In a profession like HR that requires that you meet and express interest in new people every day, sometimes all day, it is understandably daunting to be asked to network on top of that. But in a profession so reliant on relationships, even a small amount of informal networking can go a long way in advancing your career and making you a better all round and well informed HR professional.
Join a Community That Gets It
Every HR person knows the jokes about their professions. They don’t really understand the jobs they hire for. They’re trollish gatekeepers. They have a highly advanced system whereby CVs get emailed in and immediately go into shredders in their offices. You know that nothing could be further from the truth. Networking with fellow HR people gives you an opportunity to share that experience and be affirmed by your colleagues about how difficult and important your role is at your company. Plus, you can swap stories about the wildest things you’ve heard in interviews and seen on CVs.
Find a Job for Yourself For Once
When you spend your time finding the right person for a job and making sure that the employees at your company are advancing at the pace they deserve, it is easier to neglect your own career. By networking with fellow HR professionals, you are reminded just how many open roles are out there for which you might be a perfect fit. No one has their ear to the ground about hiring like HR people do and even a casual networking event can lead to loads of opportunities that might lead you to your next job - either now on in the future!
Gain Perspectives From Different Industries
Working in one industry can be great for your career, it demonstrates committed interest to one area and expertise therein to future employers and gives confidence to candidates. But it can also make it easy to miss the latest trends, technologies and strategies. Sharing stories and trends from your industry with those outside of it is an opportunity both to demonstrate your own expertise and to gain new insights that you might never have thought of if you stuck with a network in your own niche.
Pick Up a Best Practice or Ten
From time to time, business blogs publish stories on some of the best and brilliant and the most bizarre interview questions from well-known companies. But who has time to sit around and wait for bright ideas in interviewing to pop up online when there are professionals right nearby that are innovating the hiring and HR management field? There could be company in your office building that’s found a goldmine of candidates from emerging social media platforms or a firm in town might have an incredible fix for the cumbersome personnel files taking up real estate in your office. The fact is, lists of “best practices” online are totally subjective and might have no place in your work. But by accumulating information from numerous sources in the field, you can adapt their best tips and tricks to fit your needs.
by Andy Selway, HR Consultant & Network Founder.