All posts by David Hitt

Talent Pool

Talent Pools – Reactive vs Proactive Recruiting

In today’s corporate recruiting world most companies operate in a Reactive recruiting state vs a Proactive recruiting state. So, what does this mean?

Reactive state is where recruiters focus on recruiting when a new requisition is requested and not future needs. So, by nature they are working on positions that are right in front of them.

They usually start the process by taking a job description, ask the hiring manager a few questions (how much experience do you need? What are you going to pay this person?) and they run off and start “recruiting”. They post the position in the company website, and maybe a few other places (depending on if they have any money to do so). Additionally, they look at the job board environment and try to locate candidates with are the general skill set required. Fast forward to 12 months later, when the same job or a similar one opens in the company, they go about the same process all over again, essentially starting from scratch.

If you are truly looking to attract quality talent this is not a sustainable recruiting model.

What is the answer? A Proactive recruiting state using Talent Pools

We’re not talking about all the pool parties that major college football teams have over the summer for their recruits.

Top college football programs spend literally hundreds of hours building relationships with potential recruits. This courting process can last up to three years with little guarantee that the recruit will commit to playing football at that school. One thing is for sure, the stronger the relationship that is built with the recruit the greater the chances the school has of landing the player.

Recruiting quality talent in the corporate world is no different.

Ask yourself, how much time does your recruiting team spend building relationships and engaging with your company’s future employees?

What is a Talent Pool? A talent pool is a database of candidate profiles that represent people you consider to be the talent needed to build your team. This can be those you have identified and never spoken to or those who already have identified your company as a company of interest. Remember, in today’s connected world, someone is always looking at your company and deciding if they want to build a relationship with you. Seeking quality talent is a two-way street.

Talent Pool could be limited to a specific area of expertise such as accounting, finance, or software development. Or it could be a broader, more general pool of candidates you are building relationships with. Some Talent Pools are broken down to even finer pools such as Accounts Payable, Financial Reporting, Python Developers.

Going back to the college football recruiting analogy, you can liken this to recruiting for wide receivers, running backs, defensive lineman, or defensive backs.

Why build Talent Pools in the first place?

Here are a few reasons:

Scarcity of talent: Quality talent does not grow on trees. With the unemployment rates at historic lows, it is harder and harder to find and attract talent t begin with. In today’s environment, TALENT moves based on relationships not based on job postings.

Quantity vs Quality: Often a successful recruiting campaign is based on the Quantity of resumes and not the Quality. I’ve lost count the number of times a company has told me that recruiting for a certain position is going great and they’re happy with the Quantity of resumes they’re seeing. All the while, they’ve been trying to fill the position for 6 months, with a hiring manager that keeps rejecting the candidates presented.

Posting to job boards and spending money on advertising is easy, but in a world where time to hire is rising, it’s not a sustainable plan to attract the best candidates.

Reduce the cost of recruitment: Yes, it takes TIME, dedication, and focus to build a sustainable Talent Pool but if they are done correctly, they can reduce the cost of recruitment by reducing the need to rely on expensive and often ineffective job postings. Relationships are not built in a few days; you can confirm that by asking your spouse or significant other.

Reduce the time to hire: When using talent pools, you can reduce the time to hire. If done correctly a Talent Pool allows you to reach out to candidates you already have a relationship with and in many cases, the initial screening has already been done. This allows you to bring candidates into the process sooner and directly into the hiring manager interview stage.

Planning for the future: It is a fact that people change jobs. Most companies are very good at budgeting and sales pipeline management and planning, both very important planning activities, but very few companies actually have a plan in place to attract talent when an individual resigns from the company or growth causes a need to hire additional staff.

By building a strong, sustainable Talent Pool, you have already identified potential candidates to fill those vacant positions. Much like a college football coach adjusts their recruiting strategy based on the anticipation of players graduating or potentially leaving for the NFL, companies should be building their Talent Pools based on historic turnover or growth for positions throughout the company. A more holistic way of ensuring future company success.

Through our partnership with Talent Sourcing Strategies (TSS), we can help you build a sustainable talent pool that will allow you to build relationships with candidates that have the skill sets that are in high demand.

TSS specializes in providing sourcing solutions designed to build sustainable talent pools for companies that are serious about hiring the best talent.