2020 taught us several things about the future of work. One of them is the connection between proactive talent acquisition and future readiness. The candidate market is still incredibly competitive, and organizations are hard-pressed to attract and hire skilled team members. The days of merely trading resumes and rejection letters with your applicants are over; it’s time to start building a talent pool and reaping the rewards of an improved candidate experience.
Why building a talent pool is better
If you are simply sending rejection letters to everyone who doesn’t make the cut for your vacancy, you are not making the most of the talent you’re attracting. According to a survey released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in June 2021, nearly a third of businesses are struggling to find suitable candidates to hire. The chief reason for this is a lack of applicants, as candidates continue to be cautious and more selective with their roles in the wake of the uncertainty of 2020.
If so many Australian businesses are struggling to attract applicants at all, then why do most organizations continue to rely on reactive hiring? Building a talent pool of people is a much more proactive and brand-friendly approach to sustainable organizational growth.
What is a talent pool, anyway?
Essentially, a talent pool is a database of candidates who have previously shown interest in joining your organization. For whatever reason, they may not have made the cut for the role they applied for initially. However, they could be a great fit for your team and are open to hearing about suitable vacancies in the future.
Building a talent pool and maintaining it well is key to reducing your time to hire, improving your employer brand, and growing your organization sustainably, even in a tough candidate market. A good talent pool includes a variety of details about each candidate, including:
- How they come in contact with your organization;
- The kind of roles they want to be considered for;
- Their key strengths and skills;
- Where they are currently working, and;
- Notes about their suitability and fit from their interviews.
Benefits of building a talent pool
We’ve already mentioned that building a talent pool is more proactive and efficient than starting a recruitment campaign from scratch. But there are myriad benefits of effective talent pool development. Let’s take a look at these in more detail:
A live digital talent pool
When well-managed, your talent pool is a “live” database of up-to-date candidate information. You have a record of each candidate’s availability, skills, and experience. You also have the confidence that they would like to work with your organization. With this, you increase your productivity and reduce the manual admin of posting and managing a new job ad every time you hire.
A better candidate experience
In a market that’s currently led by candidates, you have to make a good impression and be sure not to burn any bridges. Most candidates face rejection letter after rejection letter if they hear back from an organization at all. Repeatedly iterating their value to potential employers with little to no positive feedback takes its toll. The process often leaves a bad taste in a candidate’s mouth about the brands in question.
So, how do you overcome this? By creating an exceptional candidate experience. Set your organization apart by talent pooling, rather than rejecting most of your candidates.
Instead of saying, “You’re not right for my organization,” you can say, “You’re not the best fit for this role right now,” and maintain contact. Keep your top candidates looped into your latest news and career opportunities. Contact them regularly to see where they’re at and keep them posted on upcoming vacancies. A talent engagement tool helps to automate this process and the resulting positive candidate interactions go a long way towards strengthening your employer brand.
Reduced time to hire
With a growing database of interested candidates, your organization is empowered to hit the ground running with every new hire. Review your talent pool first and reach out to suitable candidates directly when a new role becomes available. A traditional recruitment campaign is only necessary if no one in your talent pool fits the bill for that role. You’ll reduce your time to hire and enjoy a smoother hiring process overall.
Lower cost per hire
Logically, it follows that a reduced time to hire implies a reduced cost per hire. You save time and money when you pay for fewer advertisements, and limit time spent on interviews, and time spent waiting for applicant responses. And, you reduce the risk of a “bad hire” and the damage it could do to your productivity and culture. You can combine this strategy with powerful talent acquisition software to get the most out of every campaign and save time along the way.
Improved quality of hire
If you are always hiring reactively, you are constantly under the pump to fill roles as they come up. You run the risk of hiring a candidate in a rush without thoroughly investigating their competencies and culture fit. Flash forward to four weeks in. You may have spent a lot of time and money hiring a candidate who can’t hit their KPIs and doesn’t gel with their team at all.
The best way to avoid this kind of catastrophe is to build and nurture a talent pool. This proactive strategy cuts out a lot of time and resources when it’s time to hire. And, you gain the confidence that your new team member is engaged, lives your purpose, and contributes to your culture.
Increased access to passive candidates
A passive candidate is someone who is not actively searching for a new role but is open to being figuratively (or literally) tapped on the shoulder and offered an interview. Astoundingly, about 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive candidates! That’s a lot of people who aren’t scouring job boards for a new role but wouldn’t say no to the right opportunity. We unpack the difference between active and passive candidates in another article, but essentially, building a talent pool gives you access to a range of candidates who are good at what they do, succeeding in their current role, and are interested in hearing from you. What more could you want?
Tips to maintain a talent pool
Building a talent pool is one thing; managing it effectively is another. The purpose of a talent pool is to keep great candidates engaged with your brand and maintain their interest in joining your organization. Here are some best practices to do so:
- Browse your talent pool regularly to stay familiar with who is there and what interests them. When a new role becomes available, you’ll default to checking your talent pool first.
- Engage with former employees and propose adding them to your talent pool. Unless a team member leaves on a bad note, many employees are open to returning to an organization under the right circumstances. The best part is that former team members already fit in with your culture and understand your way of working.
- Don’t forget about your current team members. Internal talent is an incredible resource when it comes to succession planning and large hiring campaigns. Engage your current team members to ascertain what opportunities for growth they’d be interested in. Leverage the experience they have with your product, service, and teams to drive business objectives.
- Send personalized content to your talent pool. Ascertain what stage each of your candidates is in and adapt content to suit their position in your talent pipeline. For example, someone who is ready to hire will be very interested in current vacancies. Alternatively, someone who isn’t ready but still browsing would be more interested in value-add content to help them learn and grow.
Building a talent pool with recruitment software
By now, you have a solid understanding of why building a talent pool is the best move for effective talent acquisition and sustainable growth. Now, you can put this strategy into play with a powerful talent engagement tool. Take the grunt out of building a talent pool with Scout Talent :Engage software, a platform that makes it quicker and easier to engage interested candidates.
A tool like : Engage helps you build stronger relationships with talented candidates and strengthen your employer brand. Not only do you save time and money when attracting and hiring talent with a recruitment CRM, but you also empower your organization to react quickly and effectively in times of change. Make your organization future-ready by building a talent pool with a powerful tool like :Engage, today.
For more information about our talent acquisition software solutions, send an email to email@example.com or call +61 7 3330 2595. You can also request an obligation-free demo of our recruitment CRM, and one of our specialists will reach out to show you everything that Scout Talent has to offer.