Don’t just Facebook, Facebook like a career professional! How to position yourself and gain connections with real people, and hopefully, real employment or sales prospects in the HR Outsourcing Sales Industry arena while you’re at it.
[sws_pullquote_left]Get to the decision maker, get the job. [/sws_pullquote_left] In the world of HR Outsourcing sales, the decision maker is key. The pursuit of any and all prospects will be a lost cause, and huge waste of everyone’s time if this very critical individual cannot be convinced to take your side.
Every salesperson knows this. It’s in their blood to seek out and concentrate all their energy pitching to a decision maker. Unfortunately, many businesses have complex power structures that must be unravelled, a cadre of unhelpful middle-managers that must be circumvented, and ever-present bureaucracies confounding a salesperson’s best efforts. There’s nothing worse than making a concerted pitch only to receive the following reply, “Please wait while I consult with my boss.”
But if a sales professional can find the decision maker to begin with, they stand a much stronger chance of getting the sale earlier on. Get to the decision maker, get the sale.
The problem is finding and then getting to the decision maker in the first place.
When it comes to finding a job or making career moves, the same rules and challenges apply.
Get to the decision maker, get the job. In this case, the decision maker may be a hiring manager, a program manager, or someone in a position to allocate both funds and manpower. But how does one go about seeking out these crucial men and woman? The short answer is: the Internet.
Connect Like an HR Pro
Gone are the days of writing a well-mannered, well-worded inquiry of interest to a generic receiver and hoping for a reply from someone with the ability to affect actual change. Nope, today nearly anyone of any importance in any organization can, with a little haranguing of search terms, be found and contacted online.
Everyone leaves a digital footprint, and for savvy web users, that’s all they need to figure out who to get in contact with for employment opportunities. Got a first and last name? Run it through Facebook or LinkedIn, and see what other kinds of additional information these platforms might spit out on the person in question.
The truth is, the advent of social media and instant information via the web has made stalkers of us all, whether we admit it or not. The only difference is, when applied to employment seeking, as opposed to stalking an old flame, the web can yield great dividends and key tidbits of information.
In sales, the more you know about a potential client or prospect, the better chance you stand to make a sale. In the job search, the more you know about the key individuals involved in making hiring decisions, the better your chances of getting a job. It’s quite simple really, the right information at hand can open up critical opportunities to establish common ground with a potential decision maker or someone who will influence a decision maker and build rapport.
Just take one scenario for example, many professional social networks will list a target individual’s alma mater. If you too share the same alma mater, and are able to bring it up in conversation, you’ve already potentially elevated yourself above the competition. Without having had this information in the first place, you would not have had the opportunity to establish a key commonality with a decision maker, and potentially positively alter their perception of you as a job candidate.
The possibilities are endless. And in tough economic times, even the slightest edge can be the difference between being gainfully employed and being setback by unemployment. In fact, if you are not religiously putting every tidbit of information into Google search, and cross referencing it with data, such as a recruiter’s name for example, then you have no business living in the 21st century. Information is king, and if you don’t have it, you will lose to someone who does.
Connecting the Dots
Of course, stalking employers and key decision makers through Facebook will only take you so far. In fact, more often than not, much of the avalanche of information social media platforms provide are utterly useless, unhelpful, and distracting.
While the web can provide valuable data relevant for your job search, and lots of it, it is ultimately up to you to connect the dots. It is up to you to identify with whom to pursue contact, and whom to ignore. The more information you have, the better. But without action, all the insight in the world won’t make a lick of difference.
In every industry, there is a small subset of individuals who are extraordinarily well-connected to others in that industry. For example, in the world of HR Outsourcing sales, that person is typically an industry insider – someone who has experience in sales as well as in advising HR buyers, and has an extensive networked in both camps.
While not necessarily the decision-maker, these critical players serve as the synapses connecting decision makers to the talent pool. As a job seeker or an established industry insider yourself looking to make some career moves, it is absolutely critical to find these people – particularly in situations where the decision makers cannot be readily identified or reached. Again, the internet in this situation is your best friend.
3 Web Search Hacks for Finding Insiders
[sws_blue_box box_size=”80%”]Hashtag Search
Search Twitter for key industry-related terms and abbreviations, and identify who’s tweeting about industry-specific news, events, or even peer to peer conversations. [/sws_blue_box]
[sws_grey_box box_size=”80%”]Google Alert Shakedown
Go to Google Alert and enter key words, phrases, or even company names. Google Alert can also deliver key-word related news and articles which can be gleaned for quotes by key individuals.[/sws_grey_box]
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”80%”]Gaming LinkedIn
LinkedIn is probably one of the most useful tools for job seekers looking to get an inside peek at a company or for those looking to mine the internet for information about potential decision makers. The professional networking site typically lists official job titles on most profiles, which makes identifying the decision makers a simple affair. Individuals with titles such as “hiring manager” or “vice-president” are generally good leads to start with.
In many ways, the job hunt is at its core the quintessential sales pitch. Job seekers are selling their time, energy, and skills in a marketplace of employers looking to buy (or at least rent). Yet just like a commercial brand, individuals must find ways to differentiate their personal brands from a multitude of competitors with similar skill sets and experiences.
To really pitch a sale, you have to know your target. You have to know your customer. Today you can, without ever meeting them, thanks to the wealth of personal information made accessible by social media outlets and the web in general. Better yet, by connecting the digital dots with a discerning eye, savvy job hunters can also readily engage with industry insiders who will help them connect their skills with the right jobs.[/sws_yellow_box]