Procurement Recruitment Advice: Networking and Positioning Yourself

Continuing a timely series of recruitment advisory posts from Edbury Daley, the leading specialist procurement recruiter.

The Christmas holidays and early January are traditionally times when people reflect on the previous year and begin to think about a potential job move. Recent research indicates that many people will use their new electronic devices to start looking for a job from Boxing Day onwards. If this applies to you then our series of articles in association with Spend Matters will be invaluable.

It’s going to be a competitive market, whether you are hiring the best available talent or trying to find an exciting new role.  We hope our advice will help you achieve your goals in 2015.

Networking and positioning yourself to get approached or head-hunted 

Most research concurs that the majority of professional jobs are not advertised. So unless you network effectively your job search will take longer and you may miss out on many of the better roles altogether.

Most roles are filled via a number of different networks, whether this is your own personal network or particularly that of recruiters, but it can be via colleagues, old bosses, stakeholders, or even suppliers. Many people underestimate how many roles are found through social media with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all featuring strongly - so if you are not using these then you need to consider them.  For professional procurement roles, LinkedIn is the most important.

Recruiters, whether they are in-house or at an agency, widely use these sites as ‘research tools’ to find people with the skills and experience they are looking for. If your profile has little information about what you do, or you don’t make your profile ‘open to view’, then you will not come up in a search so will not get approached.

Your LinkedIn profile is effectively an online networking CV and it  needs to reflect your actual CV. Similarly, to create a good profile you need to do the full sales pitch and use many key words relevant to your role or industry, as this is how recruiters search for suitable candidates. Many people use their internal job title, but consider what your job is called most commonly, as this is the term that gets searched for.

You also need to extend your network as the more connections you have the broader your network becomes. However, be discrete as your boss and colleagues will use LinkedIn too, so connecting with ten recruiters at once may raise eyebrows!

Do add ‘recommendations’ on LinkedIn but try to get them from senior people you have worked with - a recommendation from the cleaner (with no disrespect to cleaners) doesn’t look as good as one from a Director (or an old boss).

To bolster your network in a focused way to decide on the kind of role and sector you wish to work in  and focus your efforts there - look at the companies in the sector and see if you know people and connect to them.  Join groups that are relevant to your role as this also makes you more visible and if you feel confident comment on posts to enhance this or click that you ‘like’ the posts of others, as again this raises your profile and people will notice you.

Talk to recruiters to see what their client base is and what sectors they focus on so that their network compliments your own. Tell them the kinds of organisation you will consider or the values and environment that you prefer.

Most of all remember that this all takes time; finding a job often takes at least 3 to 6 months - so be patient and don’t expect immediate results - connecting or helping someone now may get a pay back years down line. Building a network is an ongoing process and if you don’t respond to ex-colleagues, contacts or recruiters when you aren’t looking, they are less likely to jump to help you when you do decide to move.

You may also find Edbury Daley's recent analysis of the job market helpful in your decision making -- you can find it here

And if you have a few seconds to answer a short multiple-choice survey, you could help Edbury Daley  in its timely new research on recruitment choice and selection methods.

You can take part here 

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