Global Networking Takes on Social ‘Corporate’ Dimension — the Corporate Selfie

Networking is global. That’s one truth that global mobility managers have learned their entire professional lives. Even before social media became the phenomenon that it is now, heads of international offices and recruiters alike spent a significant part of their time just keeping in touch with their global contacts. Back then, prior to the digital age, that meant monthly and possibly expensive phone calls; weekly emails; and the friendly lunch or dinner should the contact come into town.

But the continuing evolution of technology has shaped and redefined global networking. As such, global mobility managers must not just keep up, but must always make sure they are on the cutting-edge of this activity. Boundaries are shifting, old platforms are giving way to new, but communications and other global mobility activities like recruitment ongoing — and their effectiveness are dependent on one’s agility.

The first tip should not come across as a surprise: use social media platforms, and it’s not just because of the staggering number of their members. Facebook still reigns as number one with 2.28 billion users as of the second quarter of 2018, says Statista.

While the numbers are impressive, what should matter to the global mobility manager is how he can tap into their particular demographics:  the professionally qualified assignees in India, or helpful vendors in Northern California like California Corporate Housing. The age of sending generic emails to potential candidates has long since passed. What is needed now is more specific communication that will make the desired target actually respond.

As Forbes advises, creativity is the key in eliciting such a response, whether from a candidate or a potential ally. Do away with generic titles (“A mutually beneficial partnership”) to a more personalized approach that will show the person you are networking with that you know something about him or her, and which is something you value. A salient comment about one of their posts or a thought-provoking but positive remark on a webinar they had conducted will show that you value their time and contribution. This increases their chances of response.

Continue posting your selfies on social media but do this from a corporate standpoint as California Corporate Housing has done lately with its videos like the way it showed this apartment with its floor-to-ceiling view of Highway 101 and mountains east of San Jose.

As Thrive Global points out, what is important for your potential assignees and partners to see are not the fun family activities you have enjoyed or the funny shots you had taken, but the events and things you had done that again increased value for yourself and the people you deal with.

These can include your holding a seminar, a speaking engagement at a conference, building homes for the poor in a corporate social responsibility event, or signing the books you had authored in a launch. The people you might want to network with might recognize that you can help them in something — and might actually contact you first.

In communicating with foreign parties, especially when you are doing it online and not in person, be careful in using the word “Why?” This piece of advice comes from Global Excellence.

The person at the other end of the net might interpret that question differently and take offense. It might come across as interrogatory, despite your best intentions. Instead of asking that one question directly, you could perhaps talk about the topic that you want to discuss first, explain its importance, and then  indirectly probe his thoughts and feelings on the matter.

Finally, in doing global networking, make sure you do connect with the person you had gotten to know on social media on a very personal level. It does not matter how many emails you had exchanged, and chat group dialogues you had created.

A personal meeting can lead to empathy and understanding in a way that an online encounter may not. Digital tools may accelerate the way we establish global relationships, but they can never replace the human touch.