Networking Matters Now More Than Ever: Tips for Employers and Applicants

With Florida preparing to slowly open businesses back up to the public, many employers are looking around at their now sparse staff and wondering how they’re going to start up again. A quick hire without forethought can be bad news for your business, but we also know you’re in a pinch to fill spaces quickly! The same is true for those who are now unemployed due to the recent shutdown  and face the uphill climb of finding a new job. Blindly going through the motions of trying to find the right fit can be time consuming, stressful, and disappointing.  Much like “cold calling” for salesmen, attempting to find employees (or find a job) without some prior connections will typically more time and more effort. Working within circles you’ve already created can make the process much more efficient. The problem, however, lies within creating those circles in the first place.  It can be hard to know how to make connection with other business owners, professionals in your area, and/or potential employees at this time, even as the re-opening process begins. Networking is the answer to making needed connections, and while it might look different for a while, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to make the connections you’re searching for!

Chamber Meetings

Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start when seeking out networking opportunities.  Oftentimes in the past Chambers would host periodic meetings or gatherings where business owners (and sometimes employees) could socialize with one another and get to know others within the community.  This was when you would strike up conversations (and hopefully relationships) with other members of the Chamber in your town and use those connections for your benefit later on. While in-person meetings aren’t happening yet with the current restrictions, many local Chambers are still participating in online meetings and chats via virtual platforms, and if you can get in touch by email or phone, you can probably request an “invite” to one of these virtual events. This will not only be the first step in getting to know those in your local chamber, but will also let you see how things are run within the organization and can give you perspective that will be valuable if and when in-person gatherings begin again. 

Community Involvement

Unlike the Chamber meetings, community events were often open to the public, making them a great place to find both other business owners, and potential employees. Local events were usually where vendors, business owners, and local professionals could mingle and lots of networking connections were made in this way. While those events won’t happen for a while, there ARE ways to get involved in your community and make some of those same higher-level connections with professionals in your town. Look for opportunities to participate in something for the greater good of other residents in your city or neighborhood. Volunteer opportunities to help with those who are homebound, sponsoring students or organizations who are doing great things for our area during the COVID crisis, and even participating in community virtual events and chat forums can be easy ways to get your foot in the door with people who could help you fill openings in your staff, or help you find a job if you’re seeking employment.

Conferences and Training 

In person conferences and work retreats are on hold for a while longer, but there are lots of training opportunities (paid and for free) online right now. By attempting to better yourself, you just might end up networking with some important connections at the same time! Both business owners and potential employees attend these types of trainings, and you never know who could be exactly the link you needed! 

Are you ready to find the perfect fit for your company, or for your own employment?  PHR Staffing Solutions is here to help with ALL of your staffing and recruiting needs.  We work with businesses throughout the greater Polk County area, and we recruit the highest quality applicants available.  We use a process of background checks, skills and education assessment, and multiple checkpoints to match employees with open jobs to make sure everyone gets the right fit the FIRST time. Now, more than ever, we know the importance of having our local businesses running at their best. We’re ready to partner with you and make that happen. Call us!