RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Talent Communities

The 3 ‘R’s for getting the most value from these candidate pools.
By Erin Bazinet
Talent communities are an essential component of today’s social recruiter’s game plan. Not only do they provide
a warm, inviting place for recruiters to connect and communicate with candidates, but they also facilitate crowd sourcing high-quality candidates. Just so we are all on the same page: Talent communities differ from career sites in their dynamic interactivity and their focus on building relationships between the recruiter and candidate.
You can think of it this way: Career sites are an entry point for people to be introduced to your employment brand, get to know the basics about your company, apply to a job, and be invited to join your talent community. Your talent community is where you build relationships with community members, share valuable content, and engage people to stay involved with your brand. Career sites and talent communities are both necessary and valuable in the recruitment process.
It’s important to note up front that unlike most people’s definition of “online social community,” talent communities do not allow candidates to interact with each other. That said, they are invaluable to driving traffic to your other social channels, where candidates can interact. Ideally, you’ll have a high degree of well-qualified candidates in your community. But it is fair to point out that not all community members will be qualified. For our purposes here, let’s assume that you have a great talent community with a pool of outstanding candidates.
So what are the three “Rs”? Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. These three aspects can help you leverage the long-term value of your community.
Having a talent community and communicating with members consistently can reduce your costs in advertising jobs—effectively, you cut out the middle man by sharing job opportunities directly with candidates. The more relationships you have with quality candidates in your community, the less you will need to source outside of it. You’ll reduce your time spent finding candidates, which in turn, reduces the time to hire. Shorter time to hire means you’ll reduce the costs of vacancy. For candidates, your community reduces uncertainty by providing direct communication with you to ask questions and respond to questions.
Most companies will have similar jobs that continue to open over time. Or perhaps your company hires in multiples for the same role? If so, talent communities are effective at reusing past applicants who weren’t necessarily hired, but may still be a qualified match. Targeting job openings to these talent pools is easier if you segment your community by skillset, geography, industry, and/or career interest level. You can track who applied for a position in the past, and reach out to them to see if they would be interested in applying again. Building a role-focused sub-community of candidates is a great way to let specific demographics know that you have ongoing opportunities and that you have them top of mind when those opportunities present.
Many companies find that applicants are often not hired the first time they apply at the company. It’s in your interest to woo the qualified ones back so they can try again. Talent communities can help you recycle potential applicants by enticing them to stay engaged with your company. How can you achieve this? Provide content that goes beyond job alerts, such as newsletters, holiday postcards, invitations to job/career events, meet-ups, chats, etc. You want to keep candidates warm so that being part of your community is a lasting relationship and not just a one-time interaction.
Talent communities are one of the most effective ways to leverage your recruitment efforts. By taking a “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach, you can maximize their long-term effectiveness for your organization.
Erin Bazinet is social media manager for Seven Step RPO.

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