to-face-networking