Saturday, June 20, 2009

Do You Feed Your Network Table Scraps?

I know it has been over a month since my last blog, but with job search and trying to find a good certificate program to gain web/e-learning skills, time is a precious commodity.

With this blog I would like your opinion. Are You Possessive with Your Job Leads?

I will be the first to admit that I don't forward every job lead that comes across my ears, my eyes, my screen, or my snail mailbox. Partly out of not enough time or laziness. Partly out of not having a legitimate connection within the target company that I can pass on along with the lead.

Anyone can pass on leads blindly to the various Yahoo, LinkedIn and other networking groups. We see this happening everyday on the Internet, within Twitter, Facebook, etc. Don't get me wrong. It is a benefit to everyone on the hunt, including me, that job leads are passing through the Internet. How many of us can view every single job posting site? Its impossible.

For me though, I try not to pass on a job lead if I don't have a connection. But that is not the subject of this blog.

The question is "Do you feed your network table scraps?" What I mean is, "Do you pass on leads that you are actively pursuing, or just the ones that either were not interested in you, or you were not interested in them?"

Recently, I read on one of my LinkedIn groups a discussion that was both interesting and, IMHO, a bit cold. The writer was commenting about how we need to share job leads. But then the writer said only those leads you are not interested in. *I am not singling out this person because that would not be proper network etiquette either. Every day this topic comes up in many networking groups.

At the Professional Services Group at New Brunswick's Dept of Workforce Development, I get some quizzical looks when I share that I pass leads on even if I am pursuing the same position. Why?

No one can argue the fact that there are more people looking for jobs than ever before. The candidate pool for any job is more experienced and diverse than has ever been in our lifetime. Because of this large pool of people to choose from companies are able to be more selective about who they hire. And they are willing to wait it, most of the time, to find that great employee.

I was recently submitted for a Technical Trainer position at CommVault over in Oceanport, New Jersey. This position has been open for more than 6 months. Companies want it all and are willing to wait it out.

Here's a scenario.
Suppose I am applying for a position as a Training and Development Specialist at XYZ Consulting. I am an excellent match for the position. I know that James, a close friend in my network is seeking a position as a Training and Development Specialist as well. I inform Jim about the position and tell me that he should apply. Jim is not competing against me on this job. XYZ is going to hire the BEST candidate. This not only includes skills and experience, but how Jim or I (or any of the other final candidates) will fit into the department, and within the company. And this "fit" includes one's personality, emotions, ethics, and the hiring manager anticipates they will be politically and socially within the organization. If I don't fit in with these intangibles, I am not receiving an offer whether Jim applies or not.

Potential Win-Win for me.
Let's say that Jim gets the job and I don't. It's a potential Win-Win for me. The next time a position opens up at XYZ Jim is going to being looking out for me. He will sing my praises to the hiring manager, and everyone else. I will have a very strong advocate/angel with XYZ Consulting. Also, there is the possibility that in future conversations Jim has with his new manager, he might tell them how I told him about the position. When the manager hears this they will recall my interview and think "Wow. Genesius was so unselfish that he shared a job lead with you, his competition. I should find some way to hire Genesius or create a position for him. I want that kind of integrity on my team."

Didn't you ever invite your friends in school to team tryouts knowing that there was only one spot open?

Yeah, I could be way off base, but "You never know."

Please let me know your opinion.