Ask any early careers recruiter to name one thing that keeps them awake at night, and most times you’ll get the response as ‘we wish there were a more efficient way to build a pipeline of young talent for our early careers opportunities‘.
Well, there is – and it’s called a talent pool.
The concept of the talent pool isn’t necessarily something new. In fact, this process of acquiring and managing a pipeline of talent fits right in with the overall aspect of talent management. Talent Management – not to be confused with the art of managing people in the entertainment space – is the field of ‘anticipation of required human capital for an organisation and the planning to meet those needs’. A core part of the HR portfolio, talent management has been etched in stone in every recruiter manual since the early 2000s. And over time, the building and managing of talent pools found a suitable home under the umbrella of talent management.
In this blog post, we take a closer look at this increasingly popular recruitment strategy and how it can help you elevate your early careers talent acquisition process.
So, what is a talent pool?
A talent pool is a databank of prospective candidates who have the capability and desired skills to meet an organisation’s short and long-term hiring needs. To put it succinctly, your talent pool is a coveted shortlist of highly engaged prospects who are interested in pursuing career opportunities with your company.
But don’t dismiss it as just a database of candidate profiles. Talent pools are all about long-term engagement and therefore, building a reliable and efficient talent pool is an important stepping stone in your organisation’s journey towards proactive recruitment. It’s also worth noting that talent pools consist of not just candidates who have applied for various roles within your organisation, but even ones referred through external and internal sources as well as ones who have voluntarily joined your pool through social and inbound marketing. So, it’s crucial to remember that each of them may be at different stages of a prospective candidate journey when considering engagement.
Why do you need a talent pool?
There’s a constant pressure on recruiters to hire the best talent at the lowest cost in the quickest time possible. While it does sound like an uphill battle, we don’t think it should be. In fact, with talent pools, it needn’t be.
Imagine an ideal world where, as an early careers recruiter, you have almost immediate access to a range of young talent with different skill sets, ready and willing to fill every position that opens up. Almost sounds like you stumbled upon Aladdin’s magic lamp for recruiters, doesn’t it?
Well, a company talent pool is quite like that Genie who grants you those wishes. From nurturing active candidates to attracting passive talent, building a strong talent pool can really make a marked difference to your early careers recruitment process. And irrespective of the size of your organisation, you should be actively considering jumping onboard this new recruitment strategy.
Here are five reasons why you should be building a talent pool for your organisation
A substantial reduction in your cost-per-hire
Let’s face it – hiring great talent is an expensive process. According to Glassdoor, the average employer in the UK spends about £3000 in attracting a new employee. And a large chunk of it is spent on promoting job openings on jobs boards. If you multiply this with the number of early careers roles that an organisation fills every year, it can quickly build up to a staggering number.
Having a strong talent pool helps reduce the overall cost-per-hire by eliminating the need to advertise your open roles. Think of it as an internal job posting, but seen by qualified external candidates. This, in turn, helps you save on marketing and recruitment costs. Clearly, a win-win situation, if you ask us.
A faster, more efficient hiring process
Qualifying suitable candidates for various roles is perhaps one of the most time-consuming parts of the hiring process for an early careers recruiter. It involves sifting through numerous applications, screening candidates, understanding their interest levels and much more. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that it takes, on average, 42 days to fill an advertised position.
This is where a segmented and well-managed company talent pool can help. Imagine the time your team would save if they had access to a group of pre-selected and actively engaged candidates already interested in working for your organisation. In effect, building a talent pool would let you skip the whole reactive step of waiting for a candidate to apply.
Get more informed candidates
Attracting highly engaged candidates who have already had interactions with your brand via different touch points is the stuff of dreams for any employer. Not only do these candidates form an informed cohort, but also, according to a study by the Quarterly Journal of Economics, are 26% less likely to quit.
But where does an employer find these future superstars? A company talent pool is your answer. For instance, integrating on-boarding questions as part of your talent pool invitation process can not just help you gauge their awareness of your organisation, but also segment and profile candidates easily. This results in a faster and more efficient hiring process and significantly improves the quality of candidates in your pipeline.
Attract more diverse talent
It’s no secret that there’s an increasing shortage of diverse talent in the workplace, especially in STEM. Addressing this diversity crisis is at the top of the recruitment agenda for every employer. Aside from the obvious benefit of an inclusive workplace that increases cultural awareness and improves idea generation, research from McKinsey shows that diversified workplace culture and teams are directly responsible for an increase of up to 35% in financial returns for businesses.
From getting girls into STEM to attracting candidates from hard to recruit groups, talent pools can offer strategic solutions to address the challenge around diversity. For instance, Springpod’s talent pool feature enables employers to segment students in their talent pool using data points such as gender, ethnicity and location. This demographic information helps them target their desired segment using proactive digital solutions such as push alerts and personalised emails.
Measure the impact of activities
Most employers attend careers fair events and perform education outreach in a bid to attract new talent to the workplace. However, one of the biggest challenges with such broad outreach activities is the lack of tools to measure the impact of these events. But your talent pool could offer a solution here too.
Springpod’s platform empowers employers to use their Join Talent Pool option as an innovative data capture and event tracking solution. Using innovative digital solutions such as event-specific QR codes and advanced analytics, Springpod’s talent pool features help direct new talent towards your organisation’s talent pool, as well gives you a suitable tool to measure ROI from events and other outreach activities.
How can Springpod help?
The key to building and maintaining a healthy early careers talent pool is by focussing on long-term engagement with prospective talents while they’re still at school or college. Both the Changing the Pace report as well as the CBI/Pearsons Education and Skills Survey have highlighted the need and importance of employer engagement as a crucial tool to combat the severe skills shortage that the UK is facing today. When you consider all of this, building a talent pool from scratch can seem like a daunting task for your early careers recruitment team. But it doesn’t have to be.
This is where Springpod comes to your rescue. Our new talent pool feature enables you to build a strong pipeline of early careers talent ready to enter your workforce. Our innovative platform gets your brand into the classroom through personalised company profiles and managed content, and helps inspire future superstars by showcasing your diverse early careers pathways.
There’s no denying that it’s a candidate-driven market out there – and this is especially true when recruiting for early careers roles. Young talented candidates have the upper hand in being able to pick and choose the organisations that they want to work for. This has made it tougher for recruiters who are frequently having to compete with each other to attract top candidates.
Therefore, the real sourcing struggle for recruiters is not finding people – but instead finding the right talent, engaging with them at the right time and managing these top prospects efficiently. Which means your talent pool could very well be the Holy Grail of your organisation’s early careers talent acquisition strategy – one that not just redefines the way you hire early talent, but also defines how you engage with them.
Find out how Springpod can help you build a strong company talent pool that lets you stay ahead of your early careers recruitment strategy.