Don’t panic, I am not talking about re-inventing the wheel, instead re-aligning it and exploring different ways to engage with our current talent pools so that we can create the best talent experience, whilst also improving recruiter productivity.
My talent pool is unique; how many of us believed, or still do believe this to be the case. I know in my own case, as a contractor I used to use mine as my very own Intellectual Property. Hiring teams are given the impression that our talent pool candidates are readily available, but the reality is that we don’t know where these candidates are, these talent pools are actually just a database of candidates that we feel we can use to fill future roles.
Research conducted by LinkedIn demonstrates that less than 21% of the talent population is actually active and within current talent pools, only 2% are engaged, which means up to 98% of good talent is being missed. So rather than being able to rely on your existing talent pool(s) to fulfil new roles, you will be reaching out and searching for new talent, candidates that will then be added to a stagnant talent pool, perpetuating the cycle.
This can lead to frustration for both the hiring teams, who were expecting CVs/candidates in a timely manner and recruiters who are continually spending a lot of time on talent sourcing. In short, it is exceptionally rare that the perfect candidate is there when you need them. In addition, it is important to note that this data only considers permanent talent pools, without considering the growing numbers of freelancers/gig workers.
I believe by changing our perception of talent and the talent experience we can build lasting relationships with our candidates (something that historically, both in-house and agency recruiters have not been well known for). The benefits of engaged talent pools are well proven and result in an increase in productivity.
My four steps to reviving talent pools are:
- Talent augmentation – amalgamate all your existing talent so that it can be used in the most effective way to introduce total talent management
- Humanise technology – effectively use the technology that you currently have, before introducing more
- Treat everyone equally – spend time building trust and relationships & engage with your candidates at all stages especially when you don’t need them
- Measure and improvise – If something doesn’t work, scrap it and don’t be afraid to try something new
Don’t forget recruitment (in-house or agency) is a hard job, which is a phrase you are unlikely to hear too often in your career. We need to give ourselves credit for what we have done so far but if we intend to gain competitive advantage and loyalty for scare talent population – we need to think above and beyond and use the right technologies to achieve our recruitment goals.