A talent pool is a database of all current or potential job candidates that recruiters keep in touch with.
Candidate profiles come from several sources, from declined applications to internal referrals. They include both external and internal candidates. Having a talent pools improves time-to-hire and make recruitment planning easier.
Why building a talent pool is important
A talent pool provides a selection of potential candidates for hire, and removes the need for recruitment teams to have to search for qualified candidates from scratch each time they have new job openings to fill.
Human resources teams use talent pools to cultivate relationships with high-quality potential candidates, ensure their values are aligned with the organization’s, and analyze candidate data.
This approach leads to several benefits, which include:
- Shorter vacancy roll-out time
- Better access to high-quality candidates
- Reduced time-to-hire
- Reduced recruitment costs
- Increased company reputation
Building an effective talent pool
Building a talent pool can be as simple as sourcing relevant personal information and adding it to your database. However, it’s crucial to identify the best sources of candidates and their data to ensure a talent pool will bring the best results.
To ensure their talent pool is truly effective, successful recruitment teams employ both outbound and inbound recruitment techniques.
Use sourcing tools
Outbound sourcing tools are an effective way for recruiters to find the most relevant candidates. However, they can also be used to find quality profiles needed in the future. Interesting and valuable profiles can be a great addition to your talent pool, even when they don’t match your current vacancies.
Common sourcing tools include:
- Resume databases
- Portfolio repositories
- Social media
- Dedicated sourcing software
Employee referrals are another great source of qualified candidates for a talent pool, as current employees are motivated to refer people they know and trust.
Recruiters can leverage employees’ personal and professional networks by implementing and supporting an employee referral program.
Value inbound connections
When potential candidates reach out to your recruitment team, they do so via inbound channels. Making it easy for interested candidates to get in touch saves recruiters a lot of time and broadens the reach of your recruitment efforts.
Commonly used inbound recruitment channels include:
- Applications to vacancies you published
- Subscriptions to your recruitment newsletter
- Registrations to a dedicated landing page or career site
What data should a talent pool include
The value and effectiveness of your talent pool database depend on the type and quality of the data you add to it. At the very least, your talent pool should include the following:
- Candidate name
- Candidate profile
- Contact information
However, you can create a truly stellar talent pool by adding additional relevant information to your database. This will help your recruiters filter profiles based on different criteria, enabling them to find the best profile faster.
Consider adding this information to your database:
- Core competencies
- Soft skills
- Culture fit
- Potential roles fit
Supercharging the effectiveness of your talent pool
A talent pool can deliver value to your recruiting strategies beyond facilitating talent acquisition in the short term. Creating and nurturing a solid talent network will increase your employer brand recognition and ensure candidates have a positive experience when applying for a role. This will help drive more high-quality candidates in the future.
Engage your potential candidates
Maintaining an ongoing relationship with potential candidates is essential to maximizing your success rate when building your talent pool.
- Send targeted and timely updates to selected people
- Engage the best candidates you didn’t hire candidates directly and personally
- Participate in public conversations on topics potential candidates are passionate about
Curate your talent pool
Regularly curating your talent pool will ensure it stays relevant over time. Engagement data and insights will help you spot unresponsive or irrelevant candidates. Make sure to remove them from your talent pool and only keep the best profiles.
Constantly improve your candidate experience
The willingness of potential candidates to engage or be added to your talent pool, heavily depends on their experience with you. To make sure candidates want to be part of your network, always look for ways to improve your candidate experience. This can be done by:
- Gathering feedback on the recruitment process from all candidates
- Benchmarking the success of your recruitment process and testing improvements
- Focusing on workforce planning and talent gaps to make informed decisions
Prioritizing DEIB in your people management processes