The Chamber Of Commerce: A Powerful Ally In Recruiting

If you recruit in your local area, participating in your Chamber of Commerce can be an excellent way to network your way to outstanding candidates. Here are ten ideas to turn your membership into a powerful recruiting and marketing tool.

  1. Join a committee or council. Here is your chance to strut your stuff. Pick a council or committee that will allow you to showcase your talents and abilities. As you work closely with other Chamber members, you will develop relationships that can turn into referrals.
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  3. Attend networking events. Take your pick from a variety of business card exchanges, receptions, and programs. Take plenty of business cards, brochures, and any other giveaways that promote what you do (the more unique, the more likely you will be remembered). Make sure you ask for a business card from each person you meet.
  4. Write an article for the Chamber newsletter. What insights or information do you have that are of value to the business community? Getting your article published in your Chamber’s publication will immediately elevate you to a level of prominence and recognition.
  5. Attend the “12 @ 12.” Meet other business professionals and community leaders at this informal lunch setting held by many Chambers. Many companies have acquired new business as a result of this event. You may also have the opportunity to be heard regarding important community issues that have an impact on your business and personal life.
  6. Participate in business showcases and trade shows. Here is a great opportunity to show everyone what you do. Set up your booth, bring your business cards, show off those great testimonial letters, and have plenty of brochures and giveaways on hand. If you choose not to have a booth of your own, come anyway. These are still great events to attend to build your network.
  7. Attend luncheons and special events. Good food, excellent topics and speakers, and a fantastic networking opportunity. This is a great place to meet like-minded professionals since the topic that attracted you is also of interest to them.
  8. Follow up, follow up, follow up. Going to a chamber event and passing out your business card is like planting seeds. To make those seeds grow, you will need to “water” and “fertilize” with continued follow-up. Get a business card from everyone you meet and stay in contact.
  9. Build relationships. Good network + strong relationships = lots of referrals. The Chamber is a matchmaker. You go to events, meet other professionals, and then what? That is up to you. The more time and effort you put into the relationships you form at Chamber functions, the better and more frequent the referrals you may receive.
  10. Utilize the services of the business assistance program. This free service offered by many Chambers is designed to help you grow your business and be a resource to solve problems. If they do not have the answers, they know where to find them.
  11. You decide. Your local Chamber is there to serve you. Many of the current programs have come from people just like you who were willing to share their ideas. Your brainstorm could turn out to be the next winning event.

I encourage you to pick up the telephone and find out when your Chamber of Commerce is holding its next program. If your company is currently not a member, don’t let that stop you. Go as a guest and learn more about what this powerful organization may be able to do for your business, and your recruiting.

As president of the Wintrip Consulting Group, Scott Wintrip has helped thousands of companies improve their ability to hire talent on demand. He helped these organizations to grow faster, increase revenues, improve profitability, and expand market share. In the process of advising, educating, and coaching his clients, he has created more than $1.3 billion in positive economic impact for them. An astute strategist, he is respected for his strong leadership and practical advice. He is also the author of High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant (McGraw-Hill, April 2017). You can learn more about him and his services at WintripConsultingGroup.com.

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1 Comment on “The Chamber Of Commerce: A Powerful Ally In Recruiting

  1. Scott’s article is very on target. Over the years, I have been active in the Chamber of Commerce in 4 different Northern CA cities and the network and resources it generates are great, although I have to admit that I have personally benefitted more on a personal level, ie, getting contacts for my own employment (when I was in-house) and for my own business (in my current search practice).

    For those of you in Northern CA, I want to tell you one way to carry out Point #1 (Committee or Council involvement). For the last 20 years I have been a member of the SF Chamber of Commerce Job Forum, which is a free service to job seekers in the SF/Bay Area. Every Wednesday evening, 2 of our 20 or so panelists, meet with those who come for this service. It’s not one-on-one; its a group, highly interactive 2-hour event, where the panelists and attendees both give attendees feedback and focus on conducting a job search, anything from “I don’t know what I really want to do” to “I’m new to SF and am looking for a job in marketing in a tech company” to “What do you think of my resume”. Our panelists are either HR/Staffing professionals or subject matter experts in the Bay Area. We don’t encourage candidate solicitation,but if your company can help someone, that’s fine, and you will also build up a strong network of Bay Area professionals as well as a strong sense of helping those who need it. Anyone interested in this activity or in being considered as a panelist (on-going commitment required) should go to http://www.thejobforum.org and drop me an email at joanne@jgauerbach.com.

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