Recruitment Blog

How can a talent pool improve your recruitment?

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder

When Hays released its fifth Global Skills Index earlier this year, it confirmed what recruiters already suspected; it’s harder to secure the right talent now than it was a year ago.

Approximately three-quarters of recruiters (72.8%) are struggling to find relevant candidates, and 45% of employers are concerned about finding employees with the necessary skills. Which makes creating a talent pool all the more important.

Recruiters and companies are increasingly using talent pools but what do you need to know prior to setting one up? Here, we have your questions answered.

FREE DOWNLOAD: The ultimate guide to sourcing talent

What is a talent pool?

A talent pool is a database of candidates who are interested in working for an organisation. A talents pool is a shortlist of candidates that are not currently being considered for a role but have been identified as a top talent within a company. In short, it’s a group of contacts who may be suited for various job opportunities in the future.

You can create multiple pools for various specifications. Your talent pool database can be as segmented as you like, grouping candidates according to their areas of expertise, or when they will be completing university degrees, for example.

Think of talent pools as a more targeted method of candidate sourcing, which can include the following:

  • Candidates that you or your team have sourced
  • Unsuccessful candidates that you want to re-engage with, AKA the silver medalists; candidates who made it right to the end of your hiring process, but just missed out
  • Social media leads, references and many more.

When it comes to sourcing candidates for your talent pools, consider that only 30% of the global workforce are active job seekers, but often enough, passive candidates are prepared to have a conversation with recruiters if presented with an opportunity. Meanwhile, 87% of active and passive candidates are open to new job opportunities, something worth keeping in mind

By building your talent pools you are effectively increasing your chance to find the right candidate and reduce your time to hire, as your potential candidate could be sitting in your database waiting to be discovered. A good talent pool will be one that is continually connecting with talent and updating information, as well as bringing in new diverse talent.

The benefits of talent pooling

By using talent pools, you are ultimately choosing to use an approach that is highly focused on the candidate. When setting up a talent pool, it’s not only important to maintain the database, but it’s also important that the recruiter regularly communicates with the candidates. This ultimately creates loyalty and prolongs the potential candidate’s ongoing interest in the company.

It’s important for recruiters to have talent pools as they can stay ahead of their company’s recruitment needs, and access talent prior to publishing job postings. By recruiting in advance and building your talent pools, you could fill positions faster and easier. The benefits of having a talent pool are:

  • Reduce your time to hire

The first benefit of having a wide talent pool is reducing your time to fill, where the initial work of sourcing, screening, selecting and pre-qualifying candidates has already been completed. Through AI data matching, recruiters can reduce their time to hire by sourcing suitable candidates on their database. With AI handling the administrative tasks, it allows recruiters to spend more time with people and quicken their hiring process.

A well-managed talent pool allows you to move quickly to fill a role as you have a wide selection to choose from. When an opportunity arises, you have qualified and interested candidates to choose from, which can help reduce your time to hire.

  • Reduce your cost per hire

Increase the money you save during the recruitment process by eliminating the need to advertise on job boards. To reduce the cost of hire, recruiters can give themselves direct access to a talent community and talent pool of willing and interested candidates, instead of having to wait for applicants to respond to a job application or advertisement.

  • Improve the quality of hire

According to a recent LinkedIn recruiting report, 45% of leaders in Australia say that their team’s hiring volume will increase, and 55% of Australian leaders measure success according to the length of time new hires stay at the company. Increased engagement with your talent pool means more passive candidates may be open to the possibility of changing careers.

If you look at from this perspective, no recruiter wants a low-quality hire, especially when a majority of the time why such candidates are selected, is due to not having enough time to source quality candidates, not enough time to check if candidates fit the role and the lack of quality candidates available. According to 65% of recruiters, the lack of skilled candidates in the market is cited as the largest obstacle to hiring.

By creating and managing an effective talent pool it can help recruiters avoid hiring a low-quality candidate by providing a steady flow of qualified applicants; essentially improving your quality of hire and acceptance rate.

Need help building your talent pool? Download our ultimate guide to sourcing talent.

The power of recruitment software

You’ve now learned about talent pools, why it’s important for you and how it can improve your recruitment process. But now you have to actually create and manage your talent pool. Building and maintaining your talent pools is hard work, but with the appropriate recruitment software your job is easier.

