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Five Ways To Maximize Your Talent Pools

Recruiting these days is a constant struggle to find the right talented candidates to recruit. However, in cases where recruiters find great candidates, they also have to struggle not to lose them. To solve this problem, many recruiters or employees use talent pools.

Creating a talent pool is not insurance against losing top talents in a recruitment process but maximizing the pool is. So, how exactly can you maximize a talent pool? More importantly, how will doing this help you? In our guide below, we offer you everything you need to know about making the most of your talent pool during a recruitment process.

What Is A Talent Pool?

Finding job applicants is not a problem we face in 2023. With the U.S. unemployment rate currently at 3.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the country only just picking itself out of a recession, it isn’t surprising to find that thousands of people are looking for job openings. This employment situation is not just limited to the states.

While there is no shortage of applicants for job openings, it is not often easy to find talented individuals in the mix of candidates. As a result, when recruiters find these talents who are a great fit for the company and its values, they prioritize them to ensure they recruit the perfect employee for the job. To keep track of these talented individuals, many employees and recruiters use talent pools.

But what exactly is a talent pool?

A talent pool is a database of job candidates with enough potential to meet an organization’s corporate needs. This database is used to build a long-term relationship with these candidates, often for current or future business purposes. In simpler terms, a talent pool is a database of profiles of candidates who are interested in working with your company.

Talent pools usually consist of candidates who are qualified for a job opening and have previously shown interest in working for your company by applying for a job. However, these pools are also created as a database for talents who were sourced, referred, or simply candidates who have willingly joined your network of talents. 

Talent pools act as a reservoir to hold these potential candidates away from the bulk of other applicants for a position. In a way, it is easy to think of creating a talent pool as a proactive recruitment process.

Recruiters and HR managers use talent pools to make smart recruiting decisions. Since the 2018 study of HR & Recruiting, 76% of hiring managers admit that attracting top talent is a great challenge, and having a pool of talents to choose from is a great advantage. With a talent pool, when there is a vacant position in the business, hiring managers can simply choose the best fit for the role from the pool. 

There are two main types of talent pools, which are internal and external. 

Internal pools are a database of individuals who align with an organization’s mission, vision, and values and have provided a track record of exemplary work history. It is usually reserved for employees who already work in the organization and show the capability to handle additional responsibilities and roles.

External pools, however, are a database of qualified individuals outside an organization likely to be hired for future or potential roles. 

Woman in blue jacket smiling.
Talented Employees working together.

Regardless of the type of pool created, a proper talent pool holds information such as the skills, expertise, and experiences of each candidate, along with the role they could fill and why they can fit in the company’s culture.

With this information within easy reach, recruiters can cultivate a relationship with the candidates in the pool. Building, nurturing, and maintaining a high-quality talent pool is a long-term strategy that ensures a business does not need to start the recruitment process from scratch whenever they need a new employee to fill a vacant position.

However, shaving time off the recruitment process is not the only thing talent pools do.

Importance Of Talent Pools

Talent pools can typically be referred to as a folder or dossier of possible qualified candidates that an organization would like to build a long-term relationship with. It is a form of investment that offer numerous benefits, some of which include the following:

1. Identify More Talents

The job market has drastically changed so that the demand for talent in various industries now outweighs the supply. More concerning is that there is no indication that this scale will tip toward a more positive side in the foreseeable future. So what exactly can businesses do when they spot talents that have the potential to be useful in the organization in the future? They can build a profitable long-term relationship with these talented individuals.

Talented candidates are not in the market for too long, and talent pools allow organizations to snatch talents before competitors do. It is an important form of talent acquisition that lets companies compile the necessary information about the candidates into a platform where managing and nurturing them will be easier. This way, it is easier to quickly identify and employ talents when nurtured to the required or desired skill and experience level.

2. Increased Retention Rate

Many recruitment processes are rushed in a bid to save costs and time. However, when this happens, candidates also feel rushed into accepting the job offer. However, employees in a talent pool are in an environment where they receive sufficient education regarding what the business is all about. 

Before being offered a job or accepting a job offer, candidates in a talent pool know exactly what they are getting into, including being informed about the company’s work culture, values, and long-term goals. This is important because a lack of proper information about what a job role entails is one of the many reasons why job turnover rates are high.

Educating your talent pool makes it easier for employees to have long-term goals of working with a company, thereby minimizing employee churn rate.

3. Better Candidate Experience

Building a talent pool of potential candidates is a candidate-centric recruitment approach. It focuses on individual applicants, identifying their needs, and taking steps to meet these needs to nurture them for future hiring.

As a result, all top talents receive superior candidate experience, enjoying enough communication from recruiters. With a talent pool, top candidates enjoy seamless two-way communication with recruiters, which helps them remain engaged throughout the recruitment process.

4. Shortens Recruitment Time

A shorter hiring time was one of the biggest hiring trends of 2022.

One major importance of talent pools is their ability to shorten the time used to fill open positions. On average, the hiring process takes between three to six weeks. This timeframe can become considerably shorter with a talent pool.

A shorter recruitment time is possible because talent pools narrow down ideal candidate profiles. This way, the recruiter no longer needs to filter candidates and can simply choose from a list of qualified candidates.

