How Can an Effective Talent Pool Improve Time, Cost and Quality of Hire?

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Building and maintaining an effective talent pool will help you improve 3 most important recruiting metrics: time, cost and quality of hire.

Talent pooling: A proactive recruiting strategy

According to Robin Erickson form Deloitte, “The task of recruiting has moved from the reactive filling of requisitions to proactively court high-quality talent.

The only way to proactively court high-quality talent is to build and maintain an effective talent pool. Besides for engaging top talent, talent pools are also a very effective recruiting tool which can improve all the most important recruiting metrics, such as time, cost and quality of hire.

How talent pools help in recruiting top talent?

In today’s job market, an overwhelming majority of job candidates are passive job seekers. According to LinkedIn, 73% of your potential job candidates are passive job seekers. Passive candidates are already employed. Of course, top talent is high in demand so the chances are they are already employed.  This is the reason they actively look for a job. However, they would be willing to accept a better job offer. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2016 reports that a massive 90% of global professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities

However, these passive job seekers need to be convinced that getting a job at your company would be a step up for them. If you manage to get these passive job seekers to join your talent pool, you will have to build relationships with them, foster candidate engagement and keep your company on the top of their mind until the moment they are ready to change jobs.

How to create and maintain an effective talent pool?

Building and maintaining your talent pool is hard work. First, you need to fill your talent pool with high-quality candidates. You have to apply the best practices of lead generation to build your talent pool. Then you need to properly segment your talent pool. After you’ve done all that, the real works begins. You need to maintain your talent pools by engaging in relevant and interesting communication with your candidates. You need to create and distribute specialized recruitment content for every step of the candidate journey.

Yes, it’s a lot of work. However, all the time and effort invested in building and maintaining your talent pool is very well worth it!

Main benefits of an effective talent pool

Building and maintaining an effective talent pool will help you improve 3 most important recruiting metrics: time, cost and quality of hire.

Talent pools reduce time to hire

A properly segmented and managed talent pool will ensure that the candidates in your database are engaged and eager to work for your company. That way, when you have a new job opening, you will be able to choose between qualified, interested candidates from your talent pool.

This will significantly lower your time to hire because you will be able to skip the whole process of advertising your open job position through different channels and waiting for great candidates to apply. Instead, you will already have a pool of great candidates you can choose from!

Talent pools reduce cost per hire

An effective talent pool saves your money in two different ways. First of all, it reduces time to hire, which means you can save money on your HR professionals wages.The second way in which an effective talent pool will lower your cost per hire is by saving the money you would otherwise spend advertising your open job positions. Imagine the budget savings you could achieve if you didn’t have to spend money to advertise your jobs on different job boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, career fairs, campus events, etc.

Talent pools improve the quality of hire

Nobody wants to hire B-players, much less C-players. Lower quality hires happen because of four main reasons: not enough qualified applicants, not enough time to find talent, not enough time to check if the best candidate is indeed a perfect fit and because the best candidates reject your job offer so you have to settle with the second best. An effective talent pool will help you avoid all four mentioned scenarios by ensuring a steady flow of qualified job candidates, lowering your time to hire and improving your acceptance rate.

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3 Simple Ways to Maintain an Active Talent Pool

Building and maintaining an active talent pool is the key to proactive recruitment.

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Do you have a talent pool?

Of course, you do. If you use an Applicant Tracking System or a modern all-in-one recruitment software, you certainly have a database of your current, past and potential job candidates.

(If you by any chance don’t have a talent pool, make sure to learn effective techniques for building your talent pool ASAP!).

However, a database or a list of candidates is NOT a talent pool. A talent pool is a database of candidates INTERESTED in working for your company.

How to maintain an active talent pool?

Here are the top 3 ways that will help you maintain an active talent pool with highly engaged candidates:

1. Segment your talent pool

Segment your talent pool into smaller groups based on certain criteria. Wondering how to segment your talent pool and which criteria to use? A good idea is to segment your talent pool on the criteria of your candidates preferred role or job position at your company. That way, you can create groups of candidates interested in different roles, for example in marketing, sales, IT, etc.

The process of talent pool segmenting will help you understand who are the candidates in your talent pool groups and what are their interests. Create a distinctive candidate persona for each of your candidate groups.

2. Create interesting digital campaigns

Once you have defined a distinctive candidate persona for each group in your talent pool, you will have deeper insights into the interests and motivation of candidates in that group. Use that knowledge to create interesting and engaging content aimed specifically at the candidates from that certain group.

