There's a new term for the old saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." It's called "informal recruiting" and, apparently, it's happening more than ever. In fact, according to a new study that looked at informal recruiting through social media, the higher paying the job, the more likely a worker is to have gotten the job through an informal connection.
There's no doubt that knowing people in the right places will improve your chances of finding a job or getting a better one. But what if you're not the type to be frequenting country clubs or high-power cocktail parties? Don't worry, the people who might help get you a job aren't the ones you might imagine. Instead, they are the people you see every day. It's important to put your best foot forward even when you think you're off duty on the job-hunting front. With informal recruiting on the rise, you're always on an informal interview.
Here are a few people you might not have considered who just might be the ones to help you land your next job.
Your neighbors. Next time you consider letting your dog have free rein of your neighbor's yard, you might want to consider that this could be your future boss or at least a friend of your future boss. Neighborhood bonds are strong bonds, and in many cases last long after you've moved away. People who make good neighbors make good employees. So be on your best behavior and make sure you get involved in neighborhood activities, block parties, watches, etc. You never know who you'll meet.
Your kids' friends' parents. If you've got kids, you know that being involved in their social lives is practically a full-time job of its own. Getting to know other parents and working together on school projects and coordinating play dates can require tact, diplomacy and organizational skills. Odds are, those parents know a lot of other parents and family members and at least some of them will eventually be looking to hire.
Your kids' teachers. Teachers have spouses, sisters, brothers, parents and friends — most of whom presumably work in places that will eventually need to hire someone. Getting involved with your children's school and conducting yourself with dignity and fairness when it comes to your dealings with the school will help establish your reputation as a person who might be good to work with.
Your co-workers. Just because you all work together at the same place, doesn't mean you always will. Co-workers will move on to new jobs where new opportunities might make them think of you. They also have spouses and family members who might know of job openings that need filling. Treat your co-workers with respect and kindness now and you just might find them recommending you for a job later.
Your boss. We sometimes forget that our bosses are people, too. Sooner or later, a better job might come along and he or she might head for greener pastures. Often, newly hired managers get to create their own team. Your conduct now will help determine whether you're on the short list for recruitment at the new job.