Five Ways to Leverage Your Network for a Search

Clients come to an executive search firm for a range of reasons. One of those reasons is usually our network. After a decade of focus on executive recruiting in the nonprofit sector, Koya Leadership Partners has cultivated a deep and wide network of candidates and connectors that we regularly tap for each search.

But that doesn’t mean our clients’ networks aren’t important, too. One of the key strategies we employ for all of our searches is working closely with our clients to understand their own networks, and how we can collectively make sure that word about a new opportunity reaches the right people.

Below you’ll find five tips for leveraging your networks for a search.

  • Make it personal. Don’t just send a blanket email to every single contact in your address book with the job description and a plea for referrals. Instead, think about the key connectors you know, the people that always seem to know other people and are generous about making those connections. Reach out to them directly and let them know what you are looking for. We will often reach out directly to these contacts on our clients’ behalf, to ensure that these sources are appropriately tapped and referrals are followed up on.
  • Leverage social media. Post the role on your organization’s primary social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) of course, but also post within your company’s LinkedIn or Facebook group(s), and include it in an upcoming company newsletter or e-blast to your organization’s network.
  • Tap your Board of Directors. Make sure your board knows about the search and desired profile, and ask them to reach out to their own networks via email and social media.
  • Don’t forget about your staff. Team members know who the top people are in their fields, so be sure to encourage them to make referrals and nominate potential candidates. Ask staff to share the role by posting on their own social media channels and directly forwarding the job to people they think might be a great fit. Many organizations actually have referral incentives, which can also be very helpful in spurring staff participation (hint, hint).
  • Provide the messaging with the ask. Make it easy for people to spread the work by providing language and links that they can simply copy and paste into their own emails, tweets, or other channels. 

The steps outlined above can help you generate buzz and interest in your role and organization, which is the first step in attracting great candidates!


by, Samantha Simmons