They say, it’s not what you know…

We all know the proverb “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. For those that don’t have friends in high places the idea that success and opportunity can be given rather than earned can be a bitter pill to swallow, but is it a super power that we all have and just aren’t using?

Back in the 1960’s studies began into the ‘six degrees of separation’ theory which still holds up today as perfectly viable, if this is even partly true then we’re all just a few steps away from everyone! Over 60 years ago the world would have felt like a much bigger place with telephones being the only mainstream communication technology and there was a TV in only 60% of UK homes. Fast forward to 2022 and we live in a very different world that’s truly connected, social and you only need to look at how many shared connections we all have on the multitude of platforms we use daily to see how the theory now seems perfectly feasible.

If ‘who you know’ is so important are we taking for granted just how connected we all are now? Are we ringfencing the people we know and trust or are they getting lost in a sea of connections, cat videos, and LinkedIn polls! Are you still reaching for your little black book or scrolling through 000’s of contacts trying to remember the name of that great person you worked with back in 2013, you’re sure it was Rob or Rich or something?  

Where am I going with this? Here in the UK we have a skills shortage that’s only getting worse, the labour market has changed so much in the last few years it’s hardly recognisable – Brexit, changes to Tax legislation, and a global pandemic (just to name a few!) have created a cosmic shift and the dust has far from settled. The rules have changed so much that we’re now playing a totally different sport yet most company’s talent acquisition strategies, and how they connect with resources for project work are being done the same way it was 10+ years ago. As a Talent Consultant, I get asked daily what more can be done to attract individuals to vacancies and opportunities, of which we currently have a record number of in the UK right now, and unfortunately there is no magic bullet or miracle formula to solve this. But, those that are winning the war for talent, are taking a proactive approach to do the small things better and take the time to inwardly look at what more can be done… and there’s quite a lot actually!

There is so much a business can do to improve its talent attraction and retention, but for now, and as we all agree that we kind of know about 8 billion people, how do we harness our new found super power?

A few simple questions to ask yourself;

  • Do you have an effective internal referral programme?
  • Do you have visibility and an understanding of where all those talented people you know are? …we saw this coming so we built our own digital solution
  • Are you collaborating with trusted and well networked partners?
  • Do you ask yourself the question ‘who do I know that might know?’

If you’re looking at beginning your very own Hiring Transformation we’d love to help to guide you through it –

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