Employers need networks too

We have all heard about the hidden job market, and the value of networks and referrals when it comes to finding a job.

As I have seen on posters at a number of bus stops over the last few weeks, “You get 0% of the jobs you don’t know about.”

Well the same can be said of candidates “You hire 0% of the candidates who don’t apply.” Or alternatively for business, “You get 0% of the business you don’t know about.” LinkedIn research has shown that only about 35% of potential candidates are active job seekers. However, more than 90% of them are interested in hearing about new job opportunities.

How then to you access these hidden candidates? It takes more than a cold-call broadcast message; it requires taking the time to build a presence, and yes, build a network.

As this graphic from TalentLyft shows, focusing on the same standard cookie cutter recruitment processes of posting a job and waiting for applicants, filters out that 55% who are interested in new opportunities but not actively looking – a potentially significant gap in a competitive, talent driven marketplace. 

Building a presence and interest in your organisation before vacancies arise can broaden and improve the quality of the talent pool.

 As you would expect in today’s environment, social media plays a huge part in effective relationship building with candidates. This goes much further than simply posting vacancies on social networks. These platforms enable proactive search for candidates, and most importantly, the opportunity to build a relationship with them, increase their knowledge of, and interest in your brand, and encourage them to apply for your vacant job positions.

Research shows that 72% of people get news from friends and family, making word-of-mouth the most popular channel for sharing. Why not use this trusted channel to spread the word about your company and your vacancies. Employee referral programs have been shown to be one of the most efficient ways to bring new talent into an organisation, with referred employees taking less time to hire and onboard.

Of course, talent is only part of the equation, Business needs networks too. Referrals are the most trusted form of advertising, with research showing that 90% of consumers report that they ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat’ trust referrals from people they know. In one survey, millennials ranked word-of-mouth (including online referrals) as the number one influence on their decisions about purchasing clothes, packaged goods, big-ticket items (like travel and electronics), and financial products. Baby Boomers also ranked word-of-mouth as being most influential in their purchasing decisions about big-ticket items and financial products.

Trusted networks are potentially the biggest marketing opportunity for organisations and individuals, and yet so few of us deliberately work to build and strengthen them. 

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