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Four Ways Professionals can Work on Their Networking During Quarantine

admin Posted in Working for Success Comments Off on Four Ways Professionals can Work on Their Networking During Quarantine

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Entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners that relied heavily on in-person networking opportunities are finding themselves faced with a daunting lack of occasions to promote their brand. The reality is that large group meetings and other social events will be postponed for the foreseeable future. Professionals should strive to evolve their networking skills by creating a digital-based networking strategy that’s grounded in an authentic attempt to build relationships and forge mutually beneficial strategic alliances. Reconnecting with your professional vision, and linking your skillset to areas in the current economy that are thriving will help professionals architect a cohesive networking strategy that targets hyper-growth business areas.

The Networking Landscape Has Changed so You Should Too

The current economic conditions that have been ushered in by COVID-19 were brought about by unexpected circumstances that have devastated entire industries. Being able to sort through the mounds of bad news to find the diamonds in the rough will help professionals focus on networking during these uncertain times.

Before jumping into any networking scenario, it’s essential to have a clear roadmap that identifies specific networking strategies, tactics, and tools that map out a possible series of results that would support your vision. Writing a manifesto or creating a vision board can help to paint a clear picture of your goals, and this is an excellent place to make any necessary changes.

Networking involves both nurturing and building. When looking to expand your network, targeting your efforts in the direction of thriving industries will maximize your impact. LinkedIn has compiled a full list of companies that are currently hiring more staff to meet the new demands that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to their doorstep. Industries that are doing massive hiring right now are logistics, supply chain, delivery, gaming, communications, and many more.

The last step that should be taken before launching a new networking strategy is to figure out if and how you need to pivot your products or services to fit areas in the economy that are flourishing. Creating a flowchart that shows how exactly your products or skills can be leveraged as an asset in these industries will help you to take advantage of opportunities that come along.

These Four Tips Will Fuel Your Networking Endeavors During Stay-at-Home Orders

  1. Start by Nurturing Your Current Relationships

One big question about networking that’s on everyone’s mind right now is whether or not to explicitly acknowledge the present situation. The short answer is, yes. Checking in with your contacts and simply asking them how they are doing is a great way to start the conversation, and will forge a long-term relationship by showing genuine concern for their health and safety. If the conversation organically calls for the need to offer services or products, you may be able to provide solutions even at a discounted rate, but be careful not to sell. Stay focused on presenting solutions in a spirit of partnership.

  1. Video Conferencing is Vital

Video conferencing is the most powerful tool in your networking toolbox, so be sure to study video etiquette since most meetings do (and will continue to) take place on a video conferencing platform such as Zoom. Learning how to navigate video conferencing tools to host webinars, calls, or other mass check-ins fluidly will reflect on your professional skills and allow you to nourish your community of contacts effectively.

Tools like FreeSpeakerBureau.com are free resources that can be used to market your expertise and also contribute to a good cause at this time when people are in need. A more casual approach may involve using tools such as Houseparty to stay connected and host fun events.

  1. Harness the Power of Social Media

Social distancing conditions have spiked social media engagement across the board. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this platform and all other virtual mediums such as email, video chat, live streaming, instant messaging, electronic faxing, and beyond. Social media is also an excellent way to advertise any exclusive products or services that you have to offer. If you’re not sure what to do, look at what other brands are doing to increase exposure without the ability to do live events.

  1. Master the Art of Following up

Companies are going through an adjustment period, even if they are doing well, and building new relationships can currently be difficult. Many people may not have the time or wherewithal to entertain new ventures, and rejections could be the result of small businesses or individuals struggling financially. Approaching people in an authentic manner and offering to circle back around when things calm down is appropriate.

Conclusion

Networking during this time of social distancing is still possible. Both people in your network and new connections will be able to see the value of your offerings when you take the time to build relationships that can weather any storm.

