← Back to Insights
May 25, 2023
Olivier Roth

Announcing Work Overlaps: Automatically Add Former Colleagues to Your Network

Whether you’re looking for an introduction, a new opportunity, or a different perspective, research shows that our loose ties are often more effective at opening new doors than our close ties are. In that sense, your former colleagues are a very interesting layer of your network that might just be in that sweet spot: Not too close that they share the exact same information, same background, and many of the same connections, and not too far that they don't know you enough to reply or give an introduction to someone else. They’re often the people who can connect us to new opportunities.

With some colleagues, of course, we also forge strong connections and build significant trust over time.

"That's a great great great feature" says Drew Moxon, Head of Platform and Product at Fifty Years. "The amount of time you spent with someone, the depth of the work that you did with that person for that intense period of time forges a connection.”

Here at The Swarm, we’re passionate about finding new ways to increase the potential of your network. And with the launch of our latest feature, work overlaps, we’ve done just that. Let's dive in.

What are work overlaps?

Our users can now automatically find and add up to 300 former colleagues to their network — even if they’re not connected on LinkedIn or via email. All you need to do is enter your LinkedIn URL, and The Swarm will add them to your Network Graph.

This feature allows you to expand the number of warm connections in your network, growing the number of individuals you can reach out to for sales introductions, recruiting, and more. A shared work history creates a common history that makes it far more likely that a recipient will open your email and get back to you.

Expanding your network by importing your work overlaps is also fast and easy — all you need is your LinkedIn profile URL, and The Swarm will import your work overlaps in a matter of minutes. Then, explore your work overlaps by selecting them as a source in your connections.

Where are work overlaps sourced from?

To identify work overlaps, we compare the work history of the member running the import with millions of profiles in our internal and third-party databases. We find work overlaps by looking at the name of the company a person worked at, their position, and the date range of their tenure at the company.

We currently return a maximum of 300 overlaps, sorted by the strength of the connection (i.e., how long you overlapped with a former colleague at a company). If we find more than 300 overlaps in your work history, we run a second search with an additional criterium: overlap duration must be at least three months. This narrows down the results to people who worked at the company as you for at least three months, increasing the likelihood of you knowing each other.

We also skip companies with more than 2,000 employees, to focus on work overlaps with a higher likelihood of familiarity with your and the members of your team on The Swarm.

Build and expand your network with The Swarm

Today, more than ever, teams need to rely on their networks and warm connections rather than traditional, high-volume approaches. Identify, navigate, and expand your network for recruiting, sales, fundraising, and more with The Swarm: get free access today.