People who work in professional recruitment jobs know that it is a highly competitive and challenging environment that often undergoes fundamental transformations.  New trends in hiring and recruiting emerge almost every day, with social media at the forefront of this changing landscape.

Despite the ever-evolving elements of the industry, there is one thing that holds true: networking is essential for recruitment.

In recent years, social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have altered the way professionals build their networks.  It appears that job seekers often feel more confident connecting virtually rather than entering a room full of strangers.  This type of networking also allows connections to be made almost anytime of the day.

Although the dynamics of the recruiting industry have changed primarily due to the advancement of online job listings, recruitment websites, and social media savvy professionals, businesses still regularly benefit from the services of recruitment professionals.  

Recruitment professionals are ideally placed to help alleviate the HR Department’s burden of sifting through hundreds of CVs and effectively identify qualified candidates.

Networking is the secret to success

Successful recruiters, professionals and business owners know that the secret to success is an established network. It is a powerful tool that benefits many facets of a job search.  Recruiters not only use their own networks to connect individuals with likely employers, but can also help facilitate networking opportunities for their job seekers.

It is important to remember that many jobs are not formally advertised.  It is up to the recruiter to use their network to match the best candidate with the job. In some cases this may even mean that recruitment professionals identify talent that is in gainful employment and make tentative enquiries to see if they are interested in considering a new position.

Building the recruitment network

Networking is the practice of fine-tuning those tools needed for effective recruiting, and it is not limited to social networking with traditional forms of networking are still quite effective today.  

Recruiters must take advantage of all network-building opportunities afforded them in order to find the best candidates for their clients. The most effective recruitment strategy is to combine both online and offline, or traditional, networking.  

It is essential to understand that not all recruiting strategies and networks are best for every industry. Just as in any marketing campaign, recruiters must understand who their target audience is. Where will those candidates be likely to look for their next job or connect with other professionals in their sector?  Employers and recruiters should examine their target candidates and devise a plan for reaching out to them.

Finding talent through media such as print and radio advertising, the internet, employee referrals, open houses, job fairs and job boards are all facets of the recruiting process.  However, because technology rules almost every aspect of many industries, recruiters must also embrace social media.  

Simply having followers and ‘likes’ is not enough. Recruiters need to interact with their connections in order to maximise their social media efforts.  Ask and answer questions, share expertise through writing, and engage in conversation in order to build a strong network.