I wrote recently about the general uselessness of the traditional CV as a recruitment device. Despite its numerous flaws, however, it remains the main way in which most recruitment decisions are made. That should not underestimate, however, the importance of networking for your career ambitions, with research showing that better paid jobs are proportionally much more likely to be obtained via your contacts than through traditional recruitment channels.
The Value of Serendipity
A major outcome of any networking effort is the increased probability of obtaining beneficial and serendipitous encounters. Over the past few years, there have been a number of projects that have aimed at boosting the serendipitous connections that lead to these fantastic opportunities.
One of the earliest was Lunch Roulette, a service modeled on the Chat Roulette platform that paired up people within organizations for a lunch date in the hope that they would find collaborative matches.
Unfortunately, the system itself was all a bit low-tech, and I’m not sure it really took off as a result of these flaws. Similar services emerged, however, such as Spark Collaboration. Spark began its life as the Randomized Coffee Trials, which were an attempt to promote the kind of serendipitous meetings Lunch Roulette was advocating.
Both Spark and Lunch Roulette apply their tools internally as we seek to collaborate better with colleagues. A new service is aiming to provide similarly beneficial encounters to help us find a new job.
Bumping Into a New Job
The service, called Lunchcruit, taps into the wisdom, highlighted earlier, that networking is increasingly essential to securing your next dream job, especially as the seniority of the job rises.
The platform offers something for both employers and applicants. The employer service cost $399 per month, and the organization creates a custom profile describing both their line of work and also any vacancies they’re currently looking to fill.
Potential candidates then browse through this list of vacancies and can contact any organizations they take an interest in. Once they find a suitable opening, they request a lunch slot with that organization via a simple contact form and should the organization also be interested in the candidate, a lunch date is set up.
The aim is to create a no-commitment scenario whereby both parties can feel one another out in an informal setting.
Vacancies are searchable by location or job type, albeit with the majority of listings on the site currently from technology companies in California. The hope is very much however that the site will rapidly expand to include openings from a wide range of organizations and industries.
Overall, it’s quite a nice way to help support the more informal way that an increasing number of recruitment decisions are made. Of course, it still suggests that the recruiter doesn’t have a candidate in mind from within their existing network and thus has to branch out further, but the platform offers a nice and simple way of doing that.
Would this be a service you would value in your own networking efforts? Your thoughts and comments below please...