Episode 53: S5E8 – Networking and Business Growth During COVID
In this episode of the Black Letter Podcast, Tom Dunlap and Stephanie Eberhart of neXco National discuss networking, professional development and the hiring process in a virtual world. The two talk about ways businesses can grow in virtual settings.
Stephanie Eberhart is the Chief Growth Officer of neXco, a national networking community that helps individuals with personal development. There are 11 different chapters across the country with over 140 members. Before COVID-19, the chapters met in person and they had to pivot to a digital setting very quickly.
Stephanie says people are hesitant toward virtual networking because they feel they aren’t making as strong of a connection as they could if they were networking in person. As she points out, we are not sure how much longer we will be living through a pandemic. Don’t wait for things to go back to “normal” and take advantage of the virtual networking opportunities.
Networking Do’s and Don’ts
While we’re behind a screen, Stephanie warns that professionalism is still very important. She advises that you should treat virtual appointments like an in-person one: arrive early, dress professionally and come prepared. Tom and Stephanie also recommend keeping some sort of data system of contact information for people you network with.
Virtual Hiring Process
Over a year into the pandemic, some companies have been working with team members for months that they never met in person. Tom and Stephanie discuss tips for hiring managers to streamline the virtual hiring process. An interesting tip: schedule two or three video calls with a candidate and make sure they are each at different times of the day.