Proactive Strategies for Building a Strong Talent Pool

Building a talent pool is a critical first step to fulfilling your organization’s hiring needs. A strong talent pool reduces time-to-hire and cost-of-hire, increases the quality-of-hire, and saves you from scrambling for talent when the need to hire arises.

But a talent pool is only as strong as the candidates that comprise it. By implementing the right strategies, you can proactively source quality candidates and assemble a talent pool that meets all your organization’s demands.

Source talent even when you’re not hiring

The search for talent should go on even during hiring hiatuses. By continually seeking out additions to your talent pool, you maximize your chances of having the ideal candidate ready when new positions open.

There are many places to source talent. Attend career fairs, university events, forums, meet and greets, industry conferences, seminars, webinars, workshops, and trainings to meet potential candidates. If you have the resources, your organization can host its own hiring events to attract qualified individuals.

Universities are another talent hotbed. By offering graduate programs, part-time work, and internships, your organization can bring in students out of college. Evaluate students’ performance throughout their stay and add the best workers to your talent pool when their contracts end.

Social media is also a prime networking opportunity, with 80% of job seekers using social media to job hunt. By implementing social media campaigns, you can reach a large number of potential candidates to add to your talent pool.

When sourcing talent, always keep the future of your organization in mind. Predict which openings will arise over time. When you meet people who fit these openings, add them to your talent pool.

Reengage rejected applicants

On average, a job listing receives 118 applicants. In most cases, only one gets hired, which leaves many qualified candidates on the table.

Rejected applicants are especially strong talent pool candidates because they are familiar with your organization, have already expressed interest in working for you, and may have already undergone evaluation. Plus, 49.5% of applicants are willing to use the talent pool of a company that rejected them, making these silver medalists a gold mine for prequalified talent.

However, to recruit these individuals into your talent pool, you must first optimize your hiring process so you don’t displease them the first time around.

To maintain candidates’ interest in your organization:

  • Inform them on the next steps during the application process
  • Respond to their questions as soon as possible
  • Hold yourself to any deadlines you set and proceed quickly through the process
  • Provide feedback and explain why candidates got rejected

By creating a positive experience for all applicants, you can keep the bridge intact with those who may suit future openings.   

Build a referral program

Employee referrals are another great way to source quality talent for your pool. Referred hires have better retention compared to traditional candidates, and they come in 55% quicker. Referrals also reduce hiring costs, increase hiring quality, and reduce hiring time.

Better yet, referred talent is vetted by current employees, who already know the company culture and expectations.

Because of this, building a strong referral program is a great way to source candidates for your talent pool.

To upgrade your referral program:

  • Offer monetary and non-monetary incentives for referrals
  • Publicly recognize good referrers
  • Alert employees when a new job opens and encourage them to make referrals
  • Simplify the process of submitting a referral
  • Create a company culture around referrals

Engage with your talent pool

Once a candidate enters your talent pool, you can’t just leave them there. You must continually engage and nurture these prospects to maintain their interest in your organization. Sustaining a stream of friendly communication with your talent pool increases their responsiveness when you need them.

Sending birthday messages, invitations to events, and general information about your organization is enough to keep the lines of communication open. By giving them a positive, authentic look into your organization, you can stoke their desire to be a part of it when the time comes.

Proactively building your talent pool requires you to optimize your hiring practices and stay on the lookout for talent wherever it may appear. With these steps, you can build and maintain a strong talent pool more easily and streamline your organization’s hiring process.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

This article was written by Danielle Murphy.
Danielle Murphy is a content writer and copywriter with a passion for helping businesses meet their marketing goals with writing. When she’s not working (or writing for fun), she’s hiking or hobby farming around her home in New Hampshire.

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