Part 4 of 4 : Recruiting for Tech In Chicago
The cycle of recruiting shouldn’t be one that starts and stops, it should always be a continuous process no matter if you’re in the “buying” frame of mind or not. Be proactive and not reactive, it seems very shallow and self-serving to just connect with people when you need them.
This type of thinking is what spearheaded the Tech In Motion movement that I have been so privileged to be a part of the last few years. The concept is to bring people that wouldn’t normally be in a room together to network. If doctors hang out with doctors, there is some light networking going on but real networking happens when you can get a room of people together that compliment one another because they do different things. Having a business guy talk to a technical guy who’s just getting done speaking with a real estate woman is how great networking happens.
The best recruiter is a networker – one who makes connections to get connections in return. Most people make the obvious connections: recruiter to jobseeker, single male to single female, etc., but it’s the great networkers who think like a great recruiter and after listening, realize that a connection can be made. Don’t waste your time deepening connections with people you already know, think outside your own network and expand it constantly. Balance these connections by staying in touch with people in other teams or in other companies. Don’t make the trunk larger but make the branches reach further.
Build outward, not inward. The point of networking is to connect people who wouldn’t ordinarily work together. You are the reason they got together in the first place and they never forget this. Don’t make the trunk larger but make the branches reach further.
Focus on quality, not quantity. Rather than aiming for a massive network, focus on building an efficient one. An efficient network requires knowing people with different skills and viewpoints. Don’t preach to the choir, collaborate with the unpopular.
Build weak ties, not strong ones. The strong ties are already there, they are the people you already know well and talk to frequently and probably someone who knows a lot of the same people you do. A weak tie forms a bridge to a world you don’t normally walk in. To maintain a weak tie, you only have to maintain it once or twice a month. Keeping this tie is more beneficial than not having it at all. The road less traveled isn’t built with a highway.
Use hubs, not familiar faces. Identify the hubs in your community who are already great organizational networkers and ask them to connect you to someone who knows more. Weave a web not a flock.
Swarm the target. The smart networker enlists the help of their network to increase the odds that the target will listen. Ask a shared contact to reach out to the target person. Ask someone high in your network to talk to someone high in your target’s network. Share your vision of building a team, starting a company, recruiting for a client and remember reciprocity: make sure to highlight how this benefits them. The best leaders think of themselves last.
Strengthen ties by investing time. Invest time and resources to build stronger connections. Help the team get to know each other better. You’ll start to see results very quickly and you won’t need to be the aggressor all the time, the bond becomes so tight that you no longer need to be the glue. Once you have the ropes in place, you need to tighten them for the mast to sail.