Networking: Are you begging or building?


Do you feel networking doesn’t work? Here’s how to change those feelings and network with confidence and ease. Networking, after all, is simply having a conversation with friends. 

Networking DOES work. Time and again, my clients land positions using their network. BUT, as others have said, it must be done right. “Hey, know anyone who’s hiring?” is NOT networking done right. And this happens to be the way many people start their search.

One of my clients, a senior programmer, was unemployed 18 months before meeting with me. (She’d been downsized after 25 years working for a company that had been acquired.) She said, “Do NOT tell me to network. It does not work.”

Really? Hmmm. How are you going about it?

She had asked people, “Hey, know anyone who’s hiring?”

She began emails this way, sending out a poorly done resume with each one. And when meeting with friends, her opening line was the “know anyone who’s hiring” line.

So, for 18 months, her network did not work.

What we did: First, revamped all communication pieces – resume, cover letter, email format, etc. Next, identified all of her contacts. (Think BIG people.) Then, we created a sound bite that could be quickly revamped for emails, in-person meetings, and even her bowling league. (To create your own sound bite, check out Chapter 5 in my book, Rock Your Network®.) My client took action.

Guess what? Within three weeks she had a new job at a higher level, project management, despite it being summer and one of the weeks was the Fourth of July, when many people are on vacation.

How did this happen? One of the people on her bowling league said, “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted to work at X company? My son works there!” So, my client gave her friend the new resume, her friend passed it on, and my client landed her dream gig.

This person had been in her network the whole time!

Steve, a six-figure commercial lender (and one of my clients), has landed his last four positions using his network – maintaining it throughout his career. Each position was at a higher level – in title, compensation, perks, etc.

George created his last two positions where no position had been before one of them was as a marketing director. He made the connection at one of my live Rock Your Network® events. Set up a meeting. Shared his ideas and voila! A new gig was created especially for him. His landed other roles by remaining connected with those he met.

Lisa, a human resources manager who had recently relocated, also landed her most recent position through networking – despite having no local network (or so she thought). She too attended one of my Rock Your Network® events and made several connections. Yes, she followed up. She was most amazed by how warm people were and by how much they wanted to help.

Can social media be used for networking? Heck yes! Again, it must be done right. Asking for favors with zero connection is not networking. It’s begging. Networking is about relationships – building them and maintaining them.

Margaret, working in DC politics, wanted a major career change. She jumped on Facebook and reconnected with some friends from high school. One of them had her exact dream job with her dream company. She learned more about the position and her friend got her an interview.

Networking DOES work – offline or on. The important thing to remember is that it is a two-way street. Build and maintain the relationship.

Can they be revived after being dormant for years? Yes! I got a call from a former coworker. It had been years since I had heard from her. She called with an opportunity, not begging for a job. She called to reconnect. She called to ask for help with her husband’s company who is experiencing a downsizing – and she wants to put me in touch with their HR team. Now that is the right way to go about reconnecting.

A wrong way? Got a call from another former coworker. He wanted to change careers. What names could I give him? Who do I know in the X field? Hmmm. I had not talked this person in several years and the first thing he wants are my connections.

See the diff?

Challenge: Take a look at how you’ve been networking. Really look. And be honest with yourself. Have you been begging or building?

Want help? Check out Rock Your Network for Job Seekers.

Copyright 2008 – 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

The Bait-and-Switch is Still Out There

Lure quality candidates with the truth, not false promises

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | by Dr. Michael Kannisto |

I’m not sure why, but I’m fascinated by cons and confidence games. When I lived in New Jersey, I loved walking around New York City just south of Times Square because I was always sure to see some tourist happily handing over his vacation money to a Three Card Monte gang.

I’d stand cautiously and observe as a team of experts would masterfully lure a “Vic” to the game, peek into his wallet to figure out how much money he had, let him win a few games, block his wife as she desperately tried to talk some sense into him, and finally go for the big payoff.

It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who actually believes he’s playing a game with any chance of winning! No matter how many times these old ruses are exposed on television, you can always count on a new set of suckers to fall for a well-executed shell game, or some other old carnival leftover.

Just to be clear, I’m not a fan of taking advantage of innocent people, but I have a strange admiration for those who make a living skillfully pulling these tired old cons. The only one that fails to draw much admiration from me is the “bait-and-switch.” It’s really not even a con at all, as it requires absolutely no skill on the part of the perpetrator.

Car dealers used to be famous for this one, advertising a car at an unbelievably low price in the weekend newspaper. Lured by the notion of a fabulous deal, customers would show up at the lot, only to be told that particular car was already sold, but wouldn’t they like to see something even better? As unsophisticated at that old bit of business is, it’s still around.

