CareerXRoads, an international consulting practice that works with corporations to identify recruiting solutions, surveys employers annually regarding their hiring practices. According to their research, referrals (when a current employee suggests a candidate for consideration) are still the top sources of new hires. The CareerXRoads 2014 Source of Hire Report (http://www.careerxroads.com/news/2014_SourceOfHire.pdf ) notes, “A job seeker who is referred is conservatively three to four times more likely to be hired (some studies found that a job seeker who is referred is 14 times more likely to be hired) than someone who applies for a position without a referral.”
Those are compelling statistics. When you consider how much better your chances of landing an opportunity become when a current employee forwards your resume compared to applying on your own, it is clear why it’s important to spend time making connections with people who have the potential to send along your resume for consideration or make an introduction.
Networking is the best way to find a job because:
People do business primarily with people they know and like. Resumes and cover letters alone are often too impersonal to convince employers to hire you.
Job listings tend to draw piles of applicants, which puts you in intense competition with many others. Networking makes you a recommended member of a much smaller pool.
The job you want may not be advertised at all. Networking leads to information and job leads, often before a formal job description is created or a job announced.
8 networking groups You’ll Be Glad You Checked Out in houston
1. Houston’s Young Professionals (HYP) http://www.houstonyoungprofessionals.com/
Houston’s Young Professionals chapter welcomes 20- to 40-somethings from every industry. This group offers professional development and community service opportunities alongside regularly scheduled socials.
2. Network After Work Houston http://www.networkafterwork.com/events/houston
Grab a color-coded name tag on your way in, and you’ll find others from your industry in a flash. Bi-monthly networking nights provide a regular opportunity to meet other professionals while visiting new and noteworthy Houston hotspots.
3. InterNations http://www.internations.org
Social network aimed towards expatriates and locals worldwide. Their goal is to bring the members together in their cities to share ideas, advice, experiences, make friends, and network together in a fun and inviting atmosphere.
4. Houston Business Journal Events http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/calendar
Houston Business Journal regularly produces special events to recognize industry leaders and facilitate professional networking. Don’t miss an opportunity to meet local industry leaders, business owners and professionals from a wide variety of industries.
5. SLGT Coffee Club http://www.meetup.com/opencoffeehouston/
Start your day with caffeine and conversation with Houston’s entrepreneurial crowd. The Support Local Grow Together Coffee Club meets monthly and welcomes business owners, investors and anyone who wants to support the local economy. If you own or work for a small business, don’t sleep in on this one.
6. American Marketing Association http://www.amahouston.org/
Membership’s not required, and monthly happy hour networking nights offer free admission. If your work involves marketing, you’ll want to meet up with this group. If you make friends fast, consider membership for access to industry training sessions and members-only events.
7. Young Professionals in Energy http://ypenergy.org/houston/
This worldwide group is specific to the energy industry, but there’s a nice variety of events to fit every Houston-area personality. Attend networking happy hours, evening events focusing on women in energy or sign up for a community service event. Check out the events calendar at https://ypenergy.org/events/
8. Toastmasters International http://ypenergy.org/houston/
Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. The organization has more than 345,000 memberships. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 15,900 clubs in 142 countries that make up their global network of meeting locations.
Need more networking ideas? Check out this list of Houston Networking Groups and Associations.