Recruiting top talent often comes down to timing. When you think about it, it’s a pretty magical moment when you’re looking to fill a role at the very same time that the perfect candidate also happens to be looking to make a career change. But you can make these right-place-right-time moments happen a lot more often by introducing one thing into your recruitment strategy: a talent network.
What is a talent network?
At its basic level, a talent network attracts and engages potential job seekers to interact with your company, even when they’re not actively applying. It’s essentially a way for seekers to stay up- to-date on your career opportunities: they provide their contact info, or submit their resume to a general inbox, to be notified when relevant openings pop up. And you, as the employer, get a pipeline of engaged talent to help fill future jobs quickly and easily.
Why you need a talent network
There are several reasons why a talent network can help your hiring strategy. First, a talent network improves the ROI of your career page and employer branding campaign. Without a talent network, a career page is really only functional when there are open jobs. But when you add a way for seekers to sign up for job alerts or send in their resume, your career page (and overall recruitment strategy, for that matter) is effective 100 per cent of the time.
It’s also an important part of the overall candidate experience.When a job seeker shows interest in your company, it’s important that they are given a call to action. In some cases, that will be a job for them to apply to, but if that opportunity is not currently available, they need another option. Joining a talent network provides that alternative action.
A talent network also creates a pipeline of qualified seekers who have already expressed an interest in your company, and are eager to apply to relevant positions. When a new job comes up, your network ensures that already-engaged seekers are the first to know – and you get more qualified applicants as a result. Finally, this community also provides valuable intel on your most precious demographic: job seekers. A talent network allows you to see who is interested in your company and what they’re looking for – and you can use this information to fine-tune your hiring process.
How to create a talent network
Creating a talent network can be as simple as a dedicated email address, or as complex as an applicant database. The easiest way to go about it is to integrate touch points into your career page. There are many ways to do this:
- Ask seekers to sign up for a career newsletter or a job alert
- Invite them to submit their resume or an application for future opportunities
- Provide contact info for a company recruiter or HR team member
- Invite them to connect via social media platforms
Don’t have a career page yet? Download our free eGuide, How to attract qualified candidates with an engaging career page, for a step-by-step guide to getting an attractive and professional career page up and running.
To build a relationship with your community over time, keep them up-to-date on any company updates, career events, and job opportunities. The nature of your communications depends on the size of your business. A small company with job openings once a month, for example, would create a different strategy than a growing company with new openings every week. It’s also worthwhile to stay up-to-date on newcomers to your talent community, and make a note of any seekers that seem particularly suited to your company – you can get in touch directly should a relevant opening arise.
How to misuse a talent network
The easiest way to avoid abusing your talent network is to be concise and courteous. Avoid overly frequent emails, and try not to fill seekers’ inboxes with updates that don’t pertain to them – ideally, they’d be notified only when an opportunity arises that suits their specific resume or goals. A 40-year-old project manager, for example, doesn’t need to know when your next campus job fair is coming up.
Also, stay on-brand. If a seeker signs up for a company’s job alert, only to receive a promotional email about one of your products an hour later, they’ll likely opt out of any further emails – and possibly lose interest in your company altogether. As we mentioned above, it’s important to think of your talent network as part of your overall candidate experience. This is one of the only ways you can engage with qualified seekers long-term, and it’s integral in helping them create an emotional connection with your company. That, in turn, means more qualified applications to your next job opening – and more superstar employees helping your business to grow.