As the Director of Membership for a split placement network, I am often surprised when months pass by from an inactive member, and then they state they are not getting a good return on investment. This recently caused me to think of our network as a gym, with the membership goals and results really lining up with the work that goes into either. Here are five ways to maximize any type of membership, whether it be a gym, professional association, or split placement network.
- Join with attainable goals in mind. When you are looking to become a member of something, it is helpful to understand the organization you are joining, and line up realistic expectations and goals accordingly. With a split placement network, the benefits to you may include establishing relationships with like-minded professionals, learning more about industry techniques and tools, and being able to place those excess candidates you have collected. To go in with the expectation of making ten best friends, getting free products and placing hundreds of extra candidates per year is about as realistic as joining a gym with the hopes of instantly shedding 10lbs every time you step foot inside. A split placement network will be an excellent tool to your recruiting desk when you focus perhaps on uploading at least 5-10 candidates regularly, reach out to one trading partner in your industry per week, and try out one or two new technology resources. These goals hold you accountable to attaining results, and do not require an over the top time investment on your membership when you are first learning about the organization.
- Take the time to get training. With the ease of technology and tools, independence has become routine when members join organizations. With the user friendly interfaces and online help available, many people are choosing to forgo interaction, and instead sort through databases and dashboards themselves, learning as they go. While it is good to be proactive, when joining an organization, you need to take the time to get the personal attention to learn properly. What you do not get with independence is experience. A training director, just like a personal trainer at the gym, will be able to assess you and understand what tips and techniques to show you in order to provide the best return on investment. In a split placement network for example, going through training can instruct you on best formatting techniques to increase your visibility, as well as connecting you with potential trading partners based on your personality and work style. If you are a member of an organization where you are not confident you are getting a good return, take the time to reach out to a staff member that can show you what you may be missing without even realizing it.
- Connect with people. If you are a member of an organization, chances are pretty high that the other members are very similar to you, or at least have one common interest if they are also there. Becoming socially aware and active in an organization will create a positive association, and provide greater return with the benefits of relationship networking. If there are meetings available, try to attend to better understand the organization and maximize your membership. If you set a realistic goal of connecting with one member per week, or even two per month, you will soon build up a network of lasting relationships, and especially in a split placement or other professional network, this will result in business transactions that increase revenue.
- Remember that your brand is always on display. When joining an organization, your name and most often your company are visible to the other members and the organization itself. You never know when the networking you encounter will end up helping or harming you in future endeavors, so it is important to exude respectful work ethic and professionalism in each interaction. For example, in a split placement network, it may start to get a bit tiring when one particular firm emails you candidates that you just do not see a fit for. While it is easy to blatantly ignore these emails, or begin talking negatively about that firm, this reflects poorly on your brand, and is not a good business practice. Instead, open communication with the other member may result in them understanding your clients better, and now sending you quality candidates you can end up placing. Even a polite conversation that results in understanding that you may not make good trading partners saves time and energy on both of your behalves.
- Show up and be present. It is good practice to outline your goals and intentions on a post it note or document prior to joining another association or membership. Keep this somewhere visible and revisit on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. Have you been uploading 5-10 candidates regularly? Have you reached out to trading partners? Hold yourself accountable to the reasons you had for joining an organization and continue to strive for results even if you have been slacking on them for weeks or months. It is never too late to make a return on your investment if you are willing to put in the work. This is a good evaluation tool as well if you are active and engaged in an organization and still not seeing a return. At this point you may be able to try another organization instead to fulfill your goals, or look to others for advice on their success so you can try new measures.