For example, for the group of candidates interested in your marketing positions, create a weekly or monthly newsletter with relevant industry news, such as latest marketing tools and trends, interview with marketing experts at your company or share a story of your new marketing intern. Oh, and don’t forget to include an information about your new job openings in the marketing department!

3. Organize offline events

Besides organizing online events, such as courses, webinars, conferences etc, it a good practice to organize offline events. These types of events are a great opportunity for your local candidates to get to know your company, meet your employees and get a glimpse into your company culture.

Organize open doors at your office, host a local experts meetup or another educational event. Invite the candidates from your talent pool to attend your offline events and meet you in person! And don’t forget to take photos of the events and share them on your career blog and social media profiles! This way you will share your company’s vibe even with your potential job candidates who live outside of your city.

Maintaining an active talent pool sounds like a lot of work…is it worth it?

Of course, it is!

By using these 3 ways to maintain an active talent pool, you have highly engaged candidates who are eager to work for your company. It means that you will be able to fill your positions with better candidates faster, thus reducing your time and cost per hire while improving the quality of hire.

How to Build an Effective Talent Pool: 5 Easy Ways

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Building a talent pool is an effective long-term strategy for filling your job positions with high-quality candidates cheaper and faster. In this article, you will learn 5 proven ways to find suitable candidates to fill your talent pool with.

Talent Pool: A long-term recruiting strategy

A talent pool is a group of highly-qualified candidates who are interested in working for your company.

Talent pools are more than just a database of suitable candidates’ profiles. It is the most effective method for proactive recruiting.

Building a talent pool is a long-term strategy for filling positions that may not even exist at the moment!  

Why should you build a Talent Pool?

Imagine if every time you had a new job opening, you had a reserve of highly qualified candidates interested to work for your company.

The only thing you’d had to do is simply pick out the best one among them!

➡️ You could skip all the hard work:

  • You wouldn’t have to create a compelling job posting from your job descriptions.
  • You wouldn’t have to design and execute brilliant marketing campaigns to promote your open positions.
  • You wouldn’t have to create and optimize your career site to get more applicants.
  • You wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to promote your job openings on social media or job boards.
  • You wouldn’t have to waste your time on a mass of unqualified candidates.

Sounds great, right? 🙂

Well, this is why you should build a Talent Pool.  Talent Pools are one the most effective methods of Talent Acquisition.  With Talent Pools, you can hire better people faster and cheaper.

How to build an effective Talent Pool?

Unfortunately, great candidates don’t come around as often as recruiters would like.

This is why you have to proactively search form them.

So where and how can you find talent to fill your talent pool with? Where to get started?

Start with the candidates that have already applied for your open job positions.

According to Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts, only the “Top 2%” of candidates make it to the interview”.

And among those candidates that get an interview, you hire only one.

So what happens with the second and third best candidate? They are probably the rising stars you will hear more about in the future.

These candidates are called silver medallists and you should definitely sustain relationships that you build with them during your recruiting process.

Besides candidates that have applied for your open job positions, you should also proactively reach out to passive talent, because your best job candidates are probably among them.

Luckily, there are 5 proven ways to do it.

5 ways to build an effective Talent Pool

I will present 5 easy ways to find high-quality candidates to fill your talent pool with.

Pick and choose methods that suit your recruiting needs best!

1. Sourcing tools

Modern sourcing tools perform web search scans of millions of online profiles to retrieve passive and active candidates’ details including email addresses, resumes and more. The profiles that you choose are then automatically added to your talent pool.

2. Referrals

Employee referrals are another great way for building talent pools. Did you know that by using your current employees’ networks you can expand your talent pool by 10 times?

Besides, employee referral programs are proven to improve time, cost and quality of hire.

3. Social media campaigns

Many companies are already using social media to promote your Employer Brand and showcase your company culture. However, a very few are creating a targeted social media recruiting campaign with an aim to invite potential candidates to become a part of their talent pool.

4. Inbound recruiting

Inbound recruiting is attracting candidates to willingly join your talent pool because of the awesome content you are providing. Attract your potential candidates’ attention by writing interesting blogs on your career site, produce company culture videos and share employee testimonials.

5. Landing pages on your career site

The simplest way to grow your talent pool is to create a special landing page on your career site that will serve as an invitation for joining your talent pool. Explain what they can gain by joining your talent pool in and give them instructions for becoming a member of your talent community.

Building your Talent Pool: What’s next?

Filling your talent pool is just a first step in building a successful talent pool.

