Picture yourself on the rooftop of a popular downtown hotel in the middle of Chicago enjoying a glass of wine on a warm summer evening and mingling with friends. You’ve just found yourself networking.
A short while later, and a few mistaken conversations about boating and golf, we had begun an enjoyable banter about business, books and hiring. Jim is a Senior Vice President at a large retirement planning firm who, despite enlisting a talented recruiter to source quality candidates, prefers to hire from within his network of colleagues or from a trusted word-of-mouth recommendation.
The candidate was a woman who was recently widowed, needed a new job – as do many people in today’s market – and she appealed to John’s human side. Whoa!
I was blown away. Wine glass down. Smile from ear to ear. This was no gimmick. It wasn’t some crazy idea a marketing person thought of for her. It was the essence of personal branding done right.
- Did she go out on a limb? Oh yeah.
- Was it risky? Definitely.
- Could it have gone poorly? Maybe.
- Did she get the job? You bet.
As a chocolate loving, vegetarian I rarely eat pie, homemade or not. Be that as it may, there’s a great chance I would hire a candidate who cared enough about working for my company that they baked me a pie, apple or any other flavor.