Talent communities (or pools) should be considered as one of the most important assets of any business. Most of the time companies only start the recruitment process when they need someone urgently – for example, when they win a big contract or if someone resigns. Workforce planning is often a “nice idea” rather than a genuine activity in most businesses.
When organisations need to recruit, most of the time they need to act fast. But most of the time they start from scratch each time. Take a deep breath. They start compiling a job description, then a job advert, then get authorisation, then post the advert (and pay job board and/or agency fees), then wait a couple of weeks for candidates to apply, and then go through the interviewing process, then the offer and acceptance process, and then wait for their chosen candidate to finish their notice period at their current place of employment. Catch your breath.
Talent pools and talent communities will help you reduce or even eliminate at least 2 of those steps. In fact, depending on how you’ve built the talent pool (and your management processes), you could even go straight to offer stage, saving weeks (or even months) from the process.
Talent Pooling and Communities should form part of your workflorce planning process. By following the 7 deadly wins you’ll maximise your chances of building effective talent pools and getting the most of out them – and significantly decreasing your time to hire – possibly by as much as 90%!
Win 1: Segment the talent and come up with a list of the pools you need.
This sounds obvious but without this planning your pools will soon become chaotic. Ideally y,ou don’t want to have to manage one large pool on its own, so try and segment them in the best way for you. This could be, for example, by industry or skill, or by location or career level (e.g. graduates, apprentices, professional certification etc), or a mixture.
Without this planning, you might end up creating similar pools or even duplicate pools, which means they will become ineffective.
Win 2: Determine why you need them and then prioritise.
Building pools and communities takes energy so don’t waste it building pools for the sake of it. Focus your energy on the ones that are important to you and your organisation – giving priority to the following:
- the talent you find more difficult to hire for;
- the talent that is costly to hire for;
- the talent you hire most frequently;
- The type of jobs that drives high volume applications.
Win 3: Decide on who needs access to this talent pool.
Is the pool just for you? Really? That’s ok if you are the only person in your organisation recruiting from this pool but you should make sure your business gets maximum benefit from the pool. Make sure other people who can make use of the pool or community can get access to it.
Win 4: Decide how you are going to build the pool.
The quality of a pool is only as good as the candidates within it. If you allow people in the pool that aren’t a good fit, then your pool could be useless. Don’t just add or invite anyone and everyone!
Win 5: Decide on how you will communicate with these pools.
A pool is no good if it just sits there. Do you want to email the pool? Do you want to communicate with them using an online forum/group (like a community)? Or do you just want to be able to call them? The best pool is one where you can communicate to many relevant candidates at the same time, but have the option to communicate individually too.
Win 6: Try and automate the building of your pools.
If, for example, you were going to a graduate fair then give everyone (you want to) a link to your pool so they can join themselves. Or during your recruitment process in your ATS, push candidates into pools as and when you update an application’s status.
More advanced automation can be achieved if your chosen tool allows you to segment your database with “saved searches”. This would allow you to specify the criteria for the pool and it automatically update itself whenever a record is added to your database.
Win 7: Choose the right tool to build the pools.
The tool is the pool! Your chosen tool will make or break your pool efforts. It’s ok having data in it, but if you can’t do anything with it then it’s a dead pool rather than a talent pool. You want to be able to search in it, add to it, delete from it, communicate using it, and automate as much as you can with it.