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The Importance of Keeping Your Companies Recruiting Engine Running at all Times

admin Posted in Working for Success Comments Off on The Importance of Keeping Your Companies Recruiting Engine Running at all Times

Keep Recruiting During Covid

Keep Recruiting

COVID-19 has ushered in rapid volatility in the business landscape that companies are now scrambling to address. Fear of the unknown is causing recruiting to come to a complete halt for many businesses across the globe as companies deal with internal needs, and work with Human Resources teams to craft new policies and procedures. Organizations are also struggling to nurture candidates and are looking for best practices in delaying offers or rescinding offers entirely.

The current state of the economy has dumped a surplus of top-notch candidates into the market that will be grabbed by companies with current explosive growth. Businesses can take advantage of hiring candidates that would be difficult to acquire through normal recruiting conditions, and the best time to staff your high-performing team is right now.

Online tools have changed the landscape of recruiting dramatically, and the power spectrum has shifted towards the candidates in many cases because of the rise of recruiting-based social media. Candidates that go through portions of the interview process can still make either a positive or negative impact on your brand in the digital space. Making sure to treat each candidate with respect and communicate actively is one of the most important things that any organization can do to maintain the health of their recruiting brand.

The Hardest Part About Stopping the Recruiting Engine is Restarting

It can take years for companies to build a reliable recruiting brand that is aligned both digitally and in-person with candidates. Maintaining hiring momentum is an uphill battle. Once you stop moving forward, you immediately start to lose traction and begin to move backward. A lack of presence in recruiting circles such as Career Fairs, and even digital groups starts to minimize your overall recruiting brand equity, and potential candidates quickly move to other opportunities.

Nurturing potential candidates during this time and maintaining market presence is essential in keeping your recruiting engine running. If companies do delay or freeze hiring for a short time, recruiting leaders should make sure to check-in with their team members and put together an action plan to ensure that all candidates currently in the pipeline have an active communications cadence. Offering status calls or weekly email updates to prospective candidates is an excellent way to nurture candidates and make your brand stand out. Consider using this time to put new hires through online training while your company rebounds. Being transparent and providing candidates with a short overview of how your company is functioning during this time of volatility can make a big difference, and gives potential candidates insight into your company culture.

Taking down job ads and canceling recruiting activities altogether may not be the best course of action. Building relationships and still taking the time to review resumes is a good way to prepare for a potential influx in staffing needs. Nurturing your candidate pipeline will help recruiting teams to be ready to meet hiring demands when resources are needed.

Urging people to apply for roles is a healthy product of brand behavior in itself that resonates with potential candidates. Adding a note to job descriptions that indicate you are still hiring during this time is also extremely reassuring. Social media is a great way to engage potential candidates, and is also an excellent way for companies to merge corporate brand equity with their recruiting brand.

Companies Have the Option of Leaning on the Gig Economy

There are many different dynamics at play in the current global climate as some companies are doing massive layoffs, and others are in desperate need of staff to meet market demand. A common theme for most companies is the push to meet demands without the responsibility and risk of taking on employees in an unpredictable economic climate. Organizations are looking to the gig economy to support internal teams, and safely offload work to trusted contractors without having to take on the financial risk and responsibilities of full-time employees. The gig economy is the best option for companies in need of staff, and an agile solution that safeguards all parties. Many companies are seeking out Executive Search Firm services as a means to fill these temporary positions. This shortens the process and removes many of the hassles that come with high turnover rates.

Ways to Restructure to Continue Hiring Practices

For service-based industries that have clientele, companies should be proactive in checking in on both the current and future state of projects to allocate resources across their organizations successfully. Condensing bulky teams by moving team members to more active client teams or upskilling other areas that are not as busy are good ways to maximize the members of your team to actively contribute to the growth of your organization.

For example, creating internal research projects that explore business development opportunities is an excellent way to utilize groups that may be waiting for work assignments. Doing pro-bono work can also be a good business development initiative that allows your business to give back to the community while marketing your brand in different circles that you would not ordinarily have access to. This is also a great way to keep teams busy and teach new skills while cultivating innovation during this time.

The CARES Act has provided multiple funding options for businesses such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to incentivize companies to maintain their current company populace and help to cover business-related costs. Companies should consider applying for funding to prepare for the unknown, and these programs can help to keep hiring cycles active, safeguard assets, and protect employees.

