Much can be said about the complexities of recruiting. Does this person’s experience complement the role? Will they be a good fit for the team? Can they add what the business is missing? These are just some of the hurdles and considerations that need to take place when deciding on a new hire.
One of the biggest problems with reactive recruitment is that it gives no time to develop trust with job seekers. This is particularly damaging for organizations trying to build relationships and hire diverse talents who aren’t typically represented in their teams.
This is where the potential of talent pools comes to fruition. Building a talent pool is an effective way to ensure your hiring yields the best results, both for talent and diversity. It also offers the recruiter invaluable time to get to know prospective hires and understand both what they want from a role and whether the business’ needs are a match.
An effective and motivated team can help a company succeed, so prioritizing the build and maintenance of a talent pool is a smart strategy. But whose responsibility should this be?
Talent pool maintenance
While many assume that talent recruitment teams should take complete ownership over talent pools, others believe that the wider business has a significant role to play too.
“Anyone with access to the right AI technology for highlighting and identifying talent gaps and needs should take responsibility,” says Joseph Williams, CEO and co-founder of hiring platform Clu.
“Those who are willing to hire on soft skills and what people can do – not where they are from – should also have oversight of the hiring process and talent pools. This is relevant for all hires and across all of the permanent and temporary talent requirements. CEOs and business owners should be familiar with this to ensure inclusive and successful recruitment from the very top downwards.”
Donnebra McClendon, global head of diversity, equity and Inclusion at HR services and software company Ceridian agrees the onus shouldn’t be solely on talent managers.
“Leveraging your current employees at all levels within an organization is a great way to build a robust pool of talented and qualified candidates,” notes McClendon.
“Highly engaged employees are more likely to recommend your company to their industry peers. Your employees know first-hand what it takes to be successful in your organization and when they are empowered to help build the talent pipeline, they will be your greatest advocates.”
Building from scratch
When working to create a useful talent pool, it’s important that there is a clear strategy that everyone involved in its creation is aware of and working towards. There are common pitfalls to be mindful of, too.
“A common mistake companies make in building a talent pipeline is limiting the scope of the desired skills and making years of experience synonymous with skill proficiency,” adds McClendon.
“Expanding talent searches to include transferable skills makes room for diverse candidates who bring unique and innovative perspectives to the playing field. Also, being biased toward candidates with extended years of service does not guarantee more effective skills.”
This approach widens the scope for more people in the business to be involved with maintaining the talent pool. Being open minded to adding talent with different ages, skill sets and experience into the mix means there’s a higher chance employees will know someone outside of work who could fit the bill.
“One of the best ways to manage and build talent pools is by encouraging team heads, managers and specialists within your business to use their network to engage with people who they might want to hire for their own teams,” says Jane Middleton, co-founder at Trapeze HR.
“Get subject matter experts to market the business and its employment opportunities. A software engineer going out to the specialist software engineer community is going to inevitably have greater traction, credibility and impact than someone with no experience of that specialist skill set. People will listen to them more.”
Taking a new stance
In challenging economic markets, building talent pools is particularly important for businesses. Pools allow you to nurture candidates, attract a pool of passive talent, and develop relationships with a group of people engaged with your brand.
A company’s approach to a talent pool’s creation and maintenance can make or break its impact, which is why it’s important that each employee knows their role in the build.
“Do your best to hook people in around the company culture – it’s all about values and standards rather than just being all about skills,” suggests Trapeze’s Middleton. “Keep your barrier to entry high as you want the highest caliber people in your talent pool.
“Tidy up your talent pool all the time – there’s no point spending time engaging with people that your business now can’t hire because of a change in technology, their skills no longer match requirements, or your business model or objectives have shifted.”
This mindset of keeping a talent pool fresh and not allowing it to stagnate is crucial. If the strategy fails to do this, a talent pool could become just another database. As utilizing technology for recruitment becomes a growing trend, the future of standard practice hiring processes is unclear – but people will always need to be at the heart of it.
“Problems with recruitment can lead to bad hires, which costs companies money,” concludes Williams. “Being upfront and determining what characteristics are required to succeed in a certain role allows companies to massively evolve their talent pool strategy, enabling them to make far more informed decisions about a jobseeker over and above gut feel of whether they’re the right fit or not.”
Are you ready for our first talent management webinar of the year? Sign up here for more insight into top talent trends for 2023.