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Updated: Nov 25, 2020

We all know that feeling of dread when entering a room full of strangers, being handed the obligatory canape, and having to make small talk, but this is how most networking events usually start!

Working in recruitment, networking is part of my everyday job and is hugely important. Building relationships with people in the local area helps me stay connected and really understand in depth where the best talent for any given role sits, at any given time. The importance of Networking to businesses that are looking to recruit is also vital, as leveraging your professional network can be an efficient and cost-effective way to boost your recruitment strategies and find that one extra candidate in this talent short market.

One of the key advantages of networking as a tool to help improve your recruitment process is that professional networks can help identify “passive” but qualified candidates, who are not actively job searching, but could be tempted to move for their ‘Dream Job’.

As a tactic for recruitment, networking also enables you to get your message out about your company, culture, and opportunities beyond the job advertising process. It can create interest within the candidate pool based on these less tangible, cultural aspects of work, which are so important when looking to hire the ‘right person’.

Not only can those in your network refer candidates to you directly, but they may also suggest other contacts who may be able to provide other advice or expertise, thereby adding value to your recruitment process and building your own knowledge.

The other benefit of attending networking events is the ability to learn and engage with peers from other local businesses. In doing this you can learn how others are overcoming the very challenges you may be facing, be that in a recruitment guise, or any other sphere of the work environment. The Harvard Business Review states that this style of personalised networking can ‘provide important referrals, information, and, often, developmental support such as coaching and mentoring’.

Because of the nature of my work, with the freedom to attend events, meet people at a moment's notice and plan my own week, my ability to network is fairly strong. However, for those involved in recruitment from an internal perspective (be that HR, recruitment or line managers), you have to consider getting the day job done, leaving little time to build these hugely important relationships.

One of the best ways to create networks with limited time is to attend industry events such as the CIPD or Networking specific events that will be attended by ‘peers’ in the industry. Macildowie itself hosts round table sessions to bring business leaders together and discuss topical issues and build networks, and the feedback on its value to professionals in the area has been brilliant, actually leading to organisations finding new employees off the back of these sessions.

If you are interested in improving your networks and attending local, topical events, Macildowie’s upcoming events calendar can be found here.

To reiterate, the value of networking to an organisation’s recruitment process is huge. It can provide access to passive candidates who might not be actively looking for a new role; it will improve your employer brand in the market place and will help you tap into the knowledge of those you meet

So get yourself signed up for a local event, and maybe we will see you at a Macildowie event soon!

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