MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the C-suite are skipping the in-person meet-and-greet in favor of networking online, a new survey shows. Forty-five percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a Robert Half Management Resources survey said they now prefer to cultivate business relationships via social networking. One-quarter of CFOs still favor in-person networking at events, meetings and conferences. The majority of respondents (60 percent) said their primary purpose for networking is to grow business.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
CFOs were asked, "How do you prefer to network professionally?" Their responses:
Attend professional events, meetings, conferences
CFOs were also asked, "What is the primary purpose of your professional networking activities?" Their responses:
Keep up with industry news and developments
Find a new job
Recruit new talent
Paul McDonald, a senior executive director with Robert Half, noted that while online networking can be effective in reaching a large number of contacts, it shouldn't replace more traditional approaches. "Having regular conversations remains essential for developing meaningful professional relationships, particularly for business development and hiring purposes," he said. "Face-to-face meetings can build rapport in a way that electronic communication cannot. Most people still want some personal familiarity before doing business with someone or making a referral."
Research shows that for most executives, professional networking is geared toward developing business leads (60 percent), rather than for pursuits like finding a job (10 percent) or recruiting talent (7 percent).
Robert Half Management Resources offers three tips to get the most from professional networking activities:
About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at roberthalfmr.com. Follow Robert Half Management Resources at twitter.com/roberthalfmr for workplace news.
SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources