Relationship building is not about how fast you do it, it is about how well you do it. Chances are, it took a lot of time and a lot of interaction for you to call someone a best friend, the Godparent of your child, or a trusted colleague. Relationships take time. An email is fast and efficient, but searching for top talent is not a speed dating model. You need to take the time to get to know and gain a deeper level of understanding of a candidate to truly know if their skills and characteristics are a fit for the role.
New relationships can equal new successes, even if they are not for the original reasons that you had in mind. A candidate may not always be a fit for the current role, but a new relationship is never a wasted bond. New relationships can help create even more new relationships. They can help develop your network, your company brand, your personal image, and maybe even some form of a relationship on a personal level.
After you have identified your target market via Social Media, getting in front of them is the best way to build relationships. Grab a cup of coffee with top talent from a competitor even though you may not have a need for them at the moment. That conversation could be a building block for a future need. Attend trade shows, participate in the annual ALTA Conference or National Settlement Services Conference, go to local and national real estate events, or get active in the community. All of these are opportunities to build relationships and open doors for market intelligence, client or candidate referrals, or future conversations about joining your team.
The introduction may have changed, but the art of relationship building is still fundamental. Relationships will always take time and effort. You still need to be human. Ask business questions and personal questions. A candidate is a person with interests outside of their day job just as you are. It is a lot easier to have a meaningful conversation when you can ask how their football team did this weekend with a clever grin and a laugh instead of words on a screen with no weight or emotion. And to think that this new relationship and the opportunities that it presents might not have happened because they did not respond to an email or LinkedIn request.
Social Media has provided you with more profiles to sort through, but you still need to paint the whole picture to ensure the best fit. You still need to take the time to find your target market. You still need to put in the effort to build the relationships. Finding talent on paper may have gotten easier, but finding the right talent has not changed.