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Posted by CareerBuilder UK on 10 February 2015 in Recruiter Advice, Studies, HR Technology Trends | No Comment


Some applicants that you reject today may prove to be the right candidate tomorrow. A talent pool allows you to make use of this potential, simplify recruitment processes and, incidentally, to enhance your employer brand. However, a prerequisite is dealing with registered talent correctly.

You have the perfect application lying on your desk. This candidate would be the needle in the haystack were you to be looking for a needle right now. But, unfortunately, at present the company does not have any vacancies. To simply reject this sort of candidate and bury the application in the wastepaper basket is, in times of skills shortages, tantamount to gross negligence. How does the saying go? "We must keep on good terms with him or her." Good idea. However, when this one person becomes many, the situation will quickly become confusing.

Make use of potential and increase efficiency

Companies do not only come into contact with suitable applicants, who cannot be taken on in the short-term, through unsolicited applications. Also during the course of filling a vacancy, many candidates prove themselves to be capable potential employees, who only fall at the last hurdle of the selection process. This means that HR has already invested in these candidates, by contacting them, testing their skills and abilities and determining their general suitability for the company. Furthermore, the company knows that they are not only qualified, but also wish to work there. Is it not sensible to use the information you have collected during the application process again, as soon as there is a suitable vacancy?

A talent pool offers just such advantages. You don't have to start recruitment processes from scratch when the company already knows of suitable candidates. This reduces costs and, in an ideal situation, vacancies can be filled at short notice as well. If the talent pool database is also available to the specific departments involved, they can search through it for candidates that match the profile and thus provide valuable input for the contacting the right candidates. The company benefits from faster communication and the risk of deciding on the wrong the wrong person is reduced.

A positive external effect

A talent pool can also prove to be extremely valuable in the area of employer branding because it gives HR professionals the opportunity of interacting with a target group that is extremely important to the company. For example, by regularly informing "dormant applicants" about the company; and asking for feedback, for example about the recruitment process. The company can not only gain interesting knowledge about its own processes, improving them as necessary, but also position itself as an attentive employer that treats applicants on an equal footing.

Survey shows that companies have a long way to catch up

That's the theory. And although this makes complete sense, reality reveals another picture. About one in five applicants are registered in a talent pool database with one or more companies. This is one of the results from the extensive 360° survey from Careerbuilder and the German HR magazine 'Personalwirtschaft'. 49.5 percent of those questioned would register with a company's talent pool following a rejection in respect of a current application. So there is great interest from the candidate side. Disappointment as well. Only 3.1 percent have found a job in this way. Almost three quarters (73.2 percent) of talent pool candidates have had negative experiences. 30 percent have received notification of irrelevant vacancies, whilst 42.5 percent have received absolutely no information about job advertisements.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) offer smart solutions

If top candidates land in a black hole, then so much for the positive employer branding effect. And all the other benefits mentioned are also thrown away. A talent pool is a lot more than simply saving a candidate's contact details and filing the application. Only a software-based ATS, for example a web-based cloud solution, can turn it into a valuable HR tool. Because then it is possible to file applicant profiles according to desired criteria; and to manage all contacts in a purposeful way. A good search function allows you to quickly scan registered applicants. If a suitable candidate is already on file, the company can save a costly application process. Efficient tools for managing applicants also include mailing functions for easily and, above all, regularly sending company news to people registered with the talent pool.

Establish a dialogue

Because a talent pool is not only about entering new contacts, but more about nurturing existing ones. But recruiters need to make sure that communication is not restricted to one-sided general information about new job vacancies. The goal must be to establish a dialogue with selected candidates. "A birthday email, or an invitation to a trade fair or discussion forum, can be the best way of showing people they are valued", recommends Thomas Bockholdt, Managing Director of InterSearch Executive Consultants, in this context at Welt.de. And as the results of the 360° survey have also shown: companies that actively keep in touch with candidates stand out from the crowd.


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