I don’t often write blogs and publish them on the same day, but this topic is burning for me, so I am breaking away from tradition.
Last evening I attended The EO List’s Live Networking session. There were about 20 in attendance. Carmen our host had organized the group into a form of speed networking, and once a few introductions had been made, I made a beeline to introduce myself to and chat with Lydia.
I had not met Lydia in person before; however, she and I have exchanged tweets about a dozen or so times on Twitter. Mostly these exchanges were about “HRish” things, but there were some fun tweets as well. She seemed like an interesting person, and I was anxious to learn more about her.
She told me she was looking for a position in compensation and benefits, and for fun, I decided to tweet out her situation to my network. About 5 minutes later, an old colleague, Jamie, sent a note that he had heard about something, and asked Lydia to get in touch with him. I helped them make a connection.
Whether or not Lydia finds employment from this connection isn’t the issue. It is the fact that she learned about an opportunity because she connected to a network.
There is a key point here that is worth making about networking. I believe I was more likely to help Lydia than someone else because I had engaged with her previously and had some level of relationship with her. Don’t underestimate the power of engaging with someone.
Another key point is that I am far more likely to more fully engage with someone that I have met in person than I would in cyberspace. I met lots of other really nice HR folks the other night. Some of them I’ve known for years, and others I have never met. Of the ones I had not met before last night, I am more likely to connect with them in cyberspace if they remind me that I had once met them live.
Recently I’ve been fairly frustrated with my LinkedIn In-Box. It seems like a nearly constant stream of invites from people, and for 90% of them, I have no idea who they are. I do not accept these connections, and chances are if I meet them later, I will have already drawn a bad impression of them for their social networking faux pas.
The situation is entirely different for me on Twitter. It is an open forum, and I very much enjoy types of interactions I have experienced on Twitter.
Back in April, I attended #HRevolution. I spent an entire weekend with 150 people I had not met live but had engaged with online over the previous year. The lesson I learned from that experience is this: by and large, the way HR Professionals communicate on Twitter is the same or very close to how they communicate/what they are like in a live environment.
In conclusion, if you’re not using Twitter to engage with other HR Professionals, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to network and an opportunity to establish relationships that just might help you find that job you are looking for. If you don’t believe me, ask Lydia.
Twitter has been an invaluable tool in putting me in direct contact with HR professionals whose existence I was unaware of just a short time ago. I’ve come across some great blogs & posts, and am engaging with the authors on their respective turfs. Although my own tweets are not particularly rich in HR content, I appreciate the open platform and the fact that some people have reached out to me in return. I have already been presented with an interesting opportunity to work on something that will definitely challenge me. I hope it will also open some career-related opportunities in the future when I’ve completed both my PHRMC & Masters programs.