Setting up your talent pools should be created systematically with help from the right recruitment software. The chosen software should help recruiters create and build talent pools with consistently engaged passive candidates. Recruitment software should attract, engage and hire the best talent to grow your organisation through a careers page, employee referrals, job board advertising and social media recruitment. By using the right recruitment software, it can further create better working relationships by building talent pools and shifting the way recruiters work with strategic candidate pipelining.

Within your recruitment software, stronger relationships build better outcomes with a powerful CRM. Companies can engage with passive candidates long before they apply. With job fill time saved by 30%, JobAdder allows you to gain insight and visibility into your talent pipeline so you can plan talent attraction strategies, and can react quickly if you experience unforeseen demand for new employees.

The tools to build and fill effective talent pools

Sourcing tools are one of the more common methods in building talent pools, where these tools search for candidates and their profiles through web-based specific keywords.

Candidate sourcing refers to the task of a recruiter in finding, assessing and engaging the most suitable candidate for a given role. Sourcing candidates can include a variety of measures. Strategies for sourcing candidates vary from recruiter to recruiter and what may work for one role can be ineffective for another. The primary goal of sourcing is to collect the relevant data about qualified candidates, such as names, titles and job responsibilities.

Such sourcing tools further inform passive candidates about open roles and focus on building relationships for future opportunities. Such sourcing tools include the following:

  • Employee referrals:

Source great talent and build your talent pools more effectively through employee referrals. According to LinkedIn, organisations can expand their talent pool 10x by recruiting through their employees’ networks. By tapping into this resource your employees can help you discover a hidden gem. Furthermore, employee referrals are a top source of quality hires along with social networks and internet job boards.

  • Re-engage with unsuccessful candidates:

On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. With unsuccessful candidates, an expected handful would be sufficient enough to be added to your talent pool. In most cases, you would have invested some time with these candidates and written notes on why they were not successful. See if you can make use of these applicants by segmenting them into your talent pools, and re-engaging with your silver medalists for future job openings.

Talent is more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback, but only 41% of talent have actually received feedback. By offering this to unsuccessful candidates who showed potential, it could increase your response rate and time to hire if you approach these applicants in the future.

  • Inbound recruiting:

Attracting candidates to willingly join your talent pool can be done through valuable content that attracts applicants to your company. This could include a blog where your organisation posts articles on upcoming projects on their career site, as well as company culture videos and employee testimonials.

By providing such content you could further add a landing page on your career site that will serve as an invitation to join your talent pool. Explain what they can gain by joining as well as providing them with instructions on how to become a member of your talent community.

Consider offering candidates with an ‘expression of interest’ application, as this is another method of inbound recruiting you could implement. But be mindful that this method may not work for all recruiters and organisations. Canva’s Lead Recruiter Scott Crowe believes that an expression of interest doesn’t necessarily work. “Not many people are hired via this path as they usually don’t possess the skill sets we’re looking for,” he said. In fact, Crowe thinks it’s quite “a significant time investment for the outcome.”

In comparison, Fiona Gallacher, Recruitment Manager from Edmen Community Staffing Solutions, encourages candidates to use their expression of interest, as “it has given us some applicants that we may not ordinarily have been able to contact,” Fiona said. “At this stage, we are still collating the data but the pick up looks promising,” she added.

  • Social media campaigns:

Social media sites are becoming a common recruitment tool with at least 84% of companies currently using social media for recruitment, and 9% of those who are not using it is actually planning to.

With social recruitment, you can reach passive candidates, showcase your company culture and improve your employer branding and ultimately build a more personal connection with candidates. The aim of social media campaigns is to invite candidates to be a part of a talent pool. As social professional networks are the number one source of quality hires, followed by internet job boards and employee referrals, social media campaigns can help grow and strengthen your employer branding.

Building and managing successful talent pools is one of the first steps to improving your recruitment process and takes time and effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your talent pool won’t be either. In the grand scheme of things, talent pools can help you cut down on recruitment costs, time to hire and build better relationships and improved engagement with your candidates. Segment your pools gradually and soon you will witness great results not only with quality candidates that are sourced but with making better hiring decisions.

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