5. Builds Business Brand

Creating and managing a talent pool involves consistently reaching out to and nurturing potential hires. Doing this builds trust and relationships, two of the many factors that are integral to the growth of a brand. This is especially important for potential hires looking to build a career in a new industry.

By creating a talent pool, your business will be regarded as a credible professional path for potential recruits. This causes the brand to enjoy more recognition which is not only good for sales but also for increasing the size of the talent pool as more talents will apply to the organization. Essentially, maximizing and optimizing your talent pool is a great way to grow said talent pool!

Five Ways To Maximize Talent Pools

If you plan on creating a talent pool, congratulations on making a great hiring decision. However, it is important to note that simply creating a talent pool is not enough. For the best effects, it is essential to maximize and optimize this database properly. Doing this will make your talent pool efficient and increase your hiring performance, thereby helping you make better hiring decisions.

People sitting indoors.
A talented group of employees.

To maximize your talent pool, here are five steps you can take.

1. Assess Soft-skills To Match One Candidate To Many Roles

One mistake many recruiters make is matching candidates to a vacant or potentially vacant role. They do this by using the candidate’s experiences and soft skills as a metric to measure if that candidate will fit in that role. Using this vacancy-driven approach, recruiters do not consider other role options where the candidate will be a perfect fit in the organization.

Instead of measuring candidates against a vacant role in the organization, optimizing your talent pool requires you to consider how well the candidate will perform in other roles. This is known as a two-way matching or a one-to-many matching, a vetting process similar to creating a talent pipeline. To enable this matching method, you must assess the candidate’s soft skills and benchmark them against other open requisitions.

Another mistake some recruiters make in their talent pool is using intuition to judge whether a candidate’s soft skills will be perfect for a role and the company. However, to fully optimize your talent pool, especially in a one-to-many matching process, it is best to use data-driven software applications. These applications use predictive data methods to match candidates to roles, making the process easier and more streamlined.

2. Continue Engaging Candidates In Your Pool

Don’t just create a pool and ignore it. Take an occasional dive- pun intended- into your talent pool to engage your candidates.

Staying in touch with talented applicants is essential, regardless of what stage in the recruitment process they are. Admittedly, recruiters already have a lot on their plates, especially if the recruitment process is still ongoing. However, disregarding your candidates and not nurturing them with adequate communication will get them to lose interest in your organization. This increases your chances of talent leaving you for your competitors. 

Continuously engaging talents in the pool with intelligent leads is a great way to keep them interested in job offers. If your company happens to have no vacant job posts, your talent pool doesn’t automatically become useless. There will come a time when there will be a vacant role, and you will need an employee for the task. Constant communication with job candidates ensures that talents can be easily converted to hires when needed.

3. Focus On Building, Not Buying

When a company needs to hire new talent, it can choose to build or buy. Buying a talent means hiring someone new for the vacant role. On the other hand, building means investing in a previous employee’s learning and development so that they can assume the role and its responsibilities.

Implementing a build vs. buy approach in a talent pool is a great way to optimize and maximize the pool while increasing the candidate’s value. Instead of continuously sourcing for new talents every time a job opens, you can make the most of your pool size by hiring candidates with adjacent skills useful in the vacant other words, make the most of your talent’s transferable skills.

Focusing on building your talents makes it easier to make the most of your pool and do more with less. To make the process more effective, you can use data-driven software to determine the best talent placement, using transferable skills as a metric. This assessment data and talent-building process focus on using candidate quality to determine the best roles for them instead of recruiters sourcing for talents eerie time they need to fill a new job position.

4. Focus On Diversity

Although the loss of talent from a talent pool cannot be avoided (especially loss due to the lack of certain skills and experiences that organizations need), talent loss can sometimes be for the wrong reasons. Many recruiters continuously shrink their talent pools and let talents slip through their fingers due to traditional views on what the standard and stereotypical image of an employee should be.

In times when there isn’t enough talent to go round the business industry, it is essential to hold on to every talented candidate you manage to come across. The business world is rapidly advancing and so is the concept of diversity in the workplace. There is no better time to hop on the train and embrace the different types of talented individuals you will come across.

Put aside bias that might cause you to miss out on hiring the best candidates. Regardless of gender, race, culture, religion, and disability, endeavor to treat all candidates equally and escape the grip of traditional work stereotypes. This will help you welcome every talent that you come across and have a wealth of strong candidates in your talent pool.

5. Optimize Passive Candidate Pool

The passive candidate pool is one of the most underrated advantages any recruiter can have. This pool is one that any employer or company should tap into without hesitation.

Passive candidates refer to employees in a company’s workforce who are not actively looking for another employment role with another organization. These candidates are usually added to a talent pool and recruited because companies consider them an effective but cheaper alternative to external talent pools.

A passive candidate pool makes a great long-term recruiting investment. When widened and optimized, these pools can cut a company’s recruiting time and costs. 

Maximizing And Optimizing Your Talent Pool

Talent pools are a handy solution when it comes to hiring the right talents with the right skills and experiences. However, simply creating a talent pool is not enough. For the best results, it is essential to maximize your talent pool.

Are you planning to create a talent pool? Or are you interested in making your underperforming talent pool more efficient? Here are five ways to help you achieve a fully functional and effective talent pool that can serve your business better.

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