A few years back I was contacted by a friend who works for a well-known company. They’d been doing some phenomenal work in the area of employment branding and attracting Millennials to the company, two areas of great interest for me.

My friend made small talk for a few minutes and then asked me outright: “Michael, how would you like to run talent acquisition at this company?” I was stunned (and delighted!). This was a phenomenal organization, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

In order to save time, no requisition had been created. Further, so as not to raise the suspicions of the recruiting team, my interview schedule had no title. I came in several days later and met with company leadership. The position was not well-defined, but I was assured that was because I was expected to develop a new talent acquisition process myself. I returned home and waited.

First, my friend called and asked how I liked my visit. I told him I enjoyed it very much. Some weeks later, I was asked to have a follow-up phone call with several more people, which I did. Several weeks later, another set of phone calls were arranged, and finally, a third set. At the end of this process, my friend called back and offered me a position two levels below the one I thought I was interviewing for.

Don’t feel sorry for me! I might as well have been walking around some used car lot with my checkbook looking for the “cream-puff” I saw in the Sunday paper. I’d been the willing victim in a classic bait-and-switch!

As organizations begin to really struggle for talent, they’ve dreamed up all sorts of ways to get job-seekers in the door. Every way, that is, except being clear about their hiring needs.

Some people will do just about anything to attract candidates, even at the cost of losing them in the long run. I could have easily figured out what was happening to me, and you can too if you look at the clues I missed.

Wake Up and Smell the Signs

This is useful information for anyone: whether you’re a corporate recruiter trying to manage a panicky hiring manager, a third-party recruiter trying to figure out what your client really wants, or even if you’re one of the thousands of people who plan to look for a new job in 2008.

  • No clear job description. At no point in the interview process was I ever presented with a job description. People can argue back and forth whether they’re sufficient for recruiting a job opening, but I believe they’re definitely necessary. Beware any hiring manager who won’t discuss specific job responsibilities with you, but instead just asks you to “find talent, we’ll put them in the right job once we get them here.” That’s the mark of an organization that doesn’t understand its talent portfolio.
  • No title on my interview schedule. More and more recruiters I know are reporting that hiring managers and human resource partners are asking them to leave job titles off of interview schedules. The reasoning goes like this: if someone takes a vacation day or two to come out for an in-person interview, they’ll accept a lesser offer because by then they’ll have fallen hopelessly in love with the company and the hiring manager. By then, the title and salary will no longer mean anything to them. Again, insist on clarity from your hiring partners. If they have an opening for a Director of Marketing, then presumably they’ve done an analysis to determine that a director-level hire is critical to the successful operation of the business. Trying to hire at the manager level means one of two things: either they didn’t scope the job out correctly in the first place, or they want a director but only want to pay for a manager.
  • Dragging out the process. People who study behavioral economics love to point out the fact that human beings are fundamentally lazy. Indeed, as the recruiting process draws out, and a job-seeker feels like he or she has already invested opportunity cost into the process, he or she might be willing to take a job they wouldn’t have taken if simply presented with it upfront. I imagine it’s a bit like buying a car or a time-share. Do you really believe it takes hours and hours for a salesperson to come up with the forms and approvals they need to sell you a high-value item like this? Of course it doesn’t. Time is on their side, and the longer you sit in that sales office, the more likely you are to sign the papers just to end the agony!
  • Emphasis on “great things to come” instead of the job that’s open. As a recruiter, I’ve spoken to candidates hundreds of times about the up-side to different jobs. Candidates are sometimes disappointed by the salary the company can pay, or wish they’d had a bigger title. It’s a recruiter’s job to help the job-seeker see the whole picture and present a realistic and objective perspective. Recruiters who know their companies well can talk about how past candidates have used a particular role to advance their career, or provide insights on titling within the organization. This is appropriate and ethical. What was interesting about my experience was that the “great things to come” were all anyone talked about! Again, with no job description to work from, it was easy for people to weave an entire world of possibilities with no basis in reality. A related tactic is to belittle someone’s credentials: “Well, you didn’t exactly graduate from Harvard, you know. Also, your company is well-known for title inflation.” Both tactics are used to make someone believe they’re making a move to something of higher relative value.

Matching job seekers with opportunities is hard work, and it requires honesty and authenticity on the part of all participants. Your organization should have a crystal-clear idea of what types of people are successful in it, and it should be honest with those who invest time in your recruiting process.

Hiring managers are learning that talent isn’t so easy to find these days, and good candidates are commanding higher salaries. HR partners are scrambling to figure out why entire departments are walking out the door. Recruiters are being called upon more and more to explain the new realities of the global employment marketplace, and the implications of a multi-generational workforce.