If you want to turn your profiles database into a vibrant talent community, you actively manage your talent pool continuously.

If you want to learn how to do it, check out our complete guide: Talent Pools: Everything you need to know.

Evolving Trends in Talent Management Transformation

Evolving Trends in Talent Management Transformation

There are differences in how Talent is defined across industries and organizations. Some companies prefer to adopt their own determinations rather than accepting general definitions. Let’s focus on a general definition for both Talent and Talent Management:

”Talent consists of those individuals who can make a difference to organizational performance either through their immediate contribution or, in the longer-term, by demonstrating the highest level of potential.”

Basic and simple meaning of Talent could be:

  • Ability, aptitude, bent, capacity, endowment, faculty, flair, forte, genius etc.
  • Unusual ability to do something well that can be normally developed by training.
  • Person or people (‘Talent Pool’) with exceptional capabilities.

Whereas: ”Talent Management is a set of business practices that refer to attracting highly skilled individuals, integrating new talents, and developing and retaining existing talents to meet current and future business objectives.“

Actually it manages the planning, possession, development, retention and growth of Talent Pool who are of particular value to an organization, because of their leadership capabilities, prospective for the future, or even because they are satisfying business critical roles and which could actually lead to organizational sustainability, efficiency and excellence in order to achieve business goals.

The term of Talent Management was first casted by McKinsey & Company following a study and gradually it became a very useful term as it describes an organization’s commitment to hire, manage and retain talented employees. It embraces all of the work processes and practices related to retaining and developing an exclusive workforce.

The process of attracting and retaining effective employees results in increasing competition among the companies because of its strategic importance and also known as “The War for Talent.” Talent Management which is sometimes also called as Human Capital Management is now an essential management practice; before it was exclusively attached to recruitment process while now covers a wider area. Talent Management implies that companies are strategic and conscious in how they source, attract, select, train, develop, retain, promote, and move employees through the organization.

On the other side definition of talented employees can involve all kinds of components, from their educational qualifications and skills, previous experience, strengths and additional training they have undertaken, to their abilities, potential and motives, qualities and personalities. Most companies practice Talent Management in a way which includes recruitment of individuals, career planning, training and development, performance management and various compensation and reward options for the top performers. It generally depends on the business strategy, commitment to employees and other factors. What are the core components of Talent Management?

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Talent Engagement and transformation are top priorities for the leaders nowadays and the major challenge is the ability to attract and retain top talent while making sure the existing talents are fully engaged to deliver extraordinary results. For this reason Talent Engagement is considered to be a crucial factor.

End-to-end Talent Management encompasses five main pillars: Recruitment and Onboarding, Performance Management, Compensation Planning and Rewards, Career and Succession Planning, and last but not least, Learning and Development. Previously there were four pillars to be considered under Talent Management but gradually Career and Succession Planning has been added to make them five.

Leaders must have absolute clarity in purpose and focus to avoid business disruption as change without strategy is just a substitution of business development. Therefore, leadership is considered to be one of the most important component of the Talent Management.

Onboarding and Recruiting

An exclusive definition of Onboarding from Bersin by Deloitte states:

“The process of hiring, orienting and immersing employees into their new role and into the organization’s culture.”

Onboarding increases productivity, improves employee engagement, provides consistent and relevant information about the organization to all the new employees and gives understanding of employee expectations and hence helps building relationships.

Recruiting aims to successfully attract and hire key talent for current and future organizational needs through competency based advertising and interviewing efforts. Hiring talented individuals is crucial to the organization’s success. But in order to hire the most talented people, one must first search and recruit them and it could be a challenging task. It is so true that an imperfectly designed recruitment process can miss capable job candidates especially those who work for the competitors.

Performance Management

If we follow the definition it states Performance Management as ongoing, constant process of communicating and simplifying job responsibilities, priorities, performance expectations and development planning that optimizes an individual’s performance and aligns with organizational strategic goals. Performance Management is a crucial segment of maintaining the best talents. It enables companies to identify top performers and high potentials as well as assists to understand the pitfall of under-performance. It helps companies to make better strategic decisions on increasing excellence, retention efforts and to encourage talents.

Compensation Planning and Rewards

A way to remunerate individuals for important achievements, contributions to the goals of an organization and improving skills and competencies in their jobs is called as Compensation. There is a popular old saying – compensation isn’t the reason employees stay, but it can be the reason they leave. If companies want to keep their best employees onboard, they need an elegant approach to use Compensation as a strategic tool, while staying in line with company’s payroll standards, policies and guidelines.

