|The pandemic altered many aspects of jobs as well as careers. And the changes in networking closely mirror how workplace trends have evolved in recent years.
“We’re probably better than 50% back to normal, but probably not as much as 75% back to normal,” Scott Fletcher, cofounder of executive search firm Intersection Growth Partners, told me about the volume of networking he’s seen.
His line of work depends on networking, and he’s noticed a decline in touch points across the board, including conference attendance and one-on-one meetups.
Multiple experts told me the way we network has changed due to the pandemic and discussed the modifications they’ve witnessed and experienced.
Social media = networking
Cheryl Campanaro, an area director at staffing firm Adecco, told me people are finding commonality in a virtual world, which can then pivot into an in-person collaboration.
“We’re pinging people on LinkedIn. We’re getting friend requests on Facebook, engaging in tweets, liking pictures on Instagram, viewing videos on TikTok — believe it or not, all of that is networking,” Campanaro said.
Plus, the normalization of using online platforms has streamlined and focused the networking process. Selva Param, a partner at executive search and leadership consultancy firm Stanton Chase, told me people are now more responsive to cold DMs.
“Ever since people moved into hybrid or remote because of the pandemic, more people are actually responsive towards direct messages,” Param said. “But now I can see more than 50% or 70% of people actually respond.”