Talent Pools – Strategy to Engage, Nurture And Hire A-Players

In the highly dynamic and competitive labor market of today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified talent for open positions, with 67% of large companies facing difficulty in filling roles. 

These challenges are compounded by the Great Resignation, with highly qualified talent exiting the labor market, leaving a huge gap in the skilled workforce, as confirmed by 75% HR professionals who believe there is a skills gap among their applicants, per SHRM. 

To tide over the talent crisis, it is important to build a proactive hiring strategy of a Talent Pool, with strong workforce planning and hiring forecast, building talent communities of highly qualified talent, engaging and nurturing them to create authentic connections to tap into for future positions, accelerating hiring of A-players with exponential business growth. 

What is a talent pool?

A Talent Pool is a database of potential candidates who have expressed an interest in working for the company. It is a proactive approach to hiring, creating a talent community of qualified talent, engaging with them and building a long-term relationship with them, facilitating an expedited and cost-effective recruitment of good candidates. 

It can be an eclectic mix of candidates who have applied for positions before, former employees, passive candidates, employee referrals and also those who have been sourced directly by the company.  

A Talent Pool can be divided into different pools based on various aspects such as skills, location, experience, qualifications etc. The segmentation of these Talent pools helps engage them appropriately and keep them ready to move into a Talent pipe-line when a business need arises. 

Why do you need a Talent Pool? 

A Talent Pool is key to the success of a Talent Acquisition Strategy as it keeps up a steady supply of highly qualified talent for the much needed growth opportunities, replacements for attrition and for succession planning. 

Talent Pools are a powerful mechanism to boost the overall growth of the organization with a multitude of benefits, from a streamlined recruitment process upto a strong Talent Acquisition Strategy. 

Also Check – Advanced Recruitment CRM

Benefits of building a talent pool
Benefits of building a talent pool

#1 Reduced Time-to-Hire & Cost-of-Hire

With an engaged and ready to activate talent community of qualified candidates, the time to assess, interview and onboard candidates is greatly reduced. The ready pool of talent also eliminates the need for advertising, posting openings on career portals or reviewing resumes, helping effect significant cost and effort savings. To add to that, time and effort required for sourcing and reviewing candidate profiles for a suitable business and cultural fitment is saved, expediting the hiring process and hence reduces time-to-hire

#2 Improved Quality-of-Hire

A talent pool serves as a source of qualified and mostly validated talent, who may have applied or been referred for earlier roles though may not have been hired due to fewer openings or a change in business priorities. With a great candidate experience provided earlier, these talent would be excellent candidates to consider for similar upcoming roles, enabling the hiring of highly qualified talent in no time. 

#3 Reduced cost of open positions

With a robust recruitment funnel of qualified candidates, companies are able to staff critical client roles quickly. This not only reduces the cost of open positions but also strengthens client relationships by enabling better business outcomes with highly skilled candidates.   

#4 Fulfilling Hard-to-fill roles 

Engaging and nurturing a talent pool of highly qualified talent enables companies to staff roles that require specific business or technical skills that are difficult to source at short notice. This helps reduce revenue leakage due to positions being open long, improving profitability. 

How to build a Talent Pool 

A Talent Pool enables the business success of a company, with a rich and diverse pool of highly qualified talent to hire from, helping strengthen the Talent Acquisition Strategy with better hiring forecasts. Adopt a hybrid hiring approach to attract candidates, both the traditional and outreach hiring programs to get a strong recruitment funnel for the company.

Let’s look at a few ways of companies effectively generating a pool of candidates: 

#1 Diverse sources of candidates    

Keep building the talent pool with talent from various sources that may not fit the open positions at the time but are a good technical and cultural fit and so are great potential candidates. To ensure that they can be reached out appropriately for future opportunities, maintain and engage frequently with talent communities, providing a consistent candidate experience. 

#2 Networking events 

Host professional and social networking events either by sponsoring or partnering with other relevant and diverse organizations to source highly qualified and diverse talent for the talent pool. Industry conferences, workshops, webinars, career fairs, hackathons etc. serve as splendid platforms to meet potential candidates who would be a great addition to the talent pool for future opportunities. Look for talent who would be a good fit for the organization with their competencies and personalities. 

Also Check – Virtual Hiring Event Solutions

#3 Employee Referrals     

Employee referrals are a great way to hire top-notch talent with 82% employers rating referral programs as the best source of qualified applicants. Talent via referrals also have higher levels of performance and engagement with improved retention rates.

Creating attractive employee referral programs help engage the current employees and enable them to bring forth quality talent to add to the talent pool who would have a high impact on the business and culture of the organization once hired.    

#4 Campus Hires    

Design attractive graduate and student work opportunities that are part-time, internship or full-time in summer, enabling the company to tap into a large pool of talent who can be groomed to be full time employees after graduation.

It also helps train, evaluate and nurture the talent to be more productive once they join the workforce. With the wide reach of the students and graduates, engaging with them effectively helps build a strong brand image, attracting more such qualified talent to your company, helping build a robust talent pool. 

