Networking refers to the process of building relationships with others in a consequential and continuous process with a focus of obtaining and providing information, support and resources (UC Davis Human Resource, 2011). In the job market, networking describes the process of cultivating professional relationship with potential employers, professional associations, past associates, real estate agents, fellow alumni and fellow job seekers among others. Networking in the job market determines a person’s next and future jobs as well as his or her career path.
In today’s highly competitive job market, finding a job through the traditional methods such as responding to advertisements, databases, attending career fairs, and contacting different job agencies among others has been with little success (UC Davis Human Resource, 2011). It is approximated that most jobs available are being filled with other non traditional and informal job search methods such as professional networking and personal contacts. According to UC Davis Human Resource (2011), many vacancies are never advertised. In addition, approximately 80 percent of the vacant positions have been filled by individuals with direct contact with the respective employers and other referrals. Therefore, figuring out how and where to develop an effective and efficient job search that will lead to a convenient and acceptable offer remains a challenge. Therefore, networking remains a highly significant way of finding a job. According to Fredman (2011), it is an effective way of providing access to the hidden job market.
A significant networking issue that has drawn much attention is a case where a person does not have good networks or where a person’s contact list is not reliable (Fredman, 2011). Almost everybody can be one’s networking contact. This may include all the people that a person is familiar with: family, neighbors, mentors, school associates, club associates, doctors, bankers, former roommates and other past associates (Fredman, 2011). Although such a list may not include decision makers in one’s individual career path, few carefully selected persons from the list can be very vital starting contacts to establish a contact network. The right connections are the targeted organization’s employees, former employees and retirees with internal connections.
Others are the organization’s affiliates such as customers, suppliers, bankers, board members, marketing agencies, advertisers, investors among others (Fredman, 2011). Simply put, a contact network is similar to career insurance because they include people who will continuously acts as mentors, referees, and recruiters. They can also offer guidance, recommend, and offer updates about latest trends in the job market. In addition, other ways of producing the an ideal networking connection may include: choosing the target employers; careful selection of companies where one has skills and the relevant background; contacting and sharing ideas with the insiders; researching and identifying the targeted companies challenges; being patient among other strategies (Fredman, 2011).
In conclusion, networking works because it is reliable and produces results. Therefore, although the traditional approaches have a certain level of success, trying other options such as networking and direct contact with potential employers are supremely significant in today’s hidden job market access.