Recently we were able to recruit an amazing guy to join the team. Jon Itkin.
He is incredibly talented at messaging, stories, and strategy.
We first met when Jon was at The Article Group, a really well-regarded creative agency co-founded by Joe Lazar. We did a messaging framework project with the Article Group while I was the CMO at OwnBackup. Jon was terrific to work with. After a couple of iterations, we had a powerful story to take to market. As Jon put it, “great messaging scales everything.” And it did. OwnBackup went on to raise more than $400 million in venture funding in 2021.
Over the past two years, Jon and I have stayed in touch. We’ve had 116 interactions over email. I can see that by pulling up Connect The Dots. That felt like a lot of interactions and so I went back to check if that number was right. Turns out that between his old email, personal email, and the interview process, we’ve talked about a lot of stuff!
If I was looking at Jon’s profile on LinkedIn by itself, I’d be missing important parts of the story. But here I can see who he’s gotten to know at Connect The Dots during the interview process, and who else we know in common. I can scan through a set of references that have a strong relationship with Jon. It’s all right there. I’ve got clear context.
Now some of you might be saying, Jon sounds like the perfect hire. How do replicate that?
First off hiring great people is so much easier if you can keep track of all the good people you know.
When you meet someone who is exceptionally talented like Jon, you want to keep them on your radar. Once a quarter it’s great to find an occasion to reach out. Where could you use their insight? Who could you introduce them to? Based on your prior conversations, is there something relevant and interesting you can pass along?
It seems so obvious, but when you have an opportunity founded on a strong relationship, everything can move faster. There is mutual trust as many of the questions you would ask during the interview process have been pre-vetted.
For any role you anticipate yourself hiring for, you should have a list of people you’re keeping tabs on. With Connect The Dots it is super easy to track everyone you know, everyone your coworkers know, all sorted by relationship strength.
For designers and writers, product marketers and demand gen experts, ceos and investors, I have my evergreen list. At any time I can pull it up to see who I'd recommend, and where I need to do a relationship refresh.
One cool thing is that with Jon we’re not just hiring him for his talents; We’re hiring him for his network. At a growing company, we want to hire talented people, who know other talented people.
Internal referrals are so much better than sifting through an inbox of cold resumes.
Warm candidates have higher response rates, move faster through the funnel, and they’ve got built-in references to ensure you’re making a great hire.
Cold outreach is stressful, time-consuming, and yields disappointing results. You’ve done it, I’ve done it. And for the last 20 years through my career as a seller, marketer, enablement leader, and hiring manager I’ve felt the pain.
That’s what I love about working on Connect The Dots. It makes it so much easier to tap into relationship strength and foster genuine human connections as opposed to cold outreach.
A funny side note. When I was catching up with Jon telling him about my new gig at Connect The Dots he was the person who came up with the “Cold Outreach Makes No Sense” tagline. To thank him, I sent a set of Screaming Tiki Glasses and Bamboo Straws, but that’s a story for another day ;-)
We are looking forward to hearing your Connect The Dots story! Reach out to us. We’d love to make it a series and feature real-life success stories on the blog!