70% Get Hired Because Of Who They Know; Here’s How To Get In The Number

By Melissa B. Manuel, Ph.D.

It all started when I saw a promoted ad on Twitter by LinkedIn which said “70% of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection. Find your next job. #TheWayIn”

While it has always been a sneaking suspicion that most were getting through the door because they knew someone, there was never a bold statistic that confirmed it. Not like this. But there it was, in my face. And at that moment, my business mind and my rational mind started a debate.

Business Mind: This is awesome, LinkedIn is promoting their platform as a way to network and build relationships with company employees.

Rational Mind: Whoa, this statistic is huge. So, you’re saying most job seekers don’t even have a chance because they don’t know someone on the inside? This could cause people to feel helpless, insulted, overlooked, slighted, and a bunch of other not so good words.

Business mind: That’s just the way it is, nothing has really changed. It’s always been about who you know, not just about what you know.

Rational Mind: That’s the problem. Qualified people get overlooked and they have no say in the matter, especially if they don’t know anyone who can put in a good word for them.

I was really wrestling because this concept affects people’s livelihood. It affects their ability to provide for themselves and their families. Everybody needs a way to make a living.

And then it dawned on me, it wasn’t about what the LinkedIn ad said, it was all about what the ad didn’t say.  And that was…Anybody can get in the networking game now. There is, in fact, a way in! And it’s through strategic social media connections.

Social media has leveled the networking playing field. Now, unlike in times past, you can connect with virtually anyone via social media and introduce yourself with the click of a mouse. So there’s no need to be salty about not “knowing the right people”. You can now put yourself in 70% by making strategic, yet meaningful connections with company decision makers or those who can introduce you to them.

LinkedIn is a great platform for joining the 70%.  It is a platform where business professionals connect for the purpose of collaborating, sharing ideas, and finding and/or offering job opportunities. I’m not an affilitate of LinkedIn, I’ve simply used it for years and have made some lasting professional connections using the platform. 

Many of my connections are now good friends that I can call on for advice, information, and introductions to other professionals. And I do the same for them.

Here are a few tips for making connections on LinkedIn:

  • Be clear on your motivations.
  • Be honest about your intentions.
  • If you have mutual LinkedIn connections, ask to be introduced to others.
  • Mention commonalities that you may have with potential connections. Perhaps you went to the same college, enjoy similar hobbies, or maybe you belong to same group or organization.
  • Join groups that have similar interests as yours.
  • Participate in conversations and get to know people before you ask to be a connection.
  • Don’t be offended if your request is not accepted. Move on and connect with someone else.

Networking on social media takes some courage and a lot of skill and tact. But, if you want to be a part of the 70% that “know someone”, connecting on this social platform and other social platforms that are relevant to your industry will make a big difference.

Here are some helpful links:

  • Inviting or Connecting with People on LinkedIn:

 http://bit.ly/2pkOeRR (Articles)

  • Mia Francois, Nordstrom Executive, shares how she connected on LinkedIn:

http://bit.ly/2sKPlzB (Podcast)

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Whether your comments are good, bad, or indifferent, let’s talk about this concept and start a discussion. 

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