Your job resume tells people what you’ve done in the past and where you’ve done it. Is that the sum of your capabilities? What about your resourcefulness? What’s the value of the people you can reach in your various networks, online or otherwise? And how should companies value this facet of your professional experience? Do companies need to consider how this might impact their departments?
With Sales, it’s a No-Brainer
Sales is a relationships game. The more folks you know, the deeper your Rolodex, the better your chances of finding the right hinge to close the sale. Building networks of value, where you can be helpful is made far simpler with these tools. They don’t do the work for you, but they give you new ways to reach out and establish connections, and stay just a little more in touch with other people’s environments. A salesperson who’s not exploring tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and yes, even Twitter, is missing some potential opportunities.
How does your organization stack up in this regard?
For Other Departments, It’s Still Pretty Good
Imagine the difference of employing seven software engineers versus having access to thousands of engineers. How powerful is your internal marketing team when they are aligned with social networking tools and the ability to listen to your customers via these tools? What does your HR team miss by not having their listening powers tuned into the robust stream of human capital that roams Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn?
Customer Service is Trickier
In this time of economic downturn, customer service is often viewed as a cost center. Reducing average handling time, and reducing representative headcount are the realities, and no matter what the mission statement says, except for the amazing companies, you’ll find that customer service is more of a “must have” requirement than an empowering strategy. And yet, there’s gold in these hills. It’s just harder to do. For thoughts on how to advance customer service, see Lionel Menchaca and Frank from Comcast for a few simple examples. My take? There can be MUCH more going on here.
And YOUR Personal Network?
When I look at the networks people have built around them, there’s value there. Tangible value. Consider someone like Liz Strauss. She reaches out deeply into her community to build events like her popular and successful SOBCon. She gives and gives, and then when she needs something back, Liz has a strong network of multi-layered contacts to reach into for her needs.
It’s amazing, really. Liz alone is a powerhouse to hire, but if you really did give credit for her extended network, which reaches into the largest companies in the US, UK, and for all I know, the rest of the world.
How do you place a value on that? What does it mean when you can reach deeply into your network for nonprofit fundraisers, or job placement, or contact to land business deals? If you are an employer, or someone involved in the hiring of talent, how much is this influencing your thoughts?
I think this is something that goes into the consideration and metrics of hiring practices in the next handful of years (at least for some sectors). What do you think?
Photo credit, Jurvetson