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Level Up: Get Certified or Learn a Skill While You Stay at Home

admin Posted in Working for Success Comments Off on Level Up: Get Certified or Learn a Skill While You Stay at Home

Learn and Earn

Learn and Earn

Even though the coronavirus pandemic has given us all a lot more time to reflect, staying at home doesn’t have to be a downer. This extra time to ourselves can be spent learning new skills that provide a competitive advantage in many fields. The first step in putting together a learning plan is to plot out what type of educational program would work best for you, and identify if you need to upskill, reskill, or learn an entirely new skillset.

The Difference Between Skilling, Reskilling, and Upskilling

Skilling. Architecting a workforce that requires customized training for a complete set of skills is what companies are facing as the skill gap continues to grow. There are a wide variety of areas that are seeing a noticeable decrease in finding people with the necessary skills to fill roles. Technology is a current hot spot that requires specialized talent from blockchain to AI, cloud computing, and analysis. But the skill gap is wreaking havoc across major areas from creative fields to trades such as plumbing and welding.

Businesses are now being forced to transform quickly, which is pushing industries to deeply reflect on qualifications such as education, whose rapidly rising costs are making the dream of getting a degree unattainable for more and more people. Companies in a variety of industries have launched apprenticeship programs that are opening the door for people with raw talent to learn customized technology skills. EY and IBM have led the charge in tossing out the education requirement in their positions, and this movement is putting pressure on organizations to think outside of the box to fill positions.

Reskilling. Age-old industries like the manufacturing area are now scrambling to reskill slews of workers. As robots are taking the place of humans in factories, workers are now faced with less opportunity to offer value on factory floors. Yet, expertise in maintaining robotic equipment has skyrocketed.

Amazon is investing $700 million in reskilling approximately 100,000+ employees to prepare them to meet the needs of a rapidly changing global market. Amazon’s famously modern warehouses and fulfillment centers are requiring an increasing amount of technical expertise, and this has spurred the multinational company to create internal programs such as the Amazon Technical Academy to meet the growing needs of their organization.

Upskilling, which is learning more advanced skills through additional education and training, has floated to the surface due to the advancement of technology and automation. Upskilling increases knowledge that’s grounded in a skillset that you already have. An excellent example of this is a Software Engineer whose primary work has been in Java, taking courses to learn more modern Cloud technologies.

Skills That Will Set You up for Long-Term Success

Here are a few highly potent skills that are desperately needed in today’s modern workforce.

Coding is the Future

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when deciding to tackle anything in the computer programming space. However, even working knowledge of popular languages such as Python can be useful in pursuing Software Engineering roles, or even hybrid roles that are at the intersection of business and technology. A great place to start is online programs such as Code Academy, but if you feel like you want more base knowledge before tackling a specific course, doing a variety of Massive Open Online Courses known as MOOCs are available through MIT, Coursera or Udemy. Course sampling will allow you to explore a wide range of knowledge that will help you decide on a specific path to pursue.

Graphic Design Will Take you Anywhere

The world of Graphic Design touches every single industry in existence and is becoming more in demand as companies push to compete in the digital age. Getting to know as many programs as you can in the Adobe Creative Suite can set you up for success as either a freelance designer or even working in-house with a company. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are popular programs and an excellent place to begin your learning.

SEO and Paid Search Advertising Knowledge is Gold

The demand for Digital Marketing expertise is rising rapidly. Google’s Digital Garage provides free learning straight from the epicenter of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and the Digital Marketing body of knowledge. Learning gained in this space can lead to a lucrative career in Digital Marketing.

Becoming an EMT Will Advance Your Future and Save Lives

The healthcare industry needs personnel now more than ever before. Becoming an EMT will not only advance your career but will fill the skills gap for the much-needed hero’s that are first responders in times of crisis. Although there are no EMT programs that are entirely online, studying to be an EMT can be completed through self-paced online courses through Study.com. Through this program, students can partake in online EMT training that includes necessary skills such as CPR training, and possibly even how to use an AED.

Conclusion

Time is one of the most valuable assets that we have as human beings. Using this time to learn and add the power of knowledge to your arsenal of professional tools can shape your destiny.

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