Whether you are looking for a job or hunting anchovies, it makes sense to concentrate your “prey” into a condensed mass of opportunity.
But first you have to create the conditions for the feast.
When I was a child, it seemed strange to me that huge humpback whales decide to consume vast amounts of tiny prey such as krill and anchovies.
I never understood why they couldn’t eat things like sharks and dolphins.
Then I learned about how fish form shoals and the wisdom (or otherwise) of the crowd.
Catching a few thousand small fish is better than one (angry) big fish.
But to catch them, you have to get them in the same place at the same time.
The ocean is a big place, but most smaller fish tend to swim about in shoals because evolution has taught them that safety is found in numbers.
Until a whale comes along and changes the odds.
You see, a shoal of fish is a tempting target for a whale, but the average density of fish will mean that any one mouthful might only include a few scattered fish (not worth the effort).
For a whale to be consuming tonnes of fish every day (typically 500lb a day), they need to pack them into a tighter area.
So, they decide to blow bubbles.
In a process known as bubble netting, humpbacks blow a circular “net” of bubbles around a shoal of fish, ensuring that they are trapped in one place.
The whale then scoops them up into their cavernous mouth. When a group of whales cooperate to do this together, it is an impressive sight indeed.
Now, you might be wondering what bubbles and humpbacks have to do with job seeking?
Well, in the depths of a candidate’s social media “data lake” there are many potential employers who would be happy to consider hiring them.
The challenge consists of engaging with as many of them as possible over a long period with “bubbles” of relevant social activity. When the time comes to start a job search in earnest, they will be condensed into a crowd that already knows who you are and what you are about.
Or you could just randomly swim around the LinkedIn ocean hoping that you bump into a few of them.
When it comes to job search lead generation, there is much to be learned from the humpback whale.