Networking with Power – 8 Keys to Productive Networking

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are in the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill area and would like more information on how you and your company can get involved with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (link), including membership benefits, contact Kim Niskey, (919)-360-8665, [email protected]

Jeff Tippett, Marketing Consultant and Public Speaker, was the engaging presenter of this sessions held at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

Jeff Tippett, Marketing Consultant and Public Speaker, was the engaging presenter of this session held at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

One of my new initiatives as a business owner for 2014 is joining my local chamber of commerce (in my case the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce) and to utilize opportunities to network, sell my services and attend educational workshops. On Friday, January 17th, I attended my first event, “Networking with Power,” with an excellent speaker, Jeff Tippett (link), Senior Marketing Manager with The Publicus Community. (link)

Jeff began by having the 50+ attendees giving 30 second introductions of themselves and one major change they were going to make in 2014. This illustrated how even in quick introductions, we can network and identify valuable business connections. Jeff then went into his 8 points for productive networking:

1. Networking is not your goal. The point: sometimes it is easy to get so wrapped up in networking it becomes a goal onto itself. We need to always remember what business goals we are trying to achieve through networking. This way we can target the optimal events and people to achieve business success.

2. It’s all about me. When we network, we need to be bold to introduce ourselves, meet others, be a positive presence, and be able to articulate our own unique attributes, or brand. We need to be our own best public relations machine. Also we need to be very aware of the messages we send via our online social media presence.

3. I lied – it’s not all about you. Yes, even though I may need to promote myself via networking, I do need to have a keen focus on others, listening to them, understanding their needs, using my connections to help them.

4. You need to stand out in a good way. Walk into a room with a smile, be dressed appropriately, look bright and alert.

Follow up with people as promised!  Don't leave them hanging!

Follow up with people as promised! Don’t leave them hanging!

5. Follow up, don’t leave them hanging. When we attend networking events, we often make promises, collect business cards, etc. We need to follow through with what we say to others. Jeff even suggested sending handwritten cards to maximize impact of that initial meeting.

6. Stalking works. Before attending an event, we can often research who is going to be there. We should proactively identity the key people attending we want to meet and make sure we connect with them at the event.

7. Keep them awake. In our quick introductions while networking, we should be able to provide a meaningful introduction of ourselves in 15-20 seconds. And we also need to make the introduction titillating enough so that our listeners will want to know more and ask us some follow up questions.

8. Generally – be awesome! This can include helping others, being reliable, being positive, being passionate about what we do.

My first Greater Raleigh Chamber event was a very worthwhile investment of my time and I am looking forward to more!

Generational Diversity – Are Your Recruiting Methodologies “Up to Date?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: (This session is being postponed until later in the year.) The newly formed Triangle Chapter of the National Diversity Council – Carolinas is holding its first half day conference, the Generational Diversity Summit on February 19th! It’s going to be a great event – link here for info and to enroll. Email [email protected] for corporate sponsorship opportunities.

Many millenials prefer informal working spaces where they can multitask and team

Many millenials prefer informal working spaces where they can multitask and team

Generational Diversity continues to be one of the hottest most discussed areas in the continually evolving field of workplace diversity and inclusion. In a blog I published in June, 2012 on the “Growing Various Types of Diversity,” I led with a discussion on the four generations now in the workplace. This is an historic happening as mature workers (link to a blog on this) are staying in the workplace longer due to financial needs, better health, and the desire to stay active and intellectually stimulated. Here also is a link to a 2.5 minute video excerpt I did on Generational Diversity.

The group now being recruited on our college campuses are referred to as “Millennials”, those born after 1982. This emerging generation has very different views on communications in the workplace, important attributes of a vocation, collaboration, corporate hierarchies and more. Here is a link to a recent article from Forbes called “10 Ways Millennials are Creating the Future of Work.”

One area that needs focus at many of our companies is recruiting. How do we find, attract and hire the brightest new talent? Of course we should not forget to recruit the experienced professional who may be looking for a job change, but as always, college campuses will continue to provide the largest talent pool of new workers.

On the whole, recruiting methodology has not changed very much over the past 30-40 years. Yes, resumes are sent electronically and placed in on-line repositories instead of mailed, and job postings are online in addition to print ads, but overall the process involves recruiters reading through thousands of pages of boring text resumes. How can this be innovated?

At a recent generational diversity workshop sponsored by the Raleigh-Wake Human Resources Mgt Association (RWHRMA) Link, Margaret Gordy, Talent Acquisition Manager for Citrix, shared innovative ways that her company is identifying and recruiting top talent. Citrix (link), an industry leader for collaborative workplace solutions such as the popular “Go To Meeting,” teams with university classes, clubs and professors to engage students in collaborative problem solving. Teams work together to propose solutions to actual Citrix business challenges developed by Citrix business areas. This gives Citrix managers a way to evaluate technical, problem solving, and team skills of potential candidates. Those demonstrating the strongest skills are often offered an internship, a full time job, or at minimum a fast-path into the job interview process.

Advantages of this approach over hours of pouring through resume paperwork include:
• Candidates with the best skills and team work abilities who will fit best into Citrix’s workplace are identified.
• Candidates can experience the Citrix culture and both the candidate and company can assure a good “corporate culture fit.”

Overall, companies that successfully recruit top talent across all generations and keep them engaged working cross-generationally will win in the competitive, global marketplace.