The Blueprint for Building a Robust Talent Community
Alexa Bradbury

8 minutes

The Blueprint for Building a Robust Talent Community

The first instalment in our Direct Sourcing blog series outlined why 2024 is the year for Advanced Direct Sourcing. As experts in building employer brand-led, technology enabled talent communities, this time we’re uncovering the blueprint for building a robust talent community.  

The first thing to clear up is that a talent pool and a talent community are not one and the same. A talent pool and a talent community are both essential components of talent acquisition, but they differ significantly in their scope and engagement. 

How does a talent community differ from a talent pool or database?  

A traditional talent pool typically refers to a database of potential candidates who possess specific skills or qualifications. It serves as a repository of resumes and contact information, allowing recruiters to quickly source and fill positions. However, it tends to be transactional, focusing on immediate hiring needs rather than fostering long-term relationships.  

It’s a valuable resource, filled with leads you’ve already invested the time and money to acquire and consists of people who have already shown interest in your company. Despite this, many employers don’t leverage the full potential of their talent database.  

The key to unlocking its full potential, is taking steps to turn your talent database into a talent community via a more proactive, strategic, and relationship-based approach.  

Building an engaged talent community goes far beyond a mere legacy database and involves actively engaging and nurturing individuals who share common attributes, interests, or connections with a company. Building a talent community is about creating a network of engaged talent over time, which aligns with the organization's values, culture, and industry. 

Building a talent community  

Building a successful talent community of people who want to work for your organization is an iterative process. It’s not one and done. However, keeping your company name and employer brand in front of candidates, even when you are not hiring is worth the effort in today’s competitive talent landscape. We already know that the ability to quickly attract and deploy (or re-deploy) high quality talent on-demand provides a competitive edge. 

By investing in your talent pool over time, it means that when the right role comes up, your nurtured candidate will be more open, informed, and likely to engage with a recruiter.  

The role of automation technology  

The latest AI, automation and recruitment marketing technology has thankfully made the process of building and nurturing communities of known and new talent significantly easier. For example, Guidant’s own Advanced Direct Sourcing technology, built on an industry-leading CRM, enables us to; deliver automated outreach and personalization at scale; leverage AI and machine learning for superior candidate matching; manage the complete lifecycle ​of a candidate, from engagement and placement to offboarding ​and redeployment; create an end-end suite of client-branded communications; and provide comprehensive reporting and dashboards for full talent community visibility. It takes the pressure off recruiters and freeing them to focus more on the relationship building and strategic aspects of their role.  

Where to start  

Despite the obvious benefits of building an engaged talent community, it can be a daunting task.  

Building relationships with top talent doesn’t stop. It’s a full lifecycle effort – from initial attraction to ongoing nurturing and involves people as well as technology.  

Remember, you can start small – with one job family or location — and scale over time. Choose the talent attributes you need now and grow from there, or focus on high volume, repeatable roles.  

6 steps to build your talent community: 

1. Define the Community Purpose: 

Clearly articulate the purpose of the talent community. Whether it's centred around a specific industry, job-category, diverse characteristic or shared interest, having a clear purpose and focus will help to attract the right individuals. 

2. Invite Known and New Talent:  

The first step in building your talent community is to make people aware of it. It’s a great opportunity cleanse and segment your existing database and to generate new leads by inviting suitable candidates or those your already know such as former employees, freelancers, statement of work (SOW) labor, retirees, referrals, interns, and “runner up” applicants, to join your talent community. It’s also important to set expectations and make it clear what people are opting in to.  

3. Create Engaging Content: 

Regularly share relevant content such as industry updates, thought leadership articles, good news stories, videos and company news. This not only keeps the community informed but also establishes the organization as a valuable resource. This content should be authentic and aligned with your EVP. A quarterly newsletter driving traffic to your community content is a great place to start.  

4. Personalized Communication: 

Where possible further tailor communication to the interests and preferences of community members. Personalized job opportunities, messages, newsletters, and updates show that the organization values the individual and their contributions to the community. 

5. Facilitate Networking Opportunities: 

If possible, foster deeper connections within the community by organizing career related events, or webinars where you can interact, