Why HR Can’t Live Without a Talent Pool (and Tricks for How to Build One)
by Angie Rupp
If you are even remotely involved in the recruiting process, chances are you long for an active and solid talent pool, and for good reason. Most managers and high ranking officials in a company assume that recruiting and hiring is something that can be turned on and turned off like a light switch. When someone quits or they need a candidate to fill an opening, they want that person immediately and after the position’s been filled they move on with their life (and their new hire) until the next life or death hiring situation comes along.
The problem with this mentality is that you as the HR professional understand the reality of hiring – it’s a process that takes time and honestly for corporate recruiters, has some pretty high stakes. The reason you can’t afford to approach hiring the same way your colleagues do is because you are tasked with tying a manager’s sometimes improbable requisition to a real human being. Not only that, but you have to find this perfect candidate under some pretty tight time limitations. To you, recruiting isn’t a light switch that can be turned on/off; it’s a careful and strategic dance that requires an ever so slight balance between supply and demand.
The simplest way to bridge the gap between the light switch/dance conundrum is to amass a fairly well-established talent pool. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “talent pool,” it’s really just a collection of potential job candidates you’ve accumulated that are interested in working for your company, are interested in a specific position that hasn’t become available yet, is a referral from a current superstar employee, or a multitude of other scenarios. The common thread linking all of these scenarios together though is that by having this active talent pool, you’re essentially making your job easier and closing the divide you encounter between hiring supply and demand.
The simplest way to bridge the gap between the light switch/dance conundrum is to amass a fairly well-established talent pool.
Additionally, the chances of these candidates being solid performers is pretty likely because they’re proactively seeking employment opportunities form your company. It’s a different approach then reactively applying to job openings.
Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you why it’s worth your time to invest in a talent pool, let’s talk about how to go about actually assembling one.
Talent Pool Trick #1 – Add a Subscribe Option to Your Job Feed
One of the best methods for building an arsenal of worthy contenders for your talent pool is to give potential applicants the opportunity to subscribe to your job opening feed. If you currently use an ATS, this should be a standard feature on your jobs page and if you don’t use hiring software, adding a “subscribe to my jobs feed” option is nothing more than a line of code that either you or one of the more tech suave members of your team can place on your career site. Not only does this help applicants feel more engaged, but it gives them the opportunity to be updated immediately after you post a job opening. It’s a great win/win. You can build an active talent pool, and the applicants can stay informed, so they can apply to the job opening they’ve been holding out for.
It’s a great win/win.
Talent Pool Trick #2 – Add a Share Button
While we’re on the subject of little lines of code, another great tool for reinforcing your talent pool is to add the option for applicants or visitors of your jobs page to “share” the job opening with their friends. They can do this via social media accounts, or through email. So, if the original person stumbling upon your opening isn’t a good fit, but knows someone who is, you’re getting a referral out of them without any time (or financial) investment on your part.
Talent Pool Trick #3 – Build a LinkedIn Group
This last tip is an extremely easy (and severely under-utilized) resource to help you build a solid talent pool. Creating a LinkedIn Group wherein you pose questions and share content that is relevant to your industry helps you to draw like-minded individuals to you. The process is completely innocuous and it gives you an opportunity to “network” without the forced awkwardness associated with typical “salesy” interactions. Additionally, a lot of the time, you can get much deeper insight into an individual based on the strategic thoughts they share to issues plaguing your current demographic.
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