EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

The sharing of job leads has been an integral part of The FENG for so long that I have come to believe that everyone in the entire world understands the reasons why we do it. Alas, it isn’t true.

A few years ago, I had an exchange with a member of the search community who was upset that one of our members had posted a job lead sent to him in our newsletter, apparently without permission.

Putting this part of the problem aside for the moment, the recruiter’s additional comment was: I have NEVER in my life understood why someone looking for a job, or someone outplaced would share a job specification with one million possible competitors for the job???!!!!

I wrote back: It is a tradition in The FENG that we share job leads with one another. Our philosophy is that if we don’t get the job, we would like it to go to one of our many friends. We have a proud history and I would enjoy sharing it with you if you would like to chat.

During our early years as we rolled into new cities across the United States, those we encountered did usually find it strange initially that members were EXPECTED to invite competition from their fellow members. In fact, members are EXPECTED to forward job postings to their fellow members if they think they are a good fit for the opportunity in question.

Why does this work? If you were in the venture capital or private equity business, it would be called “deal flow.” The more opportunities we can individually look at and examine in detail, the more likely that we can match up our unique skill sets to appropriate jobs.

Someone is going to get that job. It serves your best interests to see to it that it is either you or one of your friends. (Strangers from The FENG are only friends you haven’t met yet.) By seeking out folks we think should see specific opportunities, we expand our own individual networks. When posting a job that IS a good fit for you, ask others to contact you for more information and/or to network. If it is a fit for you and it is a fit for other members around the country, all of you should know each other. This is how you build your very own inner circle of friends. Bob Walker, Co-Chair of our Dallas Chapter calls it seeking out your mirror.

Sharing job leads isn’t stupid or silly. It is just plain smart.

I hope all of you will join in the fun of sharing job leads as often as you can. It does drive recruiters crazy at times. And you may be crazy when you do it, but I would argue that you are crazy like a fox.

Regards, Matt

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