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Importance of Active Networking | S2:E4

  • Episode 4
  • 'Inside Executive Search' Podcast

    Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.

    Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search

    As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.

    Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search

    Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.

    Podcast Transcription

    Intro: 00:02 Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You’re listening to Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
    Speaker_1: 00:30 Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh, and this shows for business owners, board members and executives exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best. If you’re not feeling 100% confident that you have a plan to recruit the very best for key roles, keep listening in this podcast. We’ll help you get there. That said, I would like to welcome in the encyclopedia Britannica of executive search, Scott Peterson.
    Speaker_2: 01:00 Wow, I didn’t realize I was a Wiki Peterson.
    Speaker_1: 01:08 Wiki Peterson, that’s great. All right. In today’s episode, we’re going to highlight the importance of networking, check that, active networking. So, I am going to throw it over to you, we are going to break it down, active networking on two fronts one as an executive in a job, happy, loving their job, trying to grow the company and then the executive that might be potentially looking for a new opportunity someday.
    Speaker_2: 01:12 And there’s really a couple of components to that. One that can be in their job and happy, but I am still going to network because there might be another opportunity that I might need some day. And then there’s the executive in transition that lost their job. Company was sold, whatever it might be, but they’re now in transition after 20 some years of being at the same company and not doing a very good job of keeping the network active and we can explain what that means as well.
    Speaker_1: 02:03 So good transition. Explain active networking.
    Speaker_2: 02:57 You know, active networking. Everybody should be familiar with a great networking tool called LinkedIn. It’s a great tool that allows you to stay connected to people in your professional network, clients, candidates, things like that. Just staying in touch, staying in front of people. What I would say is most people use that as a lazy networking tool or a passive networking tool. They connect with somebody and then they don’t interact with them. They don’t meet with them; they don’t try to further the relationship from a networking perspective. So active would be, Hey Steve, I reached out to you, got connected via LinkedIn. Thank you for doing that. I’d like to spend a few minutes with you in coming weeks to grab coffee, to learn more about your background and I can tell you more about mine and expand our networks together. That’s active networking. And so you continue on that path. So, from inside of a company, if I’m an executive and I’m not doing a lot of that right now, my recomme
    Speaker_1: 05:28 Sure. What do you tell the executive that says, Scott, that all sounds great, but I am working 60 hours a week already trying to make my numbers, hit the budget, grab this EBITDA number, what ever it might be, I mean how do you justify it? I’m happy. I’m trying to hit my number and get this software implemented and I am working 60 hours. Why would I add more time? I mean, what do you tell them? What is the ROI?
    Speaker_2: 06:07 The ROI is, you don’t know if until you don’t do it. There’s examples of the time just like George and how we found his next opportunity. Again, if you are in an executive job and its super busy, obviously you’re not going to do as many as you are if you are in transition. So, is it one, two, or three a week where you grab coffee with someone? You just have to plan and be diligent about it. I think some of the people that I know at executive positions that do that best, transition from current job to new job more seamlessly than those that don’t.
    Speaker_1: 07:19 Well and to I think as you’re networking, we’ve talked about it too, joining a peer group and having an advisory board, if you join a formal peer group, like the Allied Executives of Vistage’s of the world. I mean, think of how much you would learn just by meeting with other executives. And if you’re in that new situation, Hey, I’m dealing with this, you know, take George’s example, he’s met with 500 people, I’m sure a hundred of those 500 have been in a situation that he can lean on and say, can I have some help? I’ve never been in this situation. I remember you’ve gone through this, can you spend some time giving me some help? There’s all those ancillary benefits to it as well.
    Speaker_2: 08:02 And then the reciprocity that he provides is, he asked me what am I working on the he can help me find candidates for a particular executive jobs I’m working on. He’s not interested, but his network is such that he goes, send me a brief description of each one you’re working on it and I’ll connect you to my network. Again, activating that network and being active about it. So, I was just really impressed with how he was able to do that and so I’ve asked him to join us to do a live question and answer and we hopefully we’ll have him on episode 21 coming up in a week or so.
    Speaker_1: 08:41 Yeah. I’m looking forward to it. I mean, I’ve never met George, but obviously you and I have talked about him and he just sounds like an amazing guy who went through what could be a very stressful situation an executive and transition and what did he learn? And I think if I heard your story right, doesn’t want anybody else to go through what he had to go through because it was a lot of work. So how can you activate your network? How can you be actively networking versus networking? I think it’s just going to be a great story.
    Speaker_2: 09:14 I think it would be great to hear a story where he was in the trenches where he was out of a job because of a transition in a company and what he had to do to really better himself and find something that really fits his background and then all those pieces we just talked about in the previous episode.
    Speaker_1: 09:34 Well and think of how valuable that is for his current employer. It’s no secret to hire you or me or another executive search firm, it’s not a cheap endeavor and there’s probably a lot of opportunities or positions that he needs to fill on his team that he can probably fill a lot of his own because of this. Now granted, if it’s a confidential replacement, a niche skillset, he needs somebody like you or I to go find that person for them. But you know, manager level, maybe even at the director level, I’m willing to bet those 500 people can get them to the right people. Again, assuming he has the bandwidth and time to do that.
    Speaker_2: 10:17 That’s just it, making your time more efficient, and again, he’s networking with recruiters too. Why did he agree to meet with me, because everyone met with him, right? So he’s paying back what everyone else did. So, I do that same thing. If someone reaches out and wants to just chat, I’ll go have coffee with them. I’ll bring them into our office, learn about what they’re looking for because you never know what phone call you’re going to get, that you may be able to refer somebody around and help. It could be one of your client’s kids coming out of college, helping them find their first opportunity. It’s amazing how it all comes to play itself back when you start to do that, from a 360 standpoint. It’s quite unique.
    Speaker_1: 11:06 Yup and at the end of the day, it just feels good to give back. So, it’s, it’s a win-win, right? Well, I’m looking forward to adding our first guest to our podcast
    Speaker_2: 11:18 Just wait for this, guest are going to be coming now, so we’ve got some others planned and we’ll withhold what we’re going to talk about but that next one is going to be a part of this episode on active networking and really bringing in an expert who has figured it out and help you transition if you happen to have one.
    Speaker_1: 11:36 Yeah, I’m looking forward to it because it’s a real live story that George can pass on and hopefully teach others so they don’t have to go through the same heavy lifting that he had to in his transition.
    Speaker_2: 11:50 Kind of the same idea about us providing of these strategies and tactics, if it helps a company be able to find talent, we are happy to help them do that.
    Speaker_1: 11:53 Absolutely. Well cool. We’ll as always if you want to get ahold of Scott, feel free to look him up on or check him out on LinkedIn. I appreciate everybody listening, and if you like what you hear, feel free to subscribe. Looking forward to having a guest next time. Thanks everybody.

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