Home Spotlight Community Building Skills: Benefits of community engagement for job seekers

Community Building Skills: Benefits of community engagement for job seekers

10 min read
By Karthik Manivannan, COO, Communities, apna.co

Humans are primarily social beings who thrive amidst the presence of family, friends and community members. The need for kinship and being part of a community can be more pronounced in times of distress. A community can help job seekers in ways more than one.

The first is, when someone is looking for a job of their preference, the community can help him or her in identifying the right opportunities existing out there. Secondly, applicants can seek help from the community or from their personal network, during the entire job process, such as receiving much-needed guidance on how to prepare for a given job, and getting valuable insights on the company one is applying to and regarding his or her upcoming job role. A community also plays an instrumental role once a person gets a job. It can help the individual discover ways to be successful and be a better professional. Lastly, it can guide professionals if they are thinking of growing in their career path, diversifying into roles that go beyond their current function or the industry in which they are working.

Besides providing moral support during a jobseeker’s quest, a community can help the job seeker with specific leads for job interviews e.g., referrals in their own companies or in their network openings. They can also just be sympathetic listeners who can also share some of their own stories of how they went through and overcame similar difficult situations in their lives in the past. This two-way channel of communication helps an applicant find better employment opportunities, and can also help an out-of-work person double their job search efforts. Naturally, community support can be a game-changer for many in distress state.

Let’s illustrate this understanding of how community is advantageous:

Guidance to find and land the right opportunity: A community can play a decisive role in guiding an individual on how they can prepare better for, let’s say, an upcoming interview, or share their own knowledge about a company or the industry the person is applying to, or regarding their specific job role etc. The success of community-based programmes derives from the shared experiences of participants, irrespective of whether these experiences are good or bad. These shared experiences boost the morale of group members, motivating them to keep going regardless of obstacles and creating a positive mind set among listeners. Similarly, job seekers can benefit from relevant insights and success stories. There is no greater morale booster than learning how others succeeded after prolonged periods of challenges.

Mentorship and apprenticeship to excel at one’s job: This is one of the biggest advantages that a community can provide to a person already employed with a company. People in the community can guide him or her on how they can be better professionals in their current job profile, and help them chart success in their journey. A community can share the collective knowledge that they might have regarding the management of a particular company, the ethos or values of a company, the relevant job roles that are available etc. Other experienced professionals in the network can guide new employees on how to perform their job roles in a better manner, how to be a better professional and be successful in performing daily tasks. Such guidance can help in faster career progression.

Build network and community to stay up-to-date with trends: Community pivots on human connections, which can play a huge role when a worker is looking for an opportunity that goes beyond his or her current job profile, helping them to diversify into other job opportunities that are coming along the way. Bonding with others enhances the chances of procuring more job leads than what would have been possible only through solo efforts. Robust networking can lead to empowering relationships, which can be vital in challenging periods. People that one may have helped in the past could now be in a position to facilitate better job searches or even assist in landing that dream job.

Help people stay relevant in the dynamically evolving job space: A community can play an instrumental role in helping job seekers stay relevant to the current trends and skills required in the continuously evolving job market. It will help employees not only to upskill themselves but also to keep up with trends and needs of the employers. In such a scenario, the employees will be able to add more value to the employer, and progress faster in their careers, earning better.

Tap unlisted or pre-listed opportunities in companies: Community-based networking helps in cases where companies do not list their openings on job portals or similar sites. Instead, they depend on their internal network to inform prospective candidates of open positions. Therefore, a vibrant professional network can help one, access openings not available to the world at large but only via word-of-mouth of your fellow colleagues

Grow beyond your current focus industry: Increasing employees are also seeking to grow beyond their current scope of function or industry to adjacent opportunity areas. Here a community can help the employee in finding more opportunities within their current organisation that goes beyond their current job roles or in terms of discovering better openings externally, sometimes, even across industries. Sometimes, taking up more responsibilities in the current organisation or learning a new skill allows them to add value to the company across diverse areas and enables them to grow quickly in their professional career.

(The author is COO, Communities, apna.co. The platform has 5,000 students enrolled for the upskilling programme in  courses includes  Telecalling Excellence Course and Certification in Banking and Finance)


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