New to Networking?

Networking to many people often feels like a daunting challenge. So to make your first visit easier we can offer new members a unique service. At your first meeting you will be greeted by one of the board members who will then spend time with you to introduce you to other members so you can quickly start making new contacts and building your network.
If you would like to take advantage of this please contact Kay Chouhan to make the necessary arrangements.

Benefits of Networking

Networking is about developing long-term relationships for mutual gain and creating a lasting impression with people so that they think of you positively when an opportunity arises.

Once learned, networking is a life skill which has many applications. Most commonly, people use networking to develop new business or find a new job. In the context of HR, networking has the following benefits:

  • Networking internally – raise your profile, source new project opportunities, strengthen relationships with stakeholders and gather information on their HR requirements
  • Networking externally with HR peers – exchange best practice knowledge, learn new HR methods, source inspiration for an HR issue, benchmark performance or even find a new job
  • Networking externally with business executives or suppliers – stay abreast of latest business news, do your own head-hunting/talent spotting, find knowledge or contacts to help a colleague

Networking is synonymous with the term ‘working a room’ – however it is NOT about rapidly working your way through huge quantities of people, dishing out business cards in a desperate bid to make a ‘sale’. If you go back to our definition – networking is about mutual gain and it is long term. It takes time to develop a two-way dialogue and truly understand the needs of others and so results do not happen overnight.

Tips on Networking

Research – depending upon your overall objectives, you should do your homework to ensure that you’re in the right room with the right people. Ask for the guest list beforehand and do some internet research to familiarise yourself with the people and companies they represent. If the content and guest list looks interesting, why not invite a colleague or client along too?

Rehearse – prepare some conversation lines if you’re worried about ‘sticky silences’. Try offering two topic choices, e.g. ‘do you know many people here or are you a newcomer like me?’ If they know lots of people, they can introduce you or if they’re new too, you could offer another open question or information about yourself, e.g. ‘I came here because I live around the corner and thought I might meet some fellow HR managers’.

On arrival – take a quiet moment to review the attendee list, observe the room and notice the different groupings of people. If there’s someone in particular that you’d like to meet (but don’t know), ask the host if they are able to introduce you. If you feel uncomfortable, break yourself in gently by chatting to a few people around the refreshment table.

Body language – think about your posture, levels of eye contact, facial expressions and your handshake. These all influence peoples’ perception of you and give off signals as to how confident and engaged you are. The key to good networking is establishing rapport, do that by listening and showing the other person that you’re listening.

Follow-up – as soon as you leave, begin thinking about how you’ll follow-up new contacts. Take a few notes on who you met, their interests and how you might add value to them – did you promise to send them an article or introduce them to one of your contacts? Ensure you follow up within three days of the event.

Networking is becoming increasingly more strategic and sophisticated. A skilled networker is recognised as a more ‘rounded’ employee – someone who can tap into their network for specialist knowledge, pursue new business leads, gather market intelligence, source new strategic alliances and raise the profile of their organisation.

This section has been provided by Heather White, Smarter Networking Ltd.

Dominic Alldis
Orchestral Conductor, Jazz Musician, Founder & CEO of Music & Management Ltd.

It was a privilege to be invited to address the London HR Connection. Clearly an amazing organisation representing the very best people development professionals. My speech about music as a metaphor for leadership, collaboration and innovation within business resonated with the audience. This was reflected in the questions and comments afterwards, as well as being asked to work with several of the companies represented.

Jacky Griffiths
Changing Conversations

I just wanted to reach out and say a big thank you to you and the team. I must admit it was perhaps one of the most enjoyable networking events I have been to for a while - both on a personal and professional level. Time and energy is finite and choosing groups that make sense and support keeping oneself professionally relevant is key. You guys certainly achieved that for me.

Catherine Philips
An executive coach

Events and networking can sometimes seem like too much effort. The LHRC is different and is well worth the investment in time and effort. A great chance to learn, meet kindred spirits and laugh too.

Chris Lazenby
Deputy Head of HR: Engagement - The British Museum

At the British Museum we’ve been corporate members of the LHRC since 2006. The forum is a fantastic way of keeping up to date with the latest issues and developments in the field, but also of making those connections that might not always be so easy to come by within our own sector.

Simon Drury
Business Psychologist - Art of Reinvention

The LHRC is a dynamic forum in which I’ve met some very interesting people, been introduced to a number of potential business contacts, attended thought-provoking and educational debates. I commend the group to any HR practitioners and suppliers who want to expand their professional network.

Michael Whittington
Director – Head of Employee Screening The Risk Advisory Group plc

My colleagues and I have attended many events over the years We’ve found them to be topical, focused and very informative Excellent networking with industry professionals.