How to Build Effective Recruitment “Talent Pools”

The recruiting industry’s abuzz with social recruiting, but what about Talent Pools? A talent pool is exactly like it sounds. It is a still puddle of job seekers and potential candidates who are eager, interested, and open to hear about your company’s job openings and career opportunities. The problem is that a talent pool, of any substantial size and lifespan, simply doesn’t exist. Pools in themselves are small yet separate pockets of standing water and with the internet, these talent pools and pockets of isolated candidates do not effectively exist.


Social recruiting is step one of gathering talent. This means building your online brand through Facebook Fan Pages, Tweets, and your company’s LinkedIn profile. Think of your recruitment and candidate engagement strategy as more of a talent ocean.

The sea of qualified candidates is vast, but there are communities and colonies that exist within that talent ocean. These communities are where you can establish relationships and build a reputation. Just like the ocean, finding these small communities is hard and employment branding and relationship building becomes all the more important. People trust people just like engaged and productive employees work for managers who they know, like, and trust. Recruiting talent and building relationships within the ocean is the very same way.

A Talent Ocean v. A Talent Pool

Talent oceans are built on the foundations of establishing value, building relationships and having conversations. And that means understanding and knowing what your candidates want just as much as what your company and hiring managers do. Collaborative Hiring.

This value-based relationship should not be confused with talent warehousing. In this model, companies create vast storage containers, servers, and file cabinets filled with candidate data. They are graveyards. This data is warehoused and offers no engagement, conversation, or opportunity for the information gathered to be customized, altered, or updated by the job seeker actively looking for work. These warehouses (ahem, graveyards) store this data, advertise their mass candidate warehouses to eager employers looking to fill positions only to learn that 80% of the data is old and outdated.

Building a passionate and involved community within the sea of talent is not easy.  Many hours are spent giving back, having conversations, and proving your worth. The most effective and fastest way in which to build a talent ocean is through your already established relationships. Encouraging your current employee base, previous job applicants, your customers, and their pockets of community to join in your conversations is the best way to get your talent ocean off the ground. Using Twitter and engaging in Twitter chats geared toward the job seeker like #jobhuntchat and #hirefriday chat are another effective and fast method to build momentum and a brand with very little cost.

Bottom line is that building a talent ocean is not easy, but it’s an evolutionary phase of the social recruiting and online employment branding process. By starting now, your organization can begin to build and foster those lasting relationships online that will serve as a fantastic referral and job candidate resource for years to come.

Photo Credit Planet for Life

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Jessica Miller-Merrell Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.
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