Career and Succession Planning

Succession Management is a process of recognizing and developing employees with the possibility to fill key or critical organizational positions. Succession Management actually means having the right people in the right jobs at the right time. In other words, it is an organized process aimed to identify and grow individuals for future openings.

Career and Succession Planning actually empowers organizations as they plan for the future. The proper way of Career and Succession Planning increases opportunities by allowing organizations to identify and develop the top talent. In addition to preparing new talents to move into key positions, it can effortlessly identify and rectify gaps in Succession Planning as well. It enhances employees engagement by generating proper career paths for them, along with supporting individual development plans.

Learning and Development

Learning Management Systems have been used for a long time to administrate training courses and programs. Experts say that corporate learning is now coming out beyond firm course delivery to a more natural and integrated experience. The companies are embracing new ways of an employee development and reviewing new learning technologies. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Self-Paced Online Courses, Distributed Open Collaborative Courses are evolving as the future of new learning options and becoming a very popular way of learning. Companies are also focusing on integration of these options into their learning management portfolios.

All these processes are actually providing big opportunities and advantages to the organizations and guide them to the success. Some of the advantages of effective Talent Management are:

  • Improves organization’s effectiveness and productivity.
  • Helps in achieving business goals with high quality performance.
  • Improves organization’s culture and work environment.
  • Increases employees satisfaction.
  • Retains the best talents and decreases turnover.

Talent Management is an important aspect of broader Human Capital Management (HCM) initiatives and Human Resources departments play a significant role there.

While many current HR processes still moving around traditional practices of recruiting, onboarding, training and development, the Talent Management should generate real value by focusing on a company’s most valuable resource: the potential of its Talent Pool. This dedication provides a distinctive competitive advantage over talents and organization’s business model.

After embracing new talent management applications, most organizations realize the need of integration. Apart from process integration technology investments are often made to streamline processes and improve data accuracy. But the full potential of integration cannot be realized when companies have multiple systems of record with disconnected data streams and conflicting processes.

A study shows that HR has a long way to go when it comes to integration. The majority of organizations surveyed report poor to moderate integration of their Talent Management applications.

It is very important to know the future business trends, and new vision for the Human Resource Strategy to handle Talent Management solutions.

How Trends Are Changing?

The HR functions are at a conjugation point and it has been believe that in the coming years there will be a significant transformation. As the current functions are not connected or flexible to business requirements and have no consolidated vision of talent capabilities there is a need of evolution. There are, of course, some key trends that will effect this transformation. Talent Management is one of them for sure. Across the developed and emerging markets there will be a shortage of skilled and appropriate talent. Businesses cannot deliver their best as they are lacking the right talent. Hence the future HR functions would create significant value for the business, given current and future trends.

Skills gaps are increasing and HR would continuously make sure that their organizations have the right talent. HR would need to quickly tap skills when they’re needed. HR has to transform and adapt towards a global world, supporting new talent sourcing strategies to match talent, and acquiring new management methods, such as encouraging mobile workforces across geographical barriers.

HR should adopt risk management strategies covering everything from protecting confidential information and data, to risks associated with hiring or turnover. Technology, including social, gamification, cloud, mobile, big data and apps, is transforming how people take away their daily work and how HR supports them in that attempt.

Instead of depending on solutions dictated from the top level; organizations should be encouraged with skilled workers who harness social media to create solutions in conjunction with each other, thereby radically disrupting organizational structures, and hierarchy and job titles. As the world becomes increasingly unpredictable, organizations that can adapt to changing business conditions will outperform the market. And HR departments have to reshape themselves so that the HR functions become the critical driver of agility.

HR needs to provide the new thinking and deep insight to attract, organize, motivate and develop the right people for the business. It requires to build the high-performing HR functions to support business goals.

As companies hire talent from around the globe and enter new markets with increasing speed, managing corporate and cultural change will become a critical competence. Already many researches showed, executives expect their company’s HR functions to develop tools and methodologies that support line managers in communicating to employees.

Talent Management tools won’t resolve recruitment, employee retention and other issues by themselves. Companies need to develop a clear plan to navigate Talent Management pitfalls. Social media, cloud, mobile and analytics are changing Talent Management software and the way companies use it.

According to Josh Bersin, with so many vendors in the market and the ERP providers offering talent management software, it’s common for companies to buy software first, and only then figure out how to use it. Today more than 40% of the companies buying HR software are focused on “making it easy to use” and integrating heterogeneous systems, not “solving particular talent problems.”

