Your Biggest Asset: Your Network

By Kathleen Smith
No matter how much things change, they stay the same. Recruiting is about developing relationships, and not just one type of relationship. Candidate relationship, internal hiring relationships and your colleague relationships for referrals and, heaven forbid, if you have to find another job.

When social media first came out, the race was on to build your network, have loads of Likes or Followers, and have an extensive network to leverage for talent acquisition. You connected and developed more relationships via the connections, friends, and followers. Social media has helped with the development of relationships but it also has caused some damage. You may have all these “friends” on social media, but your relationship is based on an electronic image of your connection and only what they want you to see.

The challenge with social media is you are developing your relationships so fast that these relationships become more about quantity than quality. The great recruiters invest the time to build their relationships – the personal, professional and company relationships. They know a relationship takes time to develop, and cultivate. And it may be years before they can “use” that relationship.

An asset can turn quickly to a liability when you don’t develop; this holds true for relationships. Relationships are work, sometimes hard work, but the rewards are worth it.

I was at several events recently and had the pleasure of having conversations with several colleagues. Most of these folks I have known for 10 years. First, face to face, then connection on social media and then deepened with their attendance at a recruitDC event. Relationships are developed in layers, just like onions or like Ogres

As we look to our upcoming recruitDC events – the Tweetup hosted by the Quatro Amigos, the recruitDC conference and the After Party sponsored by HireClix – look to how you can deepen your current relationships and start some new ones.  The attendee list is on the registration page, connect with a few folks in your industry LinkedIn or Facebook. Follow the recruitDC Facebook page, join the LinkedIn group and say “Hey!” Then sign up for the Tweetup, and the After Party. When is the next time you will be able to meet so many of your colleagues within 24 hours. We all have busy lives. We owe it to ourselves and our community to strengthen the relationships we have with each other.

Kathleen Smith is the Chief Marketing officer for You can connect with her on Twitter at @YesItsKathleen. Follow at @ClearedJobsNet