Business networking – the catalyst that turns dreams into reality
By Neetu Singh, Country HR Director in India for Dyninno Group
Business networking has played a significant role in my employment decisions, as for the last three jobs I was headhunted and didn’t have to search for the opportunities myself. Currently, I find myself working for an international company with a global presence, Dyninno Group. This aspect of my professional journey unequivocally underscores the influential role of networking.
In the world of business, it’s essential to build a vibrant and resourceful circle of relevant contacts that can bring potential opportunities and fruitful collaborations, as well as great industry insights. Engaging in networking activities can enable you to explore untapped job prospects, acquire valuable career guidance, and enhance the likelihood of receiving referrals for employment opportunities. Building a robust professional network also facilitates staying informed about industry advancements and obtaining valuable insights into the ever-evolving job landscape. But it doesn’t happen overnight and requires proactiveness, patience, strategy, as well as a touch of charm.
Broadening perspectives through connection
Like a secret garden of opportunities, business networking has been my compass, guiding me through the labyrinth of personal and professional growth. Exploring innovative approaches to broaden your professional network can facilitate meaningful connections with individuals who can offer valuable support and guidance along your professional journey. Looking back, I realize that I’ve reached out to peers and relevant communities even before my almost decade-long career in HR.
Back in my school days, I sought wisdom from seniors, intertwining their stories with my ambitions. College became a tapestry of connections, where I dove into projects beyond my institution’s walls. And as I entered the corporate world, conferences unveiled realms of knowledge, while LinkedIn became a digital space for connections.
Today, my network thrives, fueling innovation and propelling me toward game-changing solutions. Networking isn’t just a process; it’s the key that unlocks doors to endless possibilities.
Being on top of what’s happening within the industry
What I’ve learned from my experience is that first and foremost, it’s essential to define goals. What do I hope to achieve through networking? Is it to expand the client base, seek potential partnerships, or gather industry insights? Clarifying these objectives guides my networking endeavors and ensures that I invest my time wisely.
For example, business networking can be incredibly important when I want to benchmark the organization I work for against others and explore different approaches. After working within the same organization for a long time, internal workings become familiar. However, to discover innovative ideas and out-of-the-box strategies, it’s crucial to connect with counterparts in other industries who may be utilizing technologies or methods that we might not.
By reaching out to others, it’s possible to gain insights into their practices. Sometimes, ideas of others can be customized, while other times they can be implemented directly. Therefore, it’s always beneficial to engage with other professionals, observe the latest developments, and benchmark them to determine what could enhance my own work. Gathering a diverse range of perspectives and potential solutions is essential before implementing any changes.
For instance, there was a time when we were exploring the implementation of an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy in one of my organizations. I had come across extensive media coverage about a specific organization’s approach in this area. Utilizing LinkedIn, I searched for the HR person associated with that organization and reached out to her directly. I expressed my interest in learning about their practices since we were also considering a similar initiative. To my delight, she responded, and we were able to exchange valuable insights.
Mastering the art of strategic connections
Once the goals are set, the next step is to identify the relevant people. Who are the key players in your industry or niche? And where to meet them? I tend to seek out individuals who align with my aspirations, possess valuable expertise, or share common interests. I attend industry events, conferences, and seminars to immerse myself in a sea of other professionals.
I actively attend conferences that are relevant to my domain, focusing on areas such as employee lifecycle, rewards and compensation, and technology implementation. These conferences provide an excellent platform to meet former colleagues, connect with technology and solution partners, and engage in valuable business networking. It allows me to explore potential implementations for my workplace.
Simply being at a conference or a networking event isn’t enough, and being proactive is essential. I always take the initiative to approach others, engage in meaningful conversations, and showcase my unique value proposition, as well as seek it in others. In this digital age, it’s also crucial to have contact information. Be it business cards or digital means, I always ensure I have a convenient way to exchange this relevant information. A well-designed business card can leave a lasting impression, while digital tools like LinkedIn or professional networking apps provide a seamless way to connect and stay in touch. Afterward, I always reach out – whether in person or on LinkedIn – in order to nurture the seeds of connection.
Imagining the industry without networking would be incredibly challenging. If I aim to excel in my work and provide the best experiences for my employees, I need to explore what’s happening outside of my organization. Networking allows me to discover innovative people interventions, new theories, or technological solutions that can greatly benefit my employees. Without industry connections, I would be confined to my own limited experiences, which may not necessarily provide the best outcomes for my colleagues and the organization as a whole. Networking is crucial for staying informed, building insights, and creating effective solutions.
Neetu Singh is a seasoned HR professional with 19 years of diverse experience in the field. As an HR Generalist, she has excelled in various areas, including strategic HR, business HR partnership, and establishing robust HR processes and systems. Neetu is known for her expertise in implementing effective performance management systems, designing employee engagement programs, and driving talent acquisition initiatives. She has also played a key role in developing and implementing compensation strategies and managing talent management ERPs. Neetu’s proficiency extends to budgeting and tracking, fostering strong people relationships, and ensuring high employee retention. Her comprehensive experience makes her a valuable asset in any organization’s HR team.