3 stages of a successful Talent Network strategy!

Building your Talent Network isn’t just about getting as many recruiting contacts into your database as possible.  Instead it needs to be in getting as many interested AND qualified candidates as possible into your Talent Network.   But to do that you first need to quickly fill your Talent Network with candidates that you can qualify.  This is where the Talent Network building process begins.


Let’s take a look at how you should go about building your Talent Network.  When looking to build your Talent Network from scratch, there’s a logical progression for what you need to focus on.


I like to think of this progression in a few stages:


Stage 1: Growth - When you first start out building your database, you are trying to get as many candidates into your database as possible.  Your focus lies in a few areas:

  • Process Implementation: Building a process that encourages candidates to add themselves to your Talent Network.  This means making it easy for candidates to opt-in during job distribution campaigns, on your Career Site and on your other recruiting portals.
  • Reaching Size: The main goal in this stage is to get a sizeable quantity of candidates in each discipline you are looking for so that you can begin segmenting and qualifying these candidates.


Stage 2: Qualification & Pipelines – In this stage, you have progressed from focusing on quantity to focusing on quality.  Your focus lies in a few areas:

  • Filtering Candidates: You have a good quantity of candidates to work from and now you are going through and figuring out which contacts are potential fits for your company and which aren’t.
  • Building Discipline Pipelines: While you are qualifying contacts, you will also be putting them into groups based on their discipline and their experience.  For example, you may have a pipeline for Senior Level Marketing or JAVA programmer candidates.


Stage 3: Engagement – This stage in the process is all about leveraging the pipelines you’ve created to engage with your candidates.  This stage will focus on:

  • Providing Content: You will share with the different pipelines you create, content that provides value to their specific discipline.
  • Sending Relevant Jobs: Any time a new job position opens up, you will send an email or SMS message to the appropriate pipelines that the job relates to.  Nothing is worse than receiving a job email for a job you are either not qualified for or doesn’t apply to your discipline.

These three stages will be a part of any successful Talent Network strategy.  And while they may occur separately when you first begin your strategy, they should become automatic steps that work alongside one another in your process.


The final process will become ingrained into your recruiting organization: capture, qualify and engage with every recruitment marketing campaign you run.  It’s not till you have these stages working in concert that you will see great success from your Talent Network.

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Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 2, 2011 at 10:48am
Chris - good post and information presented as usual. I have a question for you- what stage do you feel most firms get too caught up on? I have seen some drown in stage 1 and others really lose sight of stage 3 so just curious. Thanks for sharing.
Comment by Chris Brablc on September 2, 2011 at 11:34am

Thanks for the comment, Tim!


To answer your question, a lot of the companies we work with have trouble with 2 & 3.  Stage 1, while it can be challenging for some, is all about setting up the right process.  Once the process is in place it usually can sustain itself pretty well.


Stage 2 & 3 are the we have these candidates, now what?  A lot of these organizations are mucked in the weeds and don't take the time enough to really qualify the candidates and interact with them.  So what we've worked with them to do is twofold.


First, we've helped them identify what disciplines they recruit for most and have created saved search strings in their database for these candidates (so that they can focus on adding contacts to their network instead of having to continuously update the pipelines). 

Second, we've helped them add sending emails out to these discipline pipelines (when relevant) for every job ad that they send out (typically they see around 25% more applicants when they do this).  It is then in their ATS that they start to qualify the candidates that apply.


One last thing that we really encourage is putting any candidates that were good candidates but not hired back into their Talent Network database and into the appropriate pipelines.  As these candidates are qualified and could be great for the next open job position.  Makes no sense to abandon them after they don't get hired.




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