Is Networking Dead?

With the rise of LinkedIn and other social media specifically for networking purposes, I am often asked if the “old fashioned” version of asking someone out for coffee kind of networking is dead.
My answer is an emphatic no! What has changed is how you need to strategically navigate the etiquette and time constraints of contemporary networking. By all means, use LInkedIn as a way to connect with someone in your network who can give you strategic advice about a company you would like to work for and asking for a few minutes of face to face time is acceptable. However, you also need to be content if someone offers to speak to you over the phone – but your objective is still the same.
You want an introduction to a decision maker for the position you have applied for or the company you are seeking to work for – and it is always good to have done your research and to make your intentions clear when you get to meet your contact.
Think about networking as part of the big karmic wheel – and all of the times over the years where you have been happy to give your time to someone because you knew you were paying it forward. Then think about how much easier it is when you get the request directly, and how satisfying it is to know you delivered for the person seeking your wisdom and advice.
If you are wondering if networking is dead, here are some stats to consider*:
Out of 100 applicants for a job, 50 will be unqualified for it.
Out of 100 applicants, only 4 have been referred to the job by an inside employee.
So only 2 of those 4 are actually qualified.
BUT 100% of the qualified referred (all 2 of them) are typically selected for the interview.
Typically interviews are given to the top 4-5 candidates.
So, if you have a referral and you’re qualified (there’s always that), you’ve got a 20%-25% chance of being selected (1 in 4 or 5).
Without a referral, it’s a bit less than 2%.
There you have it – can’t think of a better reason to get your networking in gear!

*stats are from a presentation at a recent professional society of hiring managers

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