An extract from another interesting article from the team at "HR Grapevine". Click on the link to find our more or register for their regular updates:
Looking for and gaining the best talent is no easy feat, with more companies vying for the attention of skilled workers to fill their vacancies. Having a strong, positive brand is essential, while offering enticing work benefits will also go a long way to secure talent, however, the power of networking shouldn’t be ignored.
Networking via social media platforms is a great start, however, employees also want to meet with potential employers face-to-face, to help them gain an understanding of how a business works and whether they will fit in with the working culture. As such, it’s crucial for HR to take up any opportunity that arises to network with members of their industry, as well as potential candidates, to build their reputation and attract skilled workers.
“Regardless of how you currently recruit, an important part of building your company brand is to attend networking events and have a strong presence on social media channels,” Sarah Lee, Head of HR at British Airways i360, tells HR Grapevine.
“Equally it is essential to network face-to-face. Not just with fellow HR professionals but industry events that are relevant to your business. University and job fairs are a good way to attract new talent.
"It’s also important to consider that even if someone is not right for your role now, they might be in a few years, so maintain your contacts.”
Social media platforms are incredibly useful, with LinkedIn and Facebook both offering a number of HR groups which can lead to new connections and the sharing of upcoming job opportunities; social media is a great starting point for networking.
However, heading out to jobs fairs and recruitment conferences will provide any HR professional with a benchmark to meet new talent, while also representing their employer and all it can offer.
Lee continues: “Ultimately for any business, the goal should be to become an employer of choice. Recognised by prospective candidates with applicants sending over their details directly so you can build up a talent bank, otherwise your business can suffer with a resignation, short notice period and a gap before finding a replacement.”
The thought of networking and attending events alone can incite fear for even the most seasoned professionals. If this is the case, consider building up your reputation online instead. For example, write articles for trade websites to help build the reputation of your employer, plus it will also be beneficial to post interesting comments on websites such as LinkedIn to showcase engagement.
“Some people see networking as a chore, but there are really good events out there. I usually go alone so I can meet new people, rather than stay chatting to colleagues,” Lee enthuses. “I would also advise your management team to attend events and connect with people, have a presence on social media, write articles and post interesting comments. This will boost your company profile which will attract people to look at your website.”
Of course, it is expected that employees will eventually move on from a job as they look to expand their skillset. Therefore, by building a strong list of contacts and an impressive talent bank through networking, HR professionals will be able to attract the best talent to fill new vacancies.