I’m trying so hard to build my professional networking. My biggest challenge is how to find the contact details of the hiring managers that I have targeted to contact for an information interview. It’s the only way I can cold call and hopefully meet my next boss one day soon!
Please can you give me some suggestions on how I can locate this information.
Signed: Cold Caller (CC)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Dr. Katharine Hansen offers the best ideas on how to locate that hidden hiring manager who typically do not want to be bombarded with hundreds of applicants can be found on the Quint Careers blog:
Make a phone call. Call the company’s main switchboard number and ask the name of hiring manager for the job in question. If the receptionist won’t tell you or they pass you on to Human Resources staff, get their name just in case you need this for later. Phone after or before business hours, and try to get the name of the hiring manager or at least the exact title so you can listen for it through the employer’s automated directory and then punch it in.
Ask for help. Dr Hansen quotes Steve Levy, Principal of outside-the-box Consulting, who suggests calling the main number and saying, in a calm, soothing voice: ‘Hello, maybe you can help me out for a second?’ The person on the line will almost always respond by saying, ‘Sure. How can I help you?’ It is a normal human reaction when someone asks us for help is to offer it. Start the conversation but be cognizant that the receptionist is probably busy with the switchboard of calls. Ask for the email if you can’t get the telephone.
Tap into your network. Networking is one of the most important parts of your job-search efforts. If it is working, you may find it relatively easy to get names. Joining professional organizations is one of the fastest, easiest ways to learn names of hiring managers in your target companies. Use social media like Twitter and LinkedIn to find profiles of hiring managers that are relevant to your career or job goal.
Become a proficient researcher. Learn as much as you can about the companies that you have targeted. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Explore their website and subscribe to their news feed. Find media coverage and published articles to find names of people being interviewed from the company. These are names you can begin to contact to search for that hiring manager. Get help from the reference librarian at your public or university library. You can also conduct research directly with the employer by calling the company’s public relations or investor relations department to ask questions that may lead you to the name of a hiring manager.
Try a “Top Down” approach. One trick that has worked for many job-seekers is to contact the president of the company directly, since that name can almost always be found out. Then, follow up.
Find the company Website. If the job posting gives only an e-mail address, use it to lead you to the company Website, which will probably have a phone number. For example, the job posting gives the e-mail address HR@CompanyX.com. Type www.CompanyX.com or simply CompanyX.com into your browser, and you will probably get to the company’s site.
Put on your detective hat, and set out to work!
To submit your questions for this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.