Dear Job Doctor, What tips and tricks would you recommend in Luxembourg to strengthen networking skills and building relationships?

CNBC states that "some estimates suggest that up to 70% of all jobs are not published on publicly available job search sites, and research has long shown that anywhere from half to upwards of 80% of jobs are filled through networking."

The Hidden Job Market

It is true that many opportunities are never advertised for one reason or another. Such as replacing an existing employee or an organisation wishes that some, usually senior, appointments must be kept confidential.

It is also true that some recruitment firms do not advertise all their mandates. This can be due to confidentiality or most commonly due to managing the selection and rejection process. On many occasions it is time saving and more targeted to proactively contact passive candidates (Head-Hunting) rather than manage an advertising campaign targeting active candidates where the selection and the most time consuming ‘rejection process’, or as I prefer to call it the ‘redirection process’ is eliminated, I just don’t like using the term ‘reject’ when referring to people.

There are only really two ways to discover the hidden job market, through recruitment / headhunting firms or through networking.

Network NOW!

Too often I find those who’s roles have been made redundant or who are simply looking for a new opportunity begin to build their network at this point. Make networking a habit and don’t just start when you need a network, although start you must.

If you make networking a habit it will increase your chances of hearing about opportunities when you need them. One of the simplest ways is to keep in regular contact with former colleagues and increase your connections on LinkedIn.

Ask

People rarely ask for help, you’ll be surprised at how many are willing to.

When you’re speaking with your connections who might be valuable for your search, tell them about the types of roles and opportunities you are interested in. Finding opportunities can also be through 2nd degree connections, end every networking conversation with ‘Who else should I be talking to?’, whilst expanding your contacts, this question can lead to opportunities outside of your own network

If you already know the companies you’d like to work for, use your LinkedIn connections to get introduced to the decision maker. If you’re referred to them, you’re more likely to get their attention. Do you already know someone in the organisation who could introduce you to HR or the head of department.

Associations

A good place to build relationship and establish new connections is at events held by industry associations. The pandemic has clearly made this problematic, there is limited opportunity to meet face to face for good reason. However, many associations continue to offer virtual events, when visible make a list or screen shot the attendees. Now that you have something in common, connect and follow-up through LinkedIn.

Who else?

Friends, family, pervious colleagues and managers and trusted co-workers, reach out to all of them, re-establish your relationships expand your network. You may uncover your next opportunity through those most close to you, they may even get approached for some where you are immediately recommended.

Darren Robinson is the Managing Partner at Anderson Wise, an independent local recruitment firm in Luxembourg. www.andersonwise.com