5 tips to building a solid talent pool
If you’ve found yourself wasting countless hours and resources in a bid to recruit for a key role, you’re not alone.
No recruiter can guarantee that a top candidate will be on the hunt for a job when a great vacancy comes up – or vice-versa. That’s why the most successful recruiters invest time and energy in drawing up a list of likely candidates should specific roles become vacant – in other words, they create their own talent pool.
Not only does it hone their competitive advantage and speed up the recruitment process, it also reaps long-term rewards. Let’s face it, if you have chosen well your talent pool will most likely consist of high-flyers and future decision-makers who will draw on your recruitment services throughout their career.
Here are five of our top tips in how to create your own talent pool…
1. Tap into near-misses
There are always going to be great candidates who narrowly miss clinching a job. Clearly, the employer has to choose someone, but often there’s not much difference in skills or attitude between two or three applicants. This is disappointing for them, but great news for you. It’s exactly this calibre of jobseeker that you should keep on your files should future opportunities arise – not least, you know what type of jobs they are interested in. If you keep their CV and details on your database, however, remember to inform them under the Data Protection Act and give them the option of removing themselves.
Top tip – Don’t let promising candidates slip out of your sight
2. Embrace media and social media
Not all talented people are actively on the look-out for jobs or even know that their skills are in demand, but often they’re the ones with the most to offer. One way to engage with them is through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and the most obvious LinkedIn, which has hundreds of professional groups you could join. Increasingly, you’ll also find active jobseekers uploading a new breed of creative CV on the Pinterest site.
Surfing the Net is not the only way to fish for fresh talent, though. Media-wise, you should also research trade journals, specialist magazines and company websites to find out who is involved in projects and getting noticed in the sector you operate in.
Of course, once you’ve winkled out your passive candidate, you need to approach them and gently start to build a relationship.
Top tip – Find out who’s making waves
3. Network, network, network
Get out there and rub shoulders with industry movers and shakers. Attend conferences, exhibitions and events or join relevant trade associations to start putting faces to names. By chatting informally with people in your specialist sector, you will be able to assess who might be looking to move on and gain a personal insight into where their strengths and weaknesses are. You’ll also be able to get a direct line to them when a relevant vacancy comes up.
Top tip – Research your sector on a personal level
4. Check out referrals
Stay alert and listen out for the names that everyone is talking about. Better still, ask candidates you have recently successfully placed who they rate in their former company – or in the industry at large. Recommendations by peers are not fool-proof, but they are as good a starting place as any to root out talent. All you need to do then is get on the Internet or phone to do your background research on them.
Top tip – Keep your ear to the ground
5. Tend to your talent pool
Once you’ve gathered your promising professionals on to your database, it’s important to keep in touch with them. It’s worth ringing them or grabbing a coffee with them every few months to let them know they are still in your sights. Ideally, you also need to find out what they’re up to and what’s changed in terms of their skills and aspirations as other roles may gradually become more relevant for them.
Top tip – Don’t let your talent pool become stagnant