Networking can simultaneously be one of the most recurring and terrifying challenges that aspiring leaders might face, whilst simultaneously being one of the most lucrative opportunities when it comes to building a personal brand, establishing a strong employer brand, as well as potentially securing future employment opportunities at some of the fastest growing companies on the planet. As you climb the ranks in the scale-up ecosystem, you must foster relationships and create connections that help you along the way.
Networking is, essentially, creating a fabric of personal connections that will provide you with the resources, support, knowledge, insights and introductions that you might need to help you overcome any potential challenges you may face, whilst simultaneously providing value back to your new connection.
Heads of Talent at fast growing companies oversee some of the most complex talent functions there are; with aggressive hiring targets, limited resources, and an exceptionally high bar for talent. So, how can networking potentially help Heads of Talent find new candidates, or…even find new and exciting opportunities?
A study reveals that over 85% of critical jobs are filled via networking. Networking can not only help you access the incredible candidates others had to turn away, but is also the perfect opportunity for Heads of Talent to support their ex-employees.
In this short, we will share a few short benefits about the power of networking and how it can help Heads of Talent at startups to thrive in their career.
Enhance Your Employer Brand
The first benefit that networking brings to your company is that it can help build your Employer Branding. According to research, 76% of employees want to work with a company that has a good reputation. As a Head of Talent, having personal contacts in other startups can be incredibly useful when it comes to get warm introductions to candidates who already have heard a positive word about you prior to engaging with them.
Heads of Talent can network with their counterparts in other startups, and this can truly be a win-win for both parties. Introductions to incredible candidates other startups had to turn away can be a great way to access top candidates whilst minimising the use of external agencies, and the companies who recommend them to you can help with their employer brand by providing introductions to candidates they had to turn away.
Companies are built by the people they hire, and to attract the best people out there, warm intros are likely a must when it comes to the top 1% of candidates in the market.
And, as well as potential candidates you are introduced to having a positive impression of your brand, by being able to refer candidates you’ve had to turn away to other exciting companies. Imagine having to turn away 3 of the 4 candidates at the final stage, and then be able to say “hey, not sure if you’re interested, but I know [person] at [company], and I think they’d be keen to have a chat; interested?”. It makes that rejection conversation that bit easier, whilst also leaving a positive impression with the candidate in question.
To build a positive image for your company, you must also pay attention to the outgoing employees. How a company handles redundancies says a huge amount to potential new candidates who will consider joining you in the future. Not to mention that if this is done on a large scale, and handled badly, it can be an absolute PR nightmare.
New candidates considering joining you will believe that how you treat your ex-employees will ultimately how you will treat them in the future, as well as reflect more broadly about your company culture in general.
At the time of crisis or growth, there will be people who will leave and become your ex-employees. Priorities change, and people switch their jobs. How you treat them after they have left will define you and your Employer’s Brand.
As a Head of Talent, your network can drastically help your ex-employees find new opportunities when the redundancy is out of your hands. We have all had to let go of truly exceptional candidates due to circumstances outside of our control, and having a potential place to refer them to is a great way to maintain the relationship. And, if done right, these ex-employees will become your brand ambassadors and recommend candidates to you in the future.
Access to New Information and Career-Changing Opportunities
Networking is equally as effective at an individual as at a company level.As a Head of Talent, networking can provide access to new information relevant to your stage in your career, maturation of the company, as well as provide access to career-changing opportunities.
Particularly when it comes to Heads of Talent at venture capital firms, having access to these Heads of Talent who are the most plugged in to the startup ecosystem, with a great understanding about what companies are taking off, and when they need a new senior people person…this alone could lead to a truly career-defining opportunity.
Imagine getting a call from a Head of Talent at a leading VC firm about a rapidly growing startup from San Francisco, Austin, New York, London, Berlin, etc (the usual tech hubs) that has just raised a mega round and they are looking for a new Head of Talent to help them grow their team from Series B-exit? Imagine.
The talent market globally is facing challenges rarely seen before. The pandemic and the switch to remote-first cultures only fuelled the disruptions; throw in a recession, new HR practices, and a new Gen Z workforce with new and different expectations, make the talent landscape an ever changing environment that needs to be adapted and overcome.
Networking with the leaders at other startups provides access to new information to help navigate this troublesome landscape – the precise information they need to build their functions based on the specific next set of challenges they face. And this is the key…the specificity of the insights you can get and how they apply to your specific set of challenges that pave the way in front of you.
So, there are three big reasons why networking absolutely should not be overlooked by Heads of Talent at fast growing companies. Did you find this valuable? We hope so!
Are you currently growing your team? If so, CLICK HERE, complete the short form, and a member of the Kandidate team will be in touch.