Small Talk Tips to Get You Through a Networking Event

stIt’s the season for a lot of HR and payroll industry events – and with them the chance to network. The challenge is most HR and payroll professionals either hate networking, are bad at it… or both.

You can take solace in the fact that you are not alone in hating networking and making up small talk. And you can take some of these small talk questions to warm up conversations…

  • Have you ever been to (insert event) before?
    • This helps you understand what to expect in terms of who you can met and what you will get out of coming… and maybe even coming again.
  • (If they have been to event before) What do you tend to achieve/get out of this event?
    • This helps you understand their motives, how you can help them and will hopefully lead into how they can help you.
  • How did you find out about this event and how does it compare to similar events in the area?
    • This provides you with a “lay of the land” for other worthwhile HR and payroll networking events.
  • Where are you from?
    • Whether you are asking about company or hometown, either works as people love to talk about themselves.
  • What does your business do? How big is your business? What is it like there?
    • However you spin it, it’s easy to get people talking about their business and what they do… it is a safe bet that if their marketing department has done their job, they even have an elevator pitch to recite.
  • What’s the best/worst part of your job?
    • Opens up the opportunity to relate to someone. Getting people to talk about things they love or hate can be incredibly easy and will help create a bond with your fellow HR/Payroll professionals.
  • I have a challenge with X… do you know anyone who can help?
    • Whether you are looking for a new job, employee, vendor, or even some sage wisdom – take the opportunity to ask your HR/payroll peers for advice.

If you want to se where you can network/small talk with your favorite HR/payroll recruiter at local events make sure you visit our new calendar – we absolutely love networking as we see it as a great opportunity and better understand the HR and payroll communities.


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