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I get asked almost on a daily basis how to create an effective network and minimize networking time all while maximizing results. Giving an example from my everyday life, I will explain how to do just that…



Recently I moved across country. I had so much stuff that I could not take it all with me, there is only so much space in the truck! So it left me with a challenge, donate, sell, leave, take. What do I donate, what do I sell, what do I leave and what do I take? The donation part was easy…. I was not going to have a garage sale and sell my clothes, shoes, etc. Those were donate items. Now I needed to sell some things. What would I do? I started to tap into my most prized resource, my network. I had to ask myself…. Who is the right person to get my message out? Who is the one person that is connected to several others that would be interested in what I have to sell? The answer was not to far from me, I came to the conclusion that it was my dad who happens to be an Engineer at Wynn Las Vegas. (I am a selective/professional networker in all areas of my life.) I didn’t want to create a bunch of flyers, explain 10 millions times what I was selling, why and how much. I did not want to post an ad because I didn’t have time to answer people’s questions and waste time. Once I identified who I would have network for me, I tasked him (please note my dad is not a networker by nature) to tell at least 1 or 2 people in the Engineering department that he thought would be interested. He led me to Steve. Steve was interested in my Sea Doo’s that very same day and came over that night to check them out and ultimately purchase them. While Steve was checking them out, I let my networking self take over and told him what else I was looking to sell and leave. I tasked Steve with telling more people at work. Then the real network effect happened…Steve sent over his brother and co-worker who bought my washer and his brother brought along Donnie (another fellow co-worker) who bought my dryer, who in turn sent over Richard (yet another co-worker) who bought my couch and a bedroom set who brought over Mike who took the shelves in my garage.



These very same principles in my everyday networking life apply directly to recruiting. Some people believe “Whomever has the most connections wins”. That is not necessarily true. To me it’s “Whomever has the most RELEVANT connections wins”.



I sent the message to one person who I knew had the right connections in the right place to deliver and continue with my message. My 1st connection sent another relevant connection who in turn took it upon himself to ensure everything I wanted to sell was gone before I moved. Lets apply this to recruiting….



I consciously select the right people to send the positions I am recruiting for instead of blasting all of my connections. I target the right people with the right connections. My network starts to work for me because it is something they are interested in and they essentially become my advocates which results in the network effect.



We talk so much about networks and networking and many people are not using them in the right way or they don't understand how to. Use your networks consciously and with purpose and you will see the network effect start to happen faster than you ever have before!

Views: 18

Tags: networking, purpose, recruiting, social

Comment by Omowale Casselle on May 26, 2010 at 9:16am
Hi Jenn,

This is a great post. There is tremendous power in not only developing a network, but knowing your network. For those that do it right, you don't need to ping all 500 of your Facebook friends with a status update about X, Y, or Z. If you've properly organized your network, you know exactly the 1, 2 or 5 people who can be most helpful for a specific situation.

Omowale Casselle
Comment by Jenn Francine on May 26, 2010 at 9:35am
Thank you Omowale! I completely agree. it is definitely all about knowing your network. If you look at social media and why it has become such a hot trend, it's based on individual personalization. Same applies to networks...There is nothing more numbing than a recruiter blasting every job to me. After about the 2nd time and I know they are not targeting me specially, I completely lose interest and just archive the request.
Comment by Omowale Casselle on May 26, 2010 at 9:52am
I actually think that's the point that is being missed. It is pretty easy to just to collect a whole bunch of untargeted names on a list and blast out a generic request. It is quite another to think about the individuals within a network which might find a piece of information (job posting, advice, etc..) most useful. For some reason, there is a measure of comfort in having big numbers. But, if you send a request to 100 people and only one reads then all you've actually done is sent a request to 1 person. In the process, you may have made the other 99 less likely to open the next request that actually does relate to them.
Comment by Jenn Francine on May 26, 2010 at 11:36am
Exactly! Very well put :-)

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