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Significance of Networking in HR
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Networking has been defined as “connecting with people of like interests for the purpose of uncovering opportunities, identifying landmines and learning of best practices” (it.csumb.edu/departments/data/glossary.html). It is an eminent tool as the statistics reveal that 80-85% of the vacancies are filled by the word of the mouth. Therefore, identifying and exploiting the advantage of this system is a major task before the human resource department.

Networking can be of great assistance to the HR. For instance, networking is a powerful instrument in lateral recruitment. A prospective employee is informed of the openings in an organisation, the quality of work, type of working culture involved and other key factors through networking. Advertisement may fail to draw the experts in the field to the company. This is where the personal relationships maintained by the employees come into action in magnetising the cream into the company.

A relationship, whether formal or informal, between the HR departments of the various companies can help in cross checking the essence of truth of the résumés received. Similarly, a good relationship with those in the industry can help in having inkling about the compensation policies of the competitors. This lay a platform to compete with those in the industry.

The personal contact created by networking between the HR departments of various companies can bring them together to inform the NASSCOM on matters which have a grave impact on the industry. Networking can be used as a yardstick to benchmark the level of performance of the company in relation to the industry. For example, if the success rate of the projects delivered on time of the company is 80% and the average of the industry is 85%, it denotes that the company has to identify and evaluate the reason for the failure to meet the industry rates.

Most companies make use of the company intranet to create a bond between the employees, and the employees and management. Both work and non-work related matters are conveyed through the intranet. Blogs, for example, can give an insight into the personal experiences of an individual which can be used as an instrument of knowledge exchange. Intranet can be made a great tool to identify the needs and suggestions of the team members. The employees must be encouraged to post their views, suggestions and queries, helping to find solutions to them.

In the current day with many companies springing up, networking is a powerful tool used by the employees to understand the working conditions and other related factors in various companies. The employee policies followed by a company who has been voted as a great place to work for can be identified through a good networking system. The findings of the employees put forth in the intranet can assist the employer in upgrading the working conditions, thus improving the chances for employee retention. The company intranet can also be used as a medium of replying to the rumours which can otherwise affect the company adversely.

Networking also provides the platform for the adoption of good practices within the entity. The HR practices followed by one group might be different to those adopted by another in large entities. A good networking system makes the replication of the best practices possible.

Thus the proper utilisation of networking can create better loyalty, revenue and good will to a company.

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