Remember the “good old days”… When you would create and then spend hours tweaking and reworking advert copy, with perhaps, if budget allowed some whizzy creative thrown in. You would then place the advert in relevant local or national newspapers or magazines to await candidate response.

If you were lucky enough to have an application process, it may have consisted of a request of CV to email or even an Applicant Tracking System. There was limited (if any) candidate tagging and tracking, except the dreaded recall question “Where did you see this role advertised”. We all know that everyone randomly selects from the drop down options and the Recruiter is none the wiser about the effectiveness of their attraction strategy. Sometimes, we were lucky and the ideal candidate applied and their application was successful.

Focus and effort would have gone into delivering the best experience for the successful candidate and little consideration would have been given to those that were suitable for the role, or future roles, but considered as “surplus”.  The candidate may have been sent a carefully tailored regret email and that would have been the end of their recruitment process.

Fast forward, a few -actually not that many years- and things have completely changed. Right?

Well, sort of but I think we would agree there is work to do and recruiters as well as hiring organisations are missing a very simple trick: the talent pool.

It’s nothing new or ground breaking, but when executed well, it’s brilliant. It reduces weeks from your hiring cycle and helps in the communication of your employer brand. Even better, in my view, a good talent pooling strategy is achievable following three simple stages:

Create, Build, Maintain

Create – this stage is about defining and setting up the talent pool.

- Which types of roles do you regularly need to recruit to, that would benefit from having an engaged group of people “ready to go”?

- What does the structure of the talent pool look like – where is it going to be held (CRM vs. ATS) and how is it going to be organised; locations, role types, skills, or a mixture of all three. What about internal people and alumni?

- What Management Information is going to support the Talent Pool so that you can easily see the groups of candidates building?

- How are you going to engage with candidates, how often and what content / messaging is going to be shared?

Build – the next step is to add candidates into the pool

- Review previous applications to see if any of these candidates could be considered for future requirements

- Integrate register of interest with your careers hub, to allow would be candidates to join the talent pool

- Consider the option of always on recruitment if you’re planning to recruit regularly for certain role types

- Gather details from networking events, careers fairs or industry forums

Maintain – finally, regular communication, review and management of the pool

- Share regular updates, communications and news with members of the talent pool; this should be aligned to your communications plan 

- If you have the option, invite them to join your social channels

- Review the numbers and membership on a monthly basis and set some parameters around target numbers and length of time in the talent pool – consider the audience and “shelf life” of potential candidates

- Remember your Talent Pool should be your “go-to” for future recruitment needs

Set some realistic and achievable targets. Perhaps start with a particularly challenging role type or location rather than trying to build a solution for your entire organisation.  Planning, process and management is critical and remember…rubbish in…rubbish out.