Today’s employment landscape is turbulent. As it weaves through the aftermath of COVID-19, it is also navigating the ongoing effects of continued globalization, increasing technological change, gig culture, remote working, and other widespread phenomena. This makes it more important than ever for recruiters to stay on top of their markets, talent pools, and strategic operations.
One tool that has remained a constant and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future has taken new forms in recent years, but at its core continues to be a simple but extremely effective tool for recruiters: networking events.
By leveraging this type of tool effectively, recruiters can achieve a few strategic benefits while also benefiting graduates as well. It’s worth considering throwing networking events for multiple reasons, listed below.
What Networking Events Accomplish
Networking events can vary widely by format, size, feel, cost, and more. From extravagant, black-tie cocktail parties to hip bar events to casual job fairs, networking can happen across vastly different arenas and playing fields. However, when done well, a networking event can accomplish a few different things:
Networking events can help graduates, employers, and recruiters build their MBA network. Fostering connections within the professional landscape benefits everyone involved. When individuals are better connected in general, they are more likely to be able to help others.
They also connect like-minded professionals in mutually beneficial ways. No matter what demographic the event was geared to draw in, networking events can help knit together a professional tapestry. Events might be marketed to a specific audience. They might be organized by location, industry, education, or job status. However the event might be designed, it can be one of the most effective connecting tools available to industries, geographical areas, and more.
They create environments for productive conversation that can combine professional interests and aptitudes with personal informality. Networking events are unique to most other types of business interactions. They aren’t interviews or pitches. When done well, they can take on a very personal quality and allow for friendly, in-depth connection between people.
Why They Benefit Recruiters
Networking events can attract a large number of professionals. They can be an efficient way to make new contacts. This could include prospective recruits as well as business or organization contacts and decision makers.
They can help recruiters better understand specific markets. Networking events can provide an insider look, as well as a wealth of contact points, within particular networks or ecosystems. Whether that is a local area or a specific job arena, networking events can help bolster a recruiter’s network and aid them in their role.
Networking events allow recruiters to get to know graduates more holistically than in other settings. As mentioned above, networking events are often more casual, intimate, or personal spaces than other types of business gatherings. They can allow insights into graduates or contacts that might not be visible in other, more formal settings. These insights help more effectively place graduates into roles that fit them and their personalities.
Tips for Putting on Networking Events
If you plan to put on an in-person networking event, think about holding it in one of many hotspots for MBA holders. If you can, throwing events in some of the best cities for MBA graduates can be an effective way of connecting with the sharpest and brightest potential candidates and make the event even more worthwhile.
Online networking events can be cost-effective, low-threshold alternatives to throwing in-person gatherings. If you plan to organize an online networking event, look up the latest best practice on how to conduct effective networking spaces using online video platforms. There exists a wealth of innovative techniques and tricks to making online networking events in your particular industry area or specialty smooth and effective - it’s just a matter of looking for them.
Make the space safe and encourage attendees to participate. This can be accomplished in little touches. Use name tags. Play a goofy game. Hire someone to emcee the event who can infuse it with fun and openness. Making people feel comfortable tremendously heightens not only their experience at the event but its effectiveness for you. It’s often the little touches that make the biggest difference in this area.
Choosing networking events as a strategy for connecting with graduates can be an effective way to propel your recruitment efforts.
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