Eugénie Bertrand

[En] The importance of Networking

People&Culture

8 février 2022

4 minutes

Even if there is of course no precise data on the subject, it is commonly estimated that between 30 and 50% of the job market is hidden, that is to say that recruitment is carried out through unofficial channels: no advertisements, no headhunters (or at least not in the country where they would be expected), but by word of mouth, cooptation, and networks.

Forgive me, Corneille, for the misuse of your famous Alexandrian*… which introduces our subject perfectly.

Even if there is of course no precise data on the subject, it is commonly estimated that between 30 and 50% of the job market is hidden, that is to say that recruitment is carried out through unofficial channels: no advertisements, no headhunters (or at least not in the country where they would be expected), but by word of mouth, cooptation, and networks.

Here is a short account taken from one of KiteUp’s recent experiences.

The Asia Marketing Director of a major French dermo-cosmetic brand contacts us in view of her upcoming return to France: how to find a new job there by capitalizing on her experience? Our support includes as it should be: precise definition of the objectives, enhancement of the course, improvement of the Linkedin profile, development of the network and above all teaching of the techniques of exploitation of this network.

As part of her active approach to developing her network, she meets the CEO Asia of one of the world’s leading luxury goods companies, who has nothing to offer her. Three months later she is contacted by another manager of the same group, who is looking for an International Marketing Director for the relaunch of a cosmetics brand, and who has heard about her from her Asian counterpart. Deal closed one month later…

In this story, as in so many others we have known, the network has played a decisive role. Yes, but, you may say, I don’t have a network…

False: you have a network, often without being aware of it, but you don’t know how to develop it, how to focus on the contacts useful for your project, and how to exploit it.

A short 5-step path to excellence.

1. The starting point of your network
Your friends, your fellow students, your family, your neighbours, your tennis partners, members of your religious, political, sports or leisure community…

2. Second layer
Your professional relations. Colleagues, superiors, subordinates, partners, customers, suppliers… don’t forget anyone, and above all don’t miss any opportunity to add to your network all people you meet in a professional context, even indirectly.

3. Third layer
The network of your network, or more precisely the personal network of each member of your network. LinkedIn is constantly suggesting names to expand your network, study them and connect!

4. Fourth layer
Which requires you to have a precise professional objective: any LinkedIn member that you have identified as potentially useful to achieve this objective, and to whom you will send a targeted and well-founded invitation (be careful with your invitation message!).

5. Last step
get in touch with your network, at least with the useful members. Indirect contact, through publications, comments, relevant sharing, which will make you appear as an expert in the sector you are interested in (see the article “Liking, commenting, sharing” of #BackToBasics). Direct contact too, physical contact, whenever (again) possible. A network is something that must be maintained!

One last piece of advice: forget about your natural shyness, your embarrassment about putting yourself forward, your scruples about “exploiting” your network: they are not appropriate.

You don’t go to LinkedIn to make an impression, but with a specific goal in mind: to serve your career, whether you want to change companies or countries, find clients, or get promoted. Doing well is no longer enough, it is also necessary to let your network know about it.

  • “O rage, O despair, O old age enemy

Have I not lived so much as for this infamy?”

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