Career Sisterhood Thrive

NET-WERKING: HOW TO TURN YOUR FRIENDS INTO COLLEAGUES

Recruitee, LinkedIn, college fairs, recruiting firms — there is an entire industry built to access and hire top talent. The search can be costly, timely, and often ends in choice paralysis and poor culture fits. The beauty (and benefits) of a robust personal network is that tapping into quality talent and synergistic working qualities can be done through an enjoyable and effective method: through friends and their referrals.

Gone are the days of endless interviews that feel like a vending machine of questions and answers. Here is how to leverage your personal networks to find your new best friend colleague and team member:

1. SEARCH YOUR SISTERHOOD

Miss Popular, sift through your large personal and professional networks and identify which of your close friends work in the right spaces with relevant experiences and job skills. Forward the job listing to them. Let them know that the best hires have been friends or referrals and that you value their contacts. Post the job on your personal channels. Ask your internal team to reach out through their own groups.

2. INTERVIEW WITH STYLE

Congrats! Your social recruiting has led to a pool of talented friends and friends-of-friends who are interested in coming in for an extended interview. If you work in a bigger corporation, you might need to approach the interview process with a cold type of professionalism – in order to avoid whispers of favoritism.

However, if you work in a micro-business or a company set on making their own pioneering culture, you can set up the interview as more conversational and interactive. Instead of starting off with interview questions, have your team get to know her as a person and a friend – not only her experience, but her aspirations, passions, party tricks. Team dynamics and company culture can impact retention and productivity, so don’t skimp out on the social time. Transition gracefully into relevant interview questions, but balance the work and play. If you have the budget, consider taking your last-round candidates out for lunch and observe how she fits in with the rest of the company.

3. BE EARNEST WITH YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND OFFER

Yes, the ideal candidate might be your best friend or the sister of your husband. Just because you kept the talent within the family doesn’t mean that you have to show favoritism in negotiation. Lead with friendly professionalism. Be as firm with your offer as you would with any other candidate, but also concede to contract amendments … as you would do any other candidate. If you have to turn down a good friend, lead with honesty and end with kindness and a promise to take her out for drinks .

(Featured image by The White Pepper)

Freelance culture writer. Learned "how to read good" at Stanford. Self-proclaimed breadbabe, intersectional feminist and sci-fi and sports nerd. Dreaming of owning a farm one day and baking the perfect sourdough from scratch.

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