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  • Your Network is Your Only Insurance Policy

    Last Monday I stated that the future of job hunting is people searching and I received a great reaction to it with over a hundred retweets and twenty-three comments.  The main idea with this concept is that the web has broken hierarchies and connected everyone in disperse networks, so that you can reach employees at companies you want to work for directly, without applying through job boards.  Job boards are becoming ineffective and will be obsolete in the future, while networking becomes the only way to secure a job.  Right now approximately 80% of people get a job through networking and that will be 100% in five years, I predict.

    New evidence presentedRecruitment through social media

    A recent Jobvite survey (5/20/09) presented some very interesting data that examines the present state and future of recruitment.  Here are the major bullet points worth noting:

    • 76% plan to invest more in employee referrals (68% in 2008)
    • 72% plan to invest more in recruiting through social networks
    • 75%+ plan to invest less in more costly sources (job boards, third-party recruitment and campus recruitment)
    • 80% of companies use or are planning to use social networking to find and attract candidates this year
    • 77% of respondents said they use social networks to reach passive candidates
    • 66% of respondents hired a candidate through social networks and they were quality
    • 15% of respondents tapped employees social networks for hiring
    • HR people use social networks to research candidates
      • 76% use LinkedIn
      • 67% use search engines (Google)
      • 44% use Facebook
      • 21% use Twitter
    • 24% of candidates disclose their social networking presence when applying for a job

    Analysis of results

    By reviewing this survey, it’s obvious what’s going on in the recruiting world. During this recession, companies can’t afford to pay job boards thousands of dollars to list positions, especially because many companies aren’t even hiring and it’s easy and cheap to assess top talent through social networks.  Few companies understand that their best recruiters are their employees that have professional networks already accounted for and visible on social networks like LinkedIn  (only 15% tap employees social networks for hiring).

    Companies understand the need for social technologies in their business, so they realize that you want to recruit individuals that already have these new skills.  The majority of companies have successfully hired candidates using social networks!  One issue I find with this survey is that job seekers aren’t showcasing their social profiles or blogs when applying for jobs, yet recruiters are using search engines and these networks to recruit.  Job seekers should make sure their presence is positive and clean and then promote the URL’s on their materials (i.e. resume).

    What this all means for your brand

    I want to restate that your network is your only insurance policy. As the use of job boards declines, the need for strong professional networks increases.  At some point, maybe five years or so down the road, you won’t be able to get a job without knowing an employee that can refer you for a position at a target company.

    There are three main areas where you should focus your attention on right now:

    1)  Protect your brand: As the survey mentions, most hiring managers are researching social networks and using search engines to conduct background checks.  I’ve covered this before, so it’s not revolutionary, but it’s important to reinforce how important this is.  Aside from using a website such as namechk.com to claim your brand name on social networks, you must ensure that you’re painting a positive portrait of yourself on your profiles.  You want to feel proud of those profiles, with the intent that they may help you get a job.

    2)  Promote your brand: If you aren’t visible, you don’t exist.  From the research above, it’s apparent that hiring managers are conducting background checks using search engines and social networks and if your name doesn’t show up, you will lose an opportunity every single time.  Competitive, you or your business cannot afford that!  Also, it really upsets me that most applicants aren’t promoting their websites to their employers.  It differentiates you!  This is a major opportunity to stand out since only around 1 in 4 applicants are doing it.

    3)  Partner your brand: To survive and live a successful life, you MUST have a strong network.  To me, this is a call to arms.   I’m not telling you to force relationships, but I am telling you to work as hard as you can to network with other people and build relationships.  Otherwise, if you don’t, then it will take you longer to get a job, it will be harder to interview for positions and your brand won’t have the support system it needs to rise to the top.  Partner with people that are at companies you want to work for or have skills that can help you start a business.  Meet as many people as you can and treat life like a giant networking event!


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    avatar

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in eBrand, Futures, Job Search, Networking, Personal Branding, Recruitment
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    9 comments on “Your Network is Your Only Insurance Policy
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      This is great advice.. As someone who is a job seeker, I have been using social networking and the web with the assumption that I am the product. I have a website that I continuously tweak, I set up and and have been maintaining a blog. I’ve done more face to face networking in the past 2 months than I’ve done in the past 2 years… and I’m Tweeting, LinkedIn-ing etc. I hope all this hard work pays off!!

    2. avatar
      EXPERT

      How many people have historically gotten a job via networking? It seems it’s been this way my entire life (albeit I’m only 25). I remember when I was a little kid my mom telling me to study hard and work hard because our family didn’t have the connections in high places and without them I was going to be a step behind those who did have great connections.

      After going to Boston Latin School and via social media I’ve gotten lots of great connections (and figured out that titles are not that important) but working hard is still obviously key. When I worked at a large bank I pushed hard for everyone to get on LinkedIn. Was successful but met a lot of resistance too. Now, I’m noticing a ton those resistors joining and connecting with me on LinkedIn after getting laid off. A bit ironic.

      Still, I don’t think job boards will completely disappear. Instead they’ll networking integrated. In a way, many of these networking sites are also job boards (resumes and job postings on LinkedIn). What will disappear is the excuse “oh, but I don’t have the right connections”. Social media will enable anyone to connect with anyone so there’ll no longer be an excuse for those who don’t.

    3. avatar
      EXPERT

      I am very pleased to have found this article. I am the Training Facilitator at the Ferndale Career Center in MI, and we are launching our first “Social Media and Career Success” workshop this upcoming Friday. Everything you have mentioned in this artilce is precisely why we have started this workshop series. Thank you – I will be utilizing this article in this class!

    4. avatar
      EXPERT
      Chris Perry says:

      Great article.

      You definitely need to develop a network. This goes for both extroverts and introverts. Introverts may not feel comfortable with large networking events, but they should identify contacts through LinkedIn and other social media and request one-on-one informational interviews over the phone to build their networks and learn about the career, industry and/or company of interest from professionals who may become your champions down the road. One of my informational interviews led to an invitation to an onsite interview which then led to my upcoming job, so I personally support networking. If you find this overwhelming, set some weekly goals, such as 1 or 2 informational interviews a week, even if you have a job, so you can prepare your network for when you really need help from it in your career search or development.

    5. avatar
      EXPERT
      MLDina says:

      When a trusted source vouches for a potential job candidate, I place a lot of value in that candidate. I personally wouldn’t want to recommend someone I know wouldn’t be right for a position because that puts my reputation at stake, and I’m sure most others feel the same way. I’m not sure job boards will disappear completely, but I completely agree that referrals and social networks will continue to impact recruiting strategies.

    6. avatar
      EXPERT
      Jonas Trevio says:

      Nowadays a lot of job boards submit their job feeds to the big job search
      engines such as indeed or careerjet, when someone searches for a job there he’s
      likely to get results from dozens of job boards and classified sites.

      So I don’t think job boards will dissapear, au contraire. The time is right for
      niche job boards and local job boards, without those big search engines wouldn’t
      have any results to display!

    7. avatar
      EXPERT

      This is great advice. Networking also works both ways; not only providing a possible employment channel into a perspective employer but equally important as research information on the culture of th employer. We as employees will have to become much more informed on whether to pursue a target company based on the businesses’ financial condition, caliber of the management, how employees are treated and rewarded, and other like important data.

    8. avatar
      EXPERT

      Do some calculation before doing any insurance plan; subtract your resources from the amount of capital needed to meet your family’s total financial needs.

    9. avatar
      EXPERT
      uciama cases says:

      thanks for the tip. I used Namechk for this.

    11 Pings/Trackbacks for "Your Network is Your Only Insurance Policy"
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