The best thing my ol man said he did with his money was enrolling me and my brother into Victoria College. An Educational institution steeped in tradition that taught us important lessons not just in the classroom but installing all students with a specific set of values; ‘manners maketh man’ for example. With a proud military history, this all-boys school was an attractive prospect and everything that my dad’s educational experience wasn’t, with its gothic architecture and prestigious alumni that includes Channel 4’s voice of racing John McCririck! I loved my school experience and am really grateful that my dad decided to pay some quite frankly exorbitant school fee’s for the experience, saying that, I think he regretted his decision when I told him that I had no clue who Rabbie Burns was in year 8 “what the f*ck are they teaching you in that f*ckin school!?” I’m now at an age where I am starting to think about schooling and although no tamarikis in sight, the Mrs is a planner.
I asked my dad why he chose to go with the more expensive option? A peculiar result which was contrary to his Glaswegian roots. There were a few reasons but one that stuck out for me was network. Being from an island that is only 9 miles by 5 I suppose it is more of an issue than if you were in a bigger city. It got me thinking about institutional networks and how they can lead to some very prosperous outcomes. In our industry, we know the value of a Network. In Wellington it is more commonplace; a consultant who has solid experience within a recruitment vertical is approached by an agency to set up a branch because the value is evident. The access to these networks has obvious implication, financially beneficial ones, be that the accounts or candidates that consultant can bring across. In Christchurch where what school you attended is weirdly important, you can guarantee a potential hire who went to Christ College will be looked upon favorably when you think some directors of a potential client will be old school chums.
We see it a lot and not always at the consultant level, sometimes an endorsement can bring with it an untapped network. Align yourself with the right person and you’ll be surprised what doors it opens. Take Stellar Recruitment and their Association with NZ’s David Beckham; Richie McCaw. Talent International is positioned alongside real-life tech influencers in Richard Branson and Apples Steve Wozniak. Back in 2012, Sir Graham Hendry decided to hang up the Rugby boots trading in physical scars for emotional ones when he joined the board at Momentum. Success breeds success and the formative mentioned are winners, the amalgamation of brands in this instance can certainly beget more success. Betting on the right horse is crucial of course, OJ Simpson was the spokesperson for Hertz Rental Car at the time of his cross-city evasion of the LAPD. In a bizarre twist sales of the Ford Bronco actually increased from the TV coverage.
On a more micro level, the networks that you personally make within your own agency can have a huge impact on your career and future. Your colleague could be your boss in 10 years or even the other way around! It warmed my heart to see my previous boss and former colleague partnering up for ‘something exciting’ in the form of Jason Walker assisting Pete Stewarts Lynx Recruitment. The list is endless of consultants from organizations grouping together to form their own agency; Bureau, Hunter Campbell, Archway, Halo to name a few. Is a recruiter’s value in their experience? Knowledge of the Market? Or is it their network? Their ability to influence a group of people and be viewed as the ‘go to’ for the industry. Ring-fencing the top clients because you have a strong relationship or have a steady stream of loyal candidates is the real value, the tangible value.
A strong network can even help you get into the industry, I’ve seen many a hammer hand tap into the recruitment industry with a ready to go network or a legal consultant able to immediately project credibility with discerning clients. It’s networks within networks in recruitment and in NZ we’ve proved that six degrees of separation works, we’re two little islands with almost 5 million dots inhabiting them, connecting them isn’t really that mammoth a task. If you’re a recruiter and wish to improve your network feel free to chuck us a request 😉