Posted on 23 Oct 2012

Talent pooling has become common place in the talent acquisition landscape, and though it may not be the end all, Holy Grail or answer to all of your recruiting dilemmas, it can go a long way in supporting a targeted, multichannel sourcing strategy.

Take it from us: PageUp’s internal Talent Team has established a talent pipeline across business critical and tough to fill roles with great results – talent pool candidates were our 3rd largest source of hire last year!

Talent pools will vary between industry vertical and organization, but allows sourcers and/or recruiters to be much more focused on quality in specific crucial job functions. You can even create catch-all or overflow pools for great candidates that come your way but might not be on that critical list. This allows you to keep viable candidates in mind for other opportunities in future.

So, how do you begin to build the Talent pool you need?  Let us show you how we did it:

Determine your talent pool strategy

The first thing our Talent Team did was look at our previous quantitative data and talk with our business leaders to identify key roles. We were able to determine which roles:

  • Took longer to find great people
  • Have higher attrition (and why? Perhaps pipelining is just one answer but not a long term solution)
  • Have the biggest bottom line impact

Next, we established a basic outline to define when a candidate would be ‘talent pool’ worthy. While the specifics on what constitutes a talent pool worthy candidate will vary among organisations, we decided that it was important for us to have spoken to the candidate in some detail – a successful phone interview at a minimum – to confirm that the candidate has skills and experience relevant to current and future roles (based on workforce planning insights – but that’s a whole other blog post).

Manage your talent pool activity

Once we decided on our talent pool strategy, we needed to be able to manage and track the talent pipelining activity. Naturally, we use our own PageUp Recruitment Management System for this purpose. To best manage our talent pool we:

  • Setup relevant job pools in the system
  • Have the equivalent of an ‘expression of interest’  on our careers site
  • Created an alternative application form to make it faster for applicants to express interest while and capturing information such as area of interest and career aspirations
  • Review who has applied previously.  We use our Talent Search module to look for people we’d like to stay in touch with.  Skills, job titles, previous employers and flags are just some of the criteria we use to find candidates who have already expressed an interest in PageUp.

Tips for getting the most from your talent pools

Now that you’ve done the hard work of setting up your pools, here are some helpful tips to make sure you get maximum benefit from that work:

  1. Ensure expectations are set and try not to over commit to the candidate if they have applied via an expression of interest.  For example, we let applicants know we will only get in touch if we feel their background meets our business requirements.
  2. Use the Talent Search module to quickly search & filter within the talent pools to create a shortlist.
  3. Try to review applications in your talent pool in a reasonable time frame
  4. Set up regular communications.  For example, send a careers newsletter, invite great applicants to an in-house meet & greet or even just a coffee.
  5. Schedule time to tidy up your talent pools by checking in with candidates even if it’s bi-annually.  It will make such a difference to the quality and functionality of your talent pool!