Companies still want integrated HR systems, but what they don’t want is a complex, integrated ERP software that makes everyone’s life more complicated. In fact, they want life to be simple. More than 40% of the companies according to Human Capital Trends Study are embarking on projects to “simplify the work environment.” 47% of those who are buying new HR software systems cited “ease of use” and “integrated user experience” as one of their top two buying criteria.

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So, as per Bersin by Deloitte, in HR, start to think about employees as “people” – and this is why more and more companies tend to rename their HR organizations as “People Operations” or “People Management.” Sure we have to do HR administration, but ultimately our job is to make sure “people” are engaged, trained, in the right jobs, aligned, and supported.

If we start to think about employees as “people” or consumers, then we’ll think about “Talent Management” in a new way. It’s not just a way to integrate HR processes, it’s a series of strategies, programs, investments, and promises that make everyone’s life, work, and career better.

This is where work is going – we now work in a world of independent free agents, each of them is like a voluntary “consumer” who may choose to stay or leave. The concepts and principles of Talent Management are not going away. But as an area of focus, we in HR have to think more broadly. “Talent Management” is now “People Management” and it has to take on a much broader perspective and holistic approach.

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So, the Talent Management needs to transform to People Management. With more engaging people, simplifying the environment, making the work easier. People management focuses on empowering and improving performance everywhere with continuous learning and continuous feedback processes. The focus is definitely on creating highly engaged workforce and productive work environment. While talent scarcity is still a problem, engagement, empowerment, and environment are now the real challenges that companies are facing. So, this transformation is necessary to overcome all sort of challenges in this area. As the Talent Management industry is changing with social, mobile, analytics and cloud-based technologies, we also need to make sure that the Digital Transformation strategy matches to these changes.

About the Author:

Soumyasanto Sen

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HRTech who try to think Out of the Box! Engaging with Companies, Startups & Entrepreneurs in driving Transformation.

Professionally Consultant, Manager, Advisor, Investor in HR Tech. Focusing on Strategies, Analytics, Cloud, UX, Security, Integration and Entrepreneurship in Digital HR Transformation.


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‘Next Generation’ recruitment technology start-up CandidateID going live

Hire Faster, Higher Quality

Disruptive ‘next generation’ recruitment technology start-up, CandidateID is going live to the market on 1st September 2016. CandidateID is innovative talent generation management software that promises to deliver the most accurate insights available for individual candidates in a company’s recruitment database. Founded by Scot McRae and Adam Gordon, CandidateID was recognised earlier this year as a company of significant scale potential.

Supported since March 2016 by Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Start-up Unit, CandidateID will be building a team of thirty in Scotland over the next twelve months in what will prove to be another exciting technology development for Scotland’s growing tech scene. CandidateID has been working on a private beta basis with a number of the world’s leading employers, and has assembled an advisory board which includes international recruitment leaders at Aviva, Barclays, Philips, Quintiles, Telefonica and Carillion.

CandidateID aims to improve quality of hire and reduce time and cost-per-hire. The software allows organisations to both create and communicate regularly with talent pools, as well as generate key individual candidate insights so recruiters know exactly who to talk to first whenever a vacancy arises.  The product’s candidate scoring system, the ‘IDScore’, allows unique insights that identify the candidate’s level of interest in new job opportunities, and means the hiring company can reach out to high quality, ‘hire-ready’ candidates.

Scot McRaeScot McRae is Managing Director of marketing automation experts McRae & Co who work with Spartan Solutions, Spoonfed, Iceptope and Jumpstart and Co-Founder of CandidateID. Scot said, “Candidate behaviour has changed and how candidates process important decisions is continuously evolving. CandidateID allows companies to adapt to these changes and approach candidates in a different way. Rather than casting a wide net, the unique scoring system allows recruiters to identify and target the candidates that are highly engaged with their content and the best fit for their organisation.”

Adam GordonAdam Gordon is Co-Founder of CandidateID and Managing Director of talent generation experts Social Media Search, whose clients include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Grant Thornton, Weetabix and Webhelp. Adam said, “CandidateID takes some of the very best thinking from sales and marketing and applies it to recruitment seamlessly. I’ve always said recruitment is a sales and marketing discipline and it’s now being proven. The thing that fascinates me most about CandidateID is its ability to score individual candidates’ engagement in real time so recruitment teams know precisely who to talk to first when the vacancy comes live.”


Further information or interview requests can be directed to Emma Baxter (emmabaxter@socialmediasearch.co.uk)