- Austin Chan, Hannah Argiloff, Cordlyne Nwankwo
- Apr 10, 2021
In this series, blog writers Austin Chan, Hannah Argiloff and Cordlyne Nwankwo interviewed three HBA2 students on their experiences with recruiting in the pandemic. Here’s what they had to say:
Question: Connecting with recruiters, firms and peers has been challenging virtually. What is your advice for students to maintain and build recruiting relationships?
Brad Perez: Build genuine relationships. Through online measures, it can be difficult to show a keen interest in others or let a personality shine through a big block of text. Create lasting relationships that extend far past a single job posting and will continue much further down the line. It should not be viewed as a one-sided exchange but rather an exchange where both parties benefit. This includes keeping recruiters updated, as it never hurts to keep them in the loop. Also, reaching out to those in the company can broaden your knowledge about the culture and hiring process to get a leg up. Although these things may seem trivial, showing interest and providing value, no matter the scale, can help to showcase your respect for a recruiter’s time during your conversation.
Jordie Wilkinson: It’s challenging to maintain a relationship over Zoom – there’s just something about being in person that allows you to make a better long-lasting connection.
The first part of the question, connecting with recruiters, as I said earlier, it’s easier now to meet them and schedule them into your day. Staying connected is a bit harder now of course though.
I’d definitely say to really use that little bit at the beginning of the call when you first join. It has the potential to be awkward, but making a bit of small talk goes a long way and is great to start the call. For example, everyone’s going through the COVID pandemic right now, so just talking about it in a lighter and more fun way is a good way to make sure you’re both on the same page. You could talk about anything really. Also, write things down during the call. Then when you email them after, include some things you talked about in the interview – it’ll give them something to remember you by.
At the end of the call, tell them you enjoyed talking to them as well. Reach out afterwards. Even if you send an email over a month later – the worst thing that could happen is they just don’t respond.
Lena Robinson: Some of my best connections when networking came from doing in-depth research about people who worked at the firms I was interested in and reaching out to the ones that had the strongest similarities to me. With the pandemic, email volumes have increased substantially. Unless they’re personalized to the person you’re contacting, your emails are likely to get lost. I recommend outlining your similarities to the individual with tailored questions so that you can stand out. Then, follow up every so often with more specific questions to maintain your relationships. This tactic can also be applied on LinkedIn; however, you will likely face a character limit at first so craft your message carefully.
Finally, getting a warm introduction from a peer or other close contact is a great way to bypass the “getting noticed” stage. These relationship brokers can be a great support if you feel like you’re hitting a wall with your networking and are at a loss for what to talk about.