Don’t Fill Pools, Build Pipelines

Pipelines by Contando Estrelas

Talent pools, talent sourcing, talent pooling…

We (sourcers of the world) all hear these phrases batted around all day every day by our peers and hiring managers. Some more than others, no doubt! But generally all companies, whether start-ups or large corporates, want an immediate supply of top talent screened and ready to go. And why not? We have so many tools available to us that this immediate talent tap should be ever flowing, right? Sadly not! I’m sure in some cases top talent pools do exist, but I would beg to differ.

A pool, by definition:

  • A small body of still water
  • An accumulation of standing liquid; a puddle: a pool of blood.
  • A deep or still place in a stream.

Immediately you will see that “pool” means still, it doesn’t move. So, when you think of the meaning of pool and then associate it with the next generation of talent driving your company, it seems completely barmy!!
Here in the Research team at Sky we build talent communities. These are managed in a way that they could be “named” a talent pool but I would like to elaborate on the differences.

Top talent = a human being! Us humans have a certain something that even sourcers have no control over, their brain. Anyone who has ever worked in recruitment/sourcing will know from experience that people change their minds, and generally change them a lot, usually with no advanced warning or reason. This leads me onto why talent communities (pools, if it pleases you) need to be fluid, not static, as the talent we watch over needs constant attention and nurturing.

From experience, if I have a candidate is prepped and ready to interview then it needs to happen as quickly as possible or the said candidate is likely to do one of 2 things:

  1. Lose interest and look for another role (passive candidates are renowned for this!!)
  2. Find the long winded process tiresome and decide your company is not the dynamic, innovator sold to them by your good self (4 weeks for role sign off!) and withdraw – sound familiar?

I manage a team of sourcers/researchers and we manage our talent sourcing by building communities, these communities are segmented by discipline (using database tags) and managed accordingly by level of interest to us (top talent = highest level of engagement, good candidates = steady comms, and so on…).

We use LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline tool as our database, managing our communities with tags and using the InMail function as the starting point to keep in touch – then moving onto twitter, Google+, email and (wait for it…) the phone! This level of contact, in all variants, keeps our future candidates engaged with our brand and us as a recruitment function. On a personal level, it also keeps us sourcing professionals, who just want to talk shop, very happy. It makes it super easy for us to reach out to these individuals when we have real requirements, pulling them straight into the recruitment/interview process, as our relationships are solid, current and credible.

This way of keeping in touch with your potential new hires is easy, effective and improves the candidate experience. You have talent to tap into whenever you need it – it’s just old fashioned networking, using today’s tools!

Keep in touch, know your markets and make sure your market knows you.

T.

Image via Elentlr on Flickr.