Getting someone to sign an offer letter is no longer a guarantee that they’ll just “stick it out” for a few years. I’ve seen people leave in under a month once they decide that they’ve been had.

(By the way, bait-and-switch is NOT the same as an exploratory interview. They often look similar from the outside, but they couldn’t be more different. I’ll discuss exploratory interviews in another article.)

These are challenging times for those of us in talent acquisition. The temptation to lure candidates into your organization before they have a clear understanding of the job that’s actually open can be powerful.

Does it work? It depends on your outcome. If your outcome is to attract the right person, get them into a job they feel great about, and watch them deliver long-term business results, then you’re out of luck. That happens about as often as a tourist outsmarting a “friendly” Three Card Monte hustler!

Michael R. Kannisto is global staffing director at Bausch & Lomb. He joined B&L in July 2006, and is responsible for leading staffing policies and practices, the staffing team in the United States, and global internship & co-op programs. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Hope College, a Ph.D. in chemistry from Texas A&M University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. He’s is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Human Resource Management, and has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from HRCI. He is also a certified Process Excellence Greenbelt, and is a member of the MBA Focus Advisory Board.


LinkedIn: 300,000 recruiters are looking for you

One of the most hopeful and exciting trends in job hunting is the fact that recruiters are now looking for passive candidates online. Recently I attended an Internet Recruiting workshop where presenter, Mark Berger, stated that 300,000 recruiters use LinkedIn regularly to recruit passive candidates. “It’s not who you know, but who knows you,” said Berger. In addition, during the workshop Berger demonstrated how to use Google to find names and top candidates. About 100+ recruiters were in the room, and that was just one workshop.


It is key for professionals of all levels to have an online identity that is professional and demonstrates his or her expertise. Since recruiters are searching online – and not necessarily using fee-based job sites, you want to be sure your online identity is crystal clear in how it represents you – and you want to be sure that when someone Googles your name, it is truly you. And that your name is within the first 30 listings (preferably in the top 10).


Are you getting the right attention from recruiters? If not, visit: 

to help you get the most from LinkedIn and other social networking sites.


Attention all whiners: You’re fired!

By Dan Kennedy,

You’re Fired. (Dan’s favorite saying.)

This dates back to when me and my Wealth Coaching Group watched the new series premier of The Apprentice at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. We agreed; The Donald made the right decision, fired the most deserving — the guy who whined he looked bad because he was “under-utilized.”

The next day in our meeting, Mike Walters talked about hiring a guy who had sold and delivered office furniture to their new offices and turning the guy into his top Project Manager at a good salary. The guy’s sole qualification? While there supervising the delivery of the furniture he’d sold, he observed other delivery guys, cubicle installers, phone guys and construction folk running amok and took it upon himself to take charge of the entire office set-up, staying for more than 10 hours to get ‘ er done. He demonstrated he would step up, take charge and “carry the message to Garcia.’

There are more of the whiners waiting to be told precisely what to do and then doing no more than what they are told than there are take charge, get ‘ er done’ers. Michael was right to create a position for his find. Trump was right to fire his loser forthwith.

In general, we are now mired in collective whining about jobs being outsourced, jobs being eliminated, oh-woe-is-they. In Cleveland, we still have steel workers whining about their jobs going overseas. Pretty much, that whole industry was over about ten years ago. Heck, I know air traffic controllers still whining about Reagan canning them. Geez, I hate whiners.

Once you see the writing on the wall, there’s no profit in sitting there staring at it. People need to be told: take charge of your life. Assert yourself. You were not guaranteed lifetime employment. It says the right to “pursuit of” all sorts of stuff. Key word: pursuit.

If you ARE going to have people around you, my advice is keep saying “You’re Fired” as many times as it takes, as quickly and decisively as required, until you wind up surrounded and supported by a few step up, take charge, get ‘ er done’er types. You want people alert enough to see something that needs doing, with enough initiative to go ahead and do it. I’m fortunate: My assistant does a lot without being told it needs doing or how to do it. The now-very-rare times I find myself working with a client not doing well, not going well, a quick check of the people they’ve got around them reveals the problem.


Dedicated To Multiplying Your Income,Dan Kennedy

What to do when you can’t say NO

By Nicole Williams,

Question: I have a million people asking me for favors and because I want to help I always say yes. Then I’m up all night trying to get everything done. How do I say no without making people wary of asking for my help in the future?

Answer: Repeat after me: NO. Explain that you’d love to help (if that’s true) but your schedule is jammed. Think quality instead of quantity. Select a few of the people/things you’d really like to dedicate some time to and go all out, rather than giving the half-assed effort that comes with sleepless nights and a lack of focus. I guess my question is: What would be so wrong with making people wary of asking you for anything and everything? Seems you could use a little decrease in the number of asks—a million is a lot.