Networking Do’s and Don’ts

How do we find the right people and what do we look for?

Networking is discussed often in business, and many people view it differently. When we say networking at CIBC Live Labs, we are referring to building relationships. Here are a few things that networking is and isn’t to us:

Networking Is

  • Developing long term reciprocal relationships
  • Building structure and mentorship for career goals
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Exploring career options
  • Identifying trends in your field

Networking Isn’t

  • Using people to get hired

Who you know isn’t as important as who knows you. A single, meaningful connection with one person can do wonders to grow a wide network of like-minded individuals. What networking provides to a team is divided into two parts:

  1. Finding Talent

There’s a common saying when it comes to networking, “effective people, know effective people”. This is true for building a great team. It is important to leverage the network of people you know and odds are they know other great people as well. Find out who your team knows, not only may you find the next great addition to your team, but there are benefits of pairing people who have effectively worked together in the past.

2. Retaining Talent

People want to work in an environment that is also invested in them. Don’t be afraid of losing talent to other organizations; if they feel appreciated that message will travel wherever their career takes them. Be a positive factor in your team members’ careers and expose them to people who can benefit their goals. In return you will strengthen a relationship with a good resource and keep them in your team; or gain a contact who will go out and meet other effective people for you to connect with.

Networking In Innovation

The C-Suite at MaRS Discovery District provides a great example of the two parts of networking working together. Inside a single collaborative space are multiple financial organizations. By creating contacts across these similarly positioned companies, the pool of talent has opened up considerably. We frequently collaborate with the other teams via outings, or common lunch and learn events. By doing so we may find talent who is a better fit for our organization, and vice versa. Knowing that there is an opportunity to meet leaders within CIBC, as well as other financial and technology organizations is a key selling point when we recruit for CIBC Live Labs. By offering up the combined knowledge of the C-Suite to our team members, we help demonstrate that we are invested in their development, no matter where their careers might take them.

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