For the last few weeks, since the start of the Coronavirus Crisis, I have seen many things changing. Instead of making great future plans our focus shifted to surviving the day. Hiring freezes, cost savings, reviewing contracts and layoffs dominate the industry news. However, the best talent is still hard to find, and I don’t think this is going to change soon. Organizations will always try to maintain their best talent and good candidates still not going to quit their jobs for the first opportunity that comes along. It remains necessary to invest in long term candidate relationships and build your Talentpools.
Why downscale your recruitment activities, when there are many opportunities to connect with the best talent for your organization as well?
Talentpooling – What?
When I am talking to recruiters, talent sourcers or managers about Talentpools, there are many definitions used. To come up with a proper definition, it might be easier to explain what it’s not first (in my opinion). A Talentpool isn’t just a database or list with single names or profile URLs. It’s not just your ATS, an Excel file or a project on LinkedIn. And a Talentpool isn’t a file scraped from the internet either.
As I am referring to a Talentpool, I am talking about a group of qualified potential candidates you want to hire today or in the future. These candidates are engaged with your employer brand and can be approached when the right opportunity comes along. The difference between a Talentpool and a list of candidates can be found in the relationship with the candidates. A candidate cannot be in your Talentpool, if there wasn’t any contact before. You know something about the qualifications and interests of the candidate, and they know about you and your company story.
Sometimes I compare Talentpooling to a dating app: You both swiped to the right based on the things you’ve seen (Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Facebook, Instagram, Company Webpage, etc.). When there is a match, you can start getting to know each other and find out if you’re potential (work) relationship material.
“Reach out proactively and stay in touch with qualified potential candidates (non-applicants), you want to hire today or in the future, who are interested in your company as well” (source: Talentmapper.nl).
Talentpooling is all about building long term relationships and reconnecting with qualified potential candidates, you want to hire. You can imagine this can be a time-consuming process and not always worth your effort. There are circumstances Talentpooling works very well. For instance, when you’re recruiting high volumes, you’re dealing with a persisting demand or when you’re aware of hiring somebody extremely rare in the near future.
Why you should start today
Like I stated before, lots of companies chose a hiring freeze as their strategy to survive this crisis. However, our history books show this might not be the best strategy to cope with the current situation. When we go back to our economic classes, we all remember figures of economic waves. Studying these figures can help us conclude that this Coronavirus crisis will end. There’s going to be a day that everything will be better. And at that moment, everybody wants to continue their core business as quickly as possible. In order to do this, you’ll still need your best employees and best candidates in the market. Let me explain why this is the right moment to start Talentpooling:
First, a big part of the workforce is currently working from home and experiencing a reduction of their daily workload that could cause an increase of feeling bored. Social interaction is low, there are no colleagues checking what you’re doing. In other words; this is the perfect opportunity to get in touch with candidates who would otherwise never respond to you.
Second reason for starting today, is that you have the time and focus to do so. Long term projects are postponed, there are no stakeholder meetings, no events, no interviews, no ad hoc tasks to do.
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Third, having a total hiring freeze creates a lot of uncertainty, you closed the door for (future) talent when it didn’t go well. This could harm your employer brand and doesn’t only affect external candidates; it can have an impact on your current employees as well.
Final argument to not stop your (usually years of) investments, has to do with the idea of “Just in Time Recruitment”. Talentpooling provides availability of the right talent, at the right time. If you don’t invest in relationships with potential candidates today, you would have to start from scratch later. And imagine what would happen if your competitor had the courage to invest in their Talentpools…
Talentpooling – How?
Talentpooling is like talent sourcing. The first step is always about data, research and taking time to make a good sourcing plan (Mike Rasmussen wrote an interesting article about this). It’s important to start talking to your business about their recruitment expectations and future needs. Match these needs with external information and recruitment trends and bring the results to the table. After discussing the outcomes with your stakeholders, you should be able to define your target groups, determine the qualifications for candidates in your Talentpools and decide about the story you’re going to share with these potential candidates.
Then it’s time to map potential candidates for your Talentpools. Start searching new candidates, but don’t forget about the candidates you already know. Think about those who didn’t make it to the final interview, the ones that weren’t ready for a switch, were making plans about traveling the world or the ones that chose a different job opportunity at another company.
Talentpooling is all about connecting and reconnecting, and the next step will cover your contact strategy. Many recruiters and talent sourcers approach a candidate only one single time (when you need a direct result), instead of sending messages multiple times, with different content through different channels. Have you been aware that sending two emails instead of one, will get you 71% more responses (check this and more sourcing benchmarks, at: Lever.co)? So, use your time wisely.
Don’t be afraid to pick up your phone and just make a call. Start building personal relationships, sharing industry content and company stories. Make sure you’ll keep your promises to your candidates and keep this flow of sending personal messages going. You’ll be surprised by the candidate information and the market feedback you’ll receive. Maybe these candidates will be available for a new job within your company soon. Maybe you can welcome them in your team later. At least don’t miss your chance to get in touch with the stars of your competitors. Start Talentpooling today, it’s the way to keep (future) talent close.