Also Read – How to create Diverse Talent Pool

#5 Unsuccessful candidates  

Curating a great candidate experience during hiring enables companies to reach out to talent who hadn’t been successful in the previous opportunities but were nevertheless great potential candidates to keep in touch with for future positions.

Ensure that the communication during and after the recruitment is courteous, respectful and informative, providing crisp and relevant details on the interview feedback, progress & final status in a timely manner, helping them feel respected and willing to engage with the company for future opportunities. 

One of the benefits of an ATS is being able to track past candidates, who might be good fits for open positions.

#6 Internal employees

While an obvious choice due to their proximity and knowledge, current employees are often overlooked due to their criticality in the current role. Internal employees are an invaluable addition to the talent pool due to their familiarity and alignment to the business & culture of the organization.

Training and mentoring high potential internal employees for leadership positions helps not only groom top performers for higher value roles, it also helps engage and retain them by investing in their career development. 

#7 Alumni & other Potential candidates    

Consider talent from your network such as former employees or acquaintances who have opted out of the workforce to pursue other professional, academic or personal interests. These potential candidates who aren’t on the lookout currently by virtue of being on long-leave, sabbaticals, pursuing a degree or living/working in another country, serve to enrich the talent pool and be great additions to the workforce in the future.

Engage them with curated content to pique their interest and attract them for future opportunities in line with their skills and aspirations. 

#8 Customize content    

Curating content specifically for the different segments of a talent pool is key to maintaining and engaging with the potential candidates with efficacy. With the various groups of candidates having distinct expectations and aspirations, it is important to curate content that would be of interest to them.

Customized communication sent to each of the independent segments that is crisp, appealing and useful to them, engages them with an enhanced brand perception, improving the company’s chances of activating them for future relevant opportunities.   

Candidate Relationship Management tools can be used to send customized content to candidates. 

Wrapping Up

Time being an invaluable commodity in the tight and highly competitive labor market, with every additional minute spent sifting through loads of unqualified candidates costing dearly in terms of top-notch candidates, it is imperative to strategize ahead and build talent communities much in advance of the actual recruitment. 

Towards that, building a rich and diverse pool of top talent enables the nurturing, grooming and activation of the different segments of talent pools as required for fulfilling open positions or for succession planning. Talent pools enable the quick vetting of highly qualified talent into the talent pipe-line and into the organization, optimizing the overall recruitment process, reducing recruitment costs while accelerating business growth and outcomes. 

FAQs on Talent Pools

What is a talent pool?

A Talent Pool is a database of potential candidates who have expressed an interest in working for the company. It is a proactive approach to hiring, creating a talent community of qualified talent, engaging with them and building a long-term relationship with them, facilitating an expedited and cost-effective recruitment of good candidates. It often consists of candidates who have applied for positions before, former employees, passive candidates, employee referrals and also those who have been sourced directly by the company.

What is the difference between talent pool and talent pipeline?

A Talent Pipe-line consists of a line-up of qualified applicants who have been certified or vetted against open positions with the company. However, a Talent Pool is a collection of all the potential candidates who have demonstrated an interest in the company. These would typically consist of fresh applicants, previous applicants, employee referrals, and former employees, with the ones for Talent Pipe-line already validated and the ones for Talent Pool only collected so far.

Why is a talent pool important?

A Talent Pool is critical to the company success as it keeps up a steady supply of highly qualified talent for the much needed growth opportunities, replacements for attrition and for succession planning. Talent pools are very important as they not only streamline the overall recruitment process, they come with a multitude of benefits such as lower time-to-hire,  cost-of-hire & cost of open positions and an enhanced quality of hires and employer branding.

How do you build a talent pool?

A Talent Pool enables the business success of a company, providing it a rich and diverse pool of highly qualified talent to hire from. Each company follows a customized way of building a talent pool. A few steps to building a strong pool of talent is as follows:
1. Source talent using social media, networking events & platforms 
2. Employee referrals 
3. Hire graduates or those about to graduate from colleges and universities
4. Consider unsuccessful candidates from previous hiring events 
5. Consider internal talent & former employees 
6. Consider other top talent who aren’t on the lookout currently but would be great potential candidates (on long-leave, sabbaticals, pursuing a degree or in another country) 

What does talent bank mean?

The talent bank refers to a system for collating the pertinent information about a candidate’s personal and professional qualifications such as contact information, academic qualifications, experience, competencies, certifications, specific skills, past employers, references etc. This enables companies to reach out to specific candidates for open positions based on their skills, experience and competencies listed in the talent bank.

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Game Plan to Amp Up Recruitment 6 Talent Acquisition Challenges 10 Ways to Supercharge your Recruitment Why is Time-to-Hire critical to your hiring success? 4 Reasons to Track Employee Productivity
Game Plan to Amp Up Recruitment 6 Talent Acquisition Challenges 10 Ways to Supercharge your Recruitment Why is Time-to-Hire critical to your hiring success? 4 Reasons to Track Employee Productivity