When companies begin to feel competitive pressure to match the productivity and profits of rival businesses, they often tackle the problem from the angle of the “war for talent.” The thinking is that by better attacking recruitment services, companies can win over more productive employees and edge their competitors through superior work.

Often, this is seen as a company-wide concern. If a business needs better, more talented people, it becomes an “all hands on deck” effort to make that happen. But the thing is, recruiting is more than a math problem that can be solved by a simple corporate decree. It’s a matter of how individual people and their personalities interplay with one another.

Success in recruiting really comes from good networking skills. This is true on both sides of the equation – for companies, being able to relate to people well and have conversations can go a long way, and for job-seekers, schmoozing is everything. Being able to win over the right person at the right time can make all the difference.

According to Lifehack, everyone can gain from growing their professional networks. Mike Fishbein, founder of online entrepreneurship school Startup College, believes this is important for recruits and recruiters alike.

“People do business with people they know, like and trust,” Fishbein explained. “Companies don’t make decisions, people do. Your professional network can open doors for you that otherwise could not be opened. For better or for worse, it’s not just what you know or are capable of doing, it’s who you know, that’s important for career advancement and business development. You can also learn a tremendous amount from people in your network who have experience and expertise.”

It’s clear that having good networking skills is important for everyone. Here are five facets of networking that all should know.

Help and be helped
People want to engage in networking when it benefits them in some way – be it a job lead, a promising connection or what have you. In order to get help from someone, you have to offer them help in return. It’s a give and take.

Always remain visible
Part of being a good marketer is always being visible. Make sure you’re easy to find – online, on the phone, maybe even in person at industry events like trade shows. This way, everyone who’s looking to network with you can have that chance.

Ask, and follow up
If you ever have questions to ask anyone, don’t be afraid to speak up. And if you’re unclear on anything, be thorough and follow up. Highly connected people are used to receiving questions and feedback all the time, and open lines of communication are important.

Build a reputation long-term
Being a good networker might not be something you can make happen overnight. It’s a matter of continually following up with people and working to build a stronger reputation over the long haul. If you don’t find success immediately, then keep at it.

Never fear rejection
Getting a job – or putting someone else in an open position – is rarely easy. It requires a lot of trying and often, a lot of failure. It’s important to put yourself out there even when rejection is likely. It might take a lot of “nos” before you finally lock in that all-important “yes.”

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