Hot and Cold Networking Doesn’t Work.

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Hot and Cold Networking Doesn’t Work.

The new Jobs Report came out yesterday and the report wasn’t too cheerful.  Very tepid job growth.  That’s life in the New Normal.  We live in a world with an unemployment rate of 8.2% in the U.S. My friend Lynn Marie Hammond reminded me that the Euro Zone’s stagnant economy has left 17.4 million people out of an active population of around 156 million people without a job.

I read in this month’s issue of OC Metro that even the well educated and diverse Orange County the land of desperate and over indulged housewives only added 12,600 jobs from January 2010 to January 11.  Not much growth for a county of three million people.

The same issue had another survey among OC Executives.  The percentage of respondents who expect business activity to improve or stay the same today was 84%, an increase from 78% in 2010.  You see today in the New Normal progress is when things stay the same.  We have all seen the job market free fall and we have learned that staying the same is an acceptable platform.  It is survival.

In this world many people still believe that the Old Normal will return and they network that way.

I call it hot and cold networking.  When they are looking for a job it is all about the networking.  “Let’s catch up at Starbucks.”  “Let’s get together to see how I can help you.”  “Would love to catch up.”  When they land they revert to their old habits. You never see them or hear from them.

You reach out to them after they have been with their employer for a few months to check in.  They are too busy for Starbucks or lunch.  They have no time.  They have a job and don’t need your network anymore.

These are the hot and cold networkers of today.

Then in today’s world of the New Normal they are on the street again.  They are not ready to be fired.  They reach out again and want to network. They try to atone for their past behavior.  They promise change.

After years of seeing this from many I have lost layers of compassion.

I am sure we have all met hot and cold networkers.

What they don’t understand is that today you have to be networking all the time.  Just like sharks you have to be constantly out there expanding your resources and learning about opportunities.  Opportunities and jobs are being created but they are often spread through word of mouth because nobody wants to deal with a deluge of submissions from unqualified people.

Truth be told, hot and cold networkers don’t come to mind first when I hear about jobs.

What is your networking temperature?

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch his video called How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4&list=UUEigDTyDiFGXVfyg7sRErOg&index=5&feature=plcp

The New Employer Employee Dance.

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While travelling recently I read a new survey in USA Today Snapshots on Loyalty Gap perceptions between Employers and Employees.  It shared that 59% of employers in 2011 felt that they were very loyal to their employees and that percentage had increased from 52% in 2010.

At the same time, only 32% of employees believed that their employer was very loyal to them and that percentage had declined from 40% in 2010.

Clearly employers and employees are not on the same page.

When I share these stats with some of my peers virtually no one feels that employers are loyal.  I don’t think that anyone who has been through the great recession wouldn’t be skeptical about those findings.  We live in times in the New Normal where companies are cash rich and employee lean.

In one generation of working we have moved from an employer-employee relationships where thirty years ago it was the norm for a person to be hired into an organization out of school and then remain for the next 20 or 25 years or longer with that company and then retire.  The term gold watch has disappeared from the work lexicon.

But now we are at a Mexican Standoff so to speak where employers need top talent and people want jobs but at the same time employees don’t trust their employer and would move to a better opportunity at the drop of the hat because they know that employer would fire them at the sign of any economic downturn.  They have shared many beers with friends and associates or spouses who texted them that they had just been let go a month after being told by their boss they were great.  I know of many Millennials who have had three jobs already.

I also recently read a very interesting blog by Sarah Miller Caldicott on the definition of progress for Gen Y’s. She outlines that Gen Y’s are looking for flexibility in their work environment including access to social networks.  She wrote that “Gen Y seeks participation in collaborative activity that involves sweeps of people including-but also lying beyond-those co-habiting their office space.”

I share the same belief and have posted some blogs recently on my belief that the most successful companies in the future will be the ones who train their employees to be the best networked.

Smart companies will foster smarter employees and make them more marketable.

Recently I heard about one Fortune 500 company who was actively training their employees to have optimized profiles on Linkedin and had implemented a four week training program with prizes such as iPads.  I have heard whispers of similar activities with other companies.

Here is the New Employer -Employee Win Win.  Smart companies will start by training all their employees to rock on Linkedin because of its business focus and allow them to access to social networks during working hours.  They will provide them with Linkedin recommendations for their employee profiles.

Employers will also work hard to make their employees more marketable while they are with them.  That will be today’s curriculum of professional development and a definition of a company that is best to work for.  They will also train them how to network.  Employees will appreciate that and as a result they will be better equipped to do their jobs and if things should change, more marketable, and it will be quicker to find a new job.

In return employees will recognize that to a degree their employer has their back to a degree and will channel their network to help them and their employer succeed.  A tenuous dance and new employer-employee contract perhaps but better than the Employer blah blah outlined in the USA Snapshot.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch his video called How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4&list=UUEigDTyDiFGXVfyg7sRErOg&index=5&feature=plcp

Successful Companies Will Train Their Employees to Network..

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In the New Normal we live in a world where companies are cash rich but are slow to hire and banks are more liquid than they have ever been in decades but don’t lend money.

Companies want loyal and motivated employees but will fire people at the drop of a hat.

Employees want security but readily leave companies for the next best opportunity because they know that today there is no such thing as security.

Many companies today have also cut back on their internal training programs during the recession.

So what’s the one mutual beneficial skill that companies should invest in?  Networking training.

Networking is simultaneously helpful for both parties.  It helps employees become more marketable but at the same time better marketers of their company and that’s the corporate win.

It leads to improved productivity, efficiency, quicker response times, better solutions and makes people smarter which is beneficial for all organizations.  Smart companies win.

I know many companies that have implemented sales training but networking training is very rare in my experience.

I grew up in the advertising business. Networking and relationship building were vital to gaining and maintaining clients.  I received no formal training on networking and really didn’t know what it was.  Standing around a bar at events talking to people you know is not networking.

Today’s workplace is vastly different than a decade ago.  Technology is changing at uber speed and most people are challenged to keep up.  Workforces have been diminished at many companies while work demands have increased.  Smart phones have made work almost a 24/7 endeavor.

Companies that will succeed in this environment will embrace that networking is good for their company and their employees.  They will advocate it, teach it and encourage it.

The most valuable employees in an organization will be the best networked.  The companies that will prosper will be the ones with the best networked employees.  The smartest companies will invest in training their employees on networking because they know it will pay off.

To be able to survive and prosper in today’s quick paced workplace everyone has to be well resourced and networking is a very efficient way to develop a broad solution base that makes you an added value resource center for your clients and a revenue center for your company.  Employees with deep and broad networks will be more valuable that other employees because they can find solutions inside and outside their companies and bring those to the table.  If they leave their company they will be able to find new positions faster because of their networks.

Networking will increase productivity as effective networking makes your smarter and saves you time because you can reach out to experienced talent with the speed of a text. In today’s workplace time efficiency is the new currency of success.  The new paradigm is completing projects quickly but to the highest standards.  Being well networked is one of the most efficient ways to achieve that.  It is the way that companies can keep costs low but performance high.

Smart companies will increasingly believe social media is good for the company and the careers of their employees.  I have blogged in the past that it can hurt your career it your company doesn’t practice social media.  Today most companies social media activities and their employees social media activities are largely in different silos. Finding ways to integrate both will have mutual benefits for their employees. Encouraging employees in every department to be Linkedin with their client counterparts makes great sense.  Having 50 touch points within your client is much better than 3 in today’s transitional world.

So how do you teach your employees to be great networkers?  That is coming soon.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Here is a video called How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4&list=UUEigDTyDiFGXVfyg7sRErOg&index=5&feature=plcp