How to Build a Vibrant Talent Pool


Whether you’re an in-house or agency recruiter, building a vibrant talent pool is essential to future success. Today’s talent markets have become so fiercely competitive that a passive approach to recruitment is deadly. Only by understanding the needs of your company or sector, can you build a bespoke and meaningful talent pool.

Building a vibrant talent pool requires a strategic approach, starting with talent forecasting, through to mapping the talent that you have, nurturing current and future talent with innovative engagement, and having the right technology in place to make the whole process run smoothly. All of this takes time and investment.

We’ve heard many recruiters bemoan the building of a bespoke talent pool with the statement that “we just don’t have the time or resources to make this happen.” However, any time spent is well worth the effort, and in the long run will turn a stagnant CV database into a thriving talent pool that will meet all your future talent needs. It won’t deliver instant results, but any investment will be validated by experiencing better quality candidate shortlists, reducing recruitment costs, and achieving a quicker ‘time to hire’.

So, what is a talent pool?

A talent pool is broadly defined as the pool of employees and candidates that you can draw on to fill your positions. For many, this constitutes a static database of CVs from past applicants contained in your Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). The key is to move from a static database to a dynamic talent pool where new talent is being attracted, current talent is being nurtured, and desired talent is being engaged thus moving them onwards through the candidate journey.

Defining and mapping your talent pools

This is where talent pool building gets interesting. It starts by defining the talent that you’ll need going forward. To do so, you’re going to need to take a multi layered approach. A natural place to start is by identifying the skill sets that your organisation needs.

What are the critical skills that you’ll need for future growth? From there the next stage is to segment your talent further by cultural fit. What things are important to your organisation? Segmenting via factors such as collaboration, innovation, flexibility and so on will help you to build a picture of the right types of talent for your respective talent pools. It is this active mapping and ongoing segmentation that will build agility in your talent pool.

Understanding your target market

Once you have defined and mapped your talent pools, the next stage is all about understanding your target market. Where is this talent now? How much is already in your talent pool and how much of it do you need to attract? If your talent needs are in the wider market i.e. working for competitors, how can you communicate with them? Think about industry events, conferences, niche job boards, and social media hangouts such as LinkedIn groups. You could be looking for industry entrants such as newly qualified graduates. If so, you’ll need to develop a presence at graduate events. The key is to understand your target market by finding out where they are, and more importantly what they want. This will involve benchmarking against competitors and matching what you can offer to what your required talent wants.

Leveraging technology

When it comes to building a vibrant talent pool, technology is your friend. Using the right tech will help you to segment your talent, and to engage with them at the right time, and in the right way. Different segments of your talent pool and different individuals will need a tailored approach for engagement. Some will be happy to be engaged via email, where others might prefer face to face, or even SMS based communication. Some will need to be nurtured step by step via content delivery such as white papers or industry announcements, and some will want a more direct approach.

Technology should make your life easier, not harder. It should be flexible, whilst offering you the automation that makes your life as a recruiter easier. Ideally, you should choose an integrated piece of software that will allow you to market your opportunities (with a diverse range of job posting capabilities), track your applicants, engage with candidates throughout their journey, and see the whole process through from the very first engagement all the way through to a successful hire.

Nurture and grow talent relationships

Talent pools are akin to a beautiful garden. They need careful tending to ensure they remain active. New and existing talent will need to be nurtured throughout. Some talent will zip into your talent pool and move straight through the candidate journey to being a successful hire. However, many good candidates will move into your pool, and become inactive. Any talent that connects with your brand should have a positive experience. Today’s world is so connected that you can’t risk a poor candidate experience. People will share their experience with your company, whether good or bad. Whilst some talent might not be right for you today, they may be tomorrow, and it is your responsibility to ensure they have a positive candidate experience.

We recently produced a white paper based on the experiences of 250 candidates from around 100 recruitment agencies. When asked “if you have ever established a good relationship with a recruitment agency, what was it that made them stand out for you above their competitors?” 31.1% said honesty, and 27% said great communication. Do not underestimate how powerful honest communication can be. Be consistent, communicate well, and above all, provide honest feedback that helps them to grow and improve.

The idibu platform has been custom designed to help your organisation address many of these challenges – and to do so in a highly cost-effective manner. If you’d like to have a look inside idibu, do reach out and we’d be happy to schedule a call to show you what’s possible when you harness the best technology for the job.

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