Talent Pools vs. Talent Communities-What’s the Difference?

Author: Kevin Poll

Talent pools and talent communities are often used interchangeably; however, they are anything but. At WorkLLama, we define a talent pool as a disparate group of people who either are—or at one time—were looking for work. Think of it as a talent database a recruiter may dip into if they have a role they are looking to fill. Alternatively, a talent community is a group of people brought together with similar skills, interests, and abilities—one of those is the ability to communicate in a dynamic way.

Talent pools are static, and the communication is often one-way (i.e., traditional recruitment strategy where talent is only involved in the process if there is an open role). They often remain stagnant and reactive, waiting for an opportunity to present itself and then action is taken. Communities offer two-way communication and the ability (and flexibility) to respond, invest, and engage in a proactive manner. It’s not to say talent pools are a bad thing, but the evolution to a community allows for a scalable (and, we believe) automated approach to talent marketing and, in return, unprecedented access to talent. 

The benefits of talent communities

Talent communities also put talent at the center of the equation, which is long overdue. It starts with asking why talent would want to be in the community, and what does an organization’s brand/culture/fit have to offer them? It’s also gaining an understanding of what and how often talent want to be communicated with. Do they only want to hear about open roles in an organization? Or do they want a higher touch approach, which may mean learning more about the company, what it’s like to work there, what projects or goals they have for the year, and what is important to them (i.e., sustainability, DE&I initiatives, community involvement). Communities offer an opportunity to get excited about a brand, which leads to excitement about working for you, loyalty, and retention.

Building a community of like-minded talent means you can respond to the needs of the organization quickly, reducing time-to-fill and the overhead of a lengthy talent acquisition process. But more than cost, they allow for access to talent that is skilled, available, and invested in your brand before stepping foot in your door. With WorkLLama’s community forum, talent also have the ability to communicate with each other, sharing insights, opportunities, and other resources with peers. Additionally, workforce planning becomes easier with visibility into the types of resources available or becoming available for given projects and roles, no matter the type—full-time, contract, freelance, project-based, and more. The WorkLLama platform allows talent activity (like updates to profiles, viewing jobs, clicking through on email campaigns, etc.) to be tracked, helping you understand which candidates are more likely to respond when positions or projects become available.  

The result is an entire community of engaged people who are invested in you. 

The role of automation

Investing in a technology that can automate building, sourcing, engaging, and nurturing talent communities is critical for growth. Not only does it allow for a scalable way to improve candidate access, it offers a personalized candidate experience such that they can be served up information that they want (and need) relative to their goals and preferences. 

Not only that, automation allows for a predictable and constant communication channel with prospective talent. In fact, 75% of professionals currently working accepted the job offer because of the positive candidate experience they had while they applied. According to another study, 58% of prospective talent declined an offer due to poor experience during the hiring process. Imagine all the time, cost, and attention in finding the right candidates only to have over half decline because they feel engaged or nurtured?

Automation also allows companies to send out frequent, scheduled communication to help prospective talent engage and understand their brand. According to a Careerarc survey, 82% of people consider employer brand and reputation before they ever apply. Being able to effectively communicate exactly why a person should work for your organization, beyond the obvious, means efficiency at scale. To truly transform your hiring strategy, you need the people, processes, and technology to keep up with today’s competitive market. If you want to see a demo of WorkLLama’s single, modern, AI-driven talent marketing, relationship management, and direct sourcing platform and how it is automating talent communities for global brands, please visit us here.

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