… or Why You Need To Change How You Network
Most of you are used to job search networking. It’s no big deal to send your resume to your entire contact list or to attend networking events to shake hands and ask about job openings.
Are you using random networking?
You’re using random networking if you:
- Send/email your resume to your contact list, alumni list, or any other list
- Use a resume mailing/emailing service to reach employers
- Bring your resume or ask for help randomly at networking events
Most of you are convinced that if you send your resumes to enough contacts and meet enough people at networking events, you’ll get enough interviews to get a good job. After all, it’s probably how you got many interviews (and possibly job offers) during your last job search.
But most of you are surprised (at first) and then frustrated that these random networking tactics aren’t generating many interviews in today’s job market.
… because the job market has changed. It’s changed enough to make these old, “tried and true” tactics no longer effective.
These three steps were at the core of most career advisers’ strategies. Unfortunately, many career advisers still teach the same tactics … ignoring the massive changes in today’s job market and how those changes have affected employer hiring processes and decisions.
Why random networking doesn’t work today:
- Job shortages, not candidate shortages: Random networking worked when there was so much low hanging fruit that all you had to do was talk to random people in your network and you’d have enough interviews to get a decent job. One problem … we haven’t had a job market of candidate shortages for nearly 6 years.
- Effects of The Patriot Act: The Patriot Act changed hiring processes for public, private, large small, profit, non-profit, education, health care and government employers. It required that employers keep copies of passports, Social Security cards, or green cards to prove new hires have the right to work in the US. More importantly, it empowered the DOL to conduct surprise random labor audits, checking compliance with all federal hiring laws … including fair hiring laws under the EEOC. Companies that flunked could be take over and shut down by the US Government.
- Guaranteed interview loophole closed: Guaranteed interview policies existed at most companies as written or verbal policies. But due to market changes eliminating candidate shortages and legal changes due to The Patriot Act, companies began to quickly eliminate these policies to avoid risk of failing a DOL audit.
- Replaced with Employee Referral Bonus programs: Guaranteed interviews were replaced by Employee Referral Bonus programs, essentially a bribe to encourage employees to send resumes received from friends, family and network into HR. If the referred candidate is hired, the employee gets a sizable bonus, typically thousands of dollars, just for sending the candidate’s resume into HR. This helped companies reduce risk of failing labor audits, by setting up a process to shut down attempted bypass of the HR department and Applicant Tracking System.
- Mass competition: Mass job competition weakened random networking effectiveness even more. When you compete against an average 1,000 candidates and random networking is just an express train to the Applicant Tracking System, random networking becomes futile.
When you use traditional random networking techniques, you’re using the wrong tool for the wrong problem.
Instead, use a focused networking strategy, targeting specific individuals at specific companies on your target list. Think of networking primarily as a way to gain information about the company and less about networking as a way to ask for a job.
By targeting your networking, you’re less likely to waste your time and more likely to reach the right people.
… Because random job search networking is a thing of the past.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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