Talent Communities are a great way to engage passive candidates and build warm pipelines of talented, thoughtful job seekers.  However, they are full of various pitfalls that can hamstring their performance.  We've studied what makes a talent community succeed and fail.  With that in mind, we wanted to share the best practices that any talent community strategy should follow.  But first, the basics:

What's a Talent Community

A talent community is the mechanism which allows employers to capture the information of passive candidates who're interested in working at their company, but not ready to apply.  When someone finds out about your company, gets excited about working there, but doesn't have a resume, a talent community is a great way for them to opt into receiving information about your company.

Synonyms for talent communities are talent pools, talent networks, talent CRM and talent pipelines.  While some would argue that some of these concepts are different from each other, most of the time they refer to the same or at least very similar concepts.

Talent Communities

Various personas typically opt into these kinds of programs.  The common denominator is that they are high quality job seekers who are thinking about where they may want to be in 3, 6, 12, or 24 months.

After a job seeker opts into this database, the employer can then engage with them through emails, events, phone calls, content marketing, etc.  The idea is to nurture a candidate and keep them top of mind until they are ready to apply for a job.

Talent Community Strategy - Best Practices

The most successful talent communities all have a few things in common.  Here are the best practices that we see for optimized talent networks:

  1. Engage - So many talent communities collect the information of high quality passive candidates and then never do anything with them.  It's just another database full of decaying contacts.  The best talent communities engage with their prospects on a monthly basis so that they continue to stay top of mind.  Common sense, right?  But, the vast majority of companies never do this!
  2. Automate - Why don't most talent communities actually engage with their pipelines?  Because it's another thing on your to do list!  A best practice here is to automate putting candidates into nurture sequences, and preferably have a mechanism to programmatically build the sequence itself (like we do with our product at NextWave Hire).  This means that even if you don't have time to engage with your community this month, there are still touch points going out through your automated sequences.
  3. Content - Passive candidates don't want to get hit with job blasts!  They want interview tips, information on Meetups you're sponsoring, culture information, EVP tidbits, etc.  Make sure your communications with your talent communities are actually engaging, as opposed to job blasts.
  4. Segment - Sales people don't want the same content as engineers.  People interested in the London office need information that's different than people in New York.  It's imperative to segment your database into different groups or personas that get different content.  Again, having a system that automatically builds these segments for you is quite helpful!
  5. Reinvigorate ATS - Your ATS has a TON of candidates in it.  And, many of them would be a great fit for the roles you have open now.  Your talent network is a great way to re-engage these candidates.  Again, don't hit them with job blasts, use engaging content to pique their interest and drive them back into your active talent pipeline.

Overall, a talent pipeline is an amazing way to decrease time to fill, discover a new source of quality talent, and ultimately make sure your talent acquisition organization is able to compete in the modern talent market.  If you're looking to build a talent community, you should check out the NextWave Hire product, we'd love to help you out.

Originally posted on NextWave Hire.

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