The battle to win top talent continues to intensify. Organisations that have an ongoing need to hire significant volumes of professionals with in-demand business-critical skills, such as actuaries, engineers, compliance officers or cyber security specialists, know this all too well. They are constantly in fire-fighting mode. And the consequence is that they often hire when it is too late, rather than when it matters most.
Moreover, the time spent searching for and sourcing talent is a drain on in-house talent acquisition time and resources, which you might prefer to devote to serving the broader needs of the business.Talent Pooling is a way to ensure that your organisation has ready access to such professionals. It moves your talent acquisition strategy from reactive to proactive. By reducing the cost of hire, and perhaps even more critically the time to hire, Talent Pooling can provide a significant competitive advantage.
A truly effective Talent Pooling strategy does not simply provide a flow of candidates who have the right skills and qualifications, but gives access to professionals who combine these attributes with the right cultural profile for your organisation. Such an approach further reduces the cost and time to hire because it eliminates candidates who look good on paper, but clearly turn out to be unsuited at interview.
For candidates, being in a talent pool that accurately qualifies their skills, experience and cultural attributes means that they are more likely to find a vacancy that fits their profile. A candidate is therefore more likely to remain an employee within the company for a longer period of time following recruitment. This saves money on employee training, and further recruitment costs.
Talent Pooling should also take account of your future needs. For example, what are your organisation’s plans for future geographical expansion, and what implications does this have for your future language needs? Is your organisation about to embark on a new digital outreach programme, and does this call for new skills, experience or awareness? Relying on old job descriptions may therefore not be the best approach!
A comprehensive approach
Talent Pooling should not be regarded as an “add-on” or a discrete activity. Rather, it is part of a comprehensive approach to recruitment. For example, the way you handle rejections can have a major impact on the success of Talent Pooling. Candidates who make it to the last round of interviews but are rejected on the basis that they lack a particular qualification or have less experience than the successful candidate might be ideal one year or 18 months down the line. To keep them in your talent pool, they should experience the best possible candidate care throughout the hiring cycle, and you should nurture the relationship through regular engagement.
Constant candidate care
Candidates can be in a talent pool for a long time so and they will not always be actively seeking a new job. Nevertheless, it is important to keep them happy for when the time comes that that they are ready to make a move and a suitable role offering career progression become available. By sending useful content to the individuals, such as updates about the jobs market or information that is relevant to their professional discipline their interest can be maintained.
What it takes
However, to be effective, Talent Pooling requires a combination of market knowledge, infrastructure and technology that even large multinational companies may not have at their disposal. Most of all, it requires a lot of time and effort, not only to identify hard-to-find talent but also to engage with them on a continuous basis. We will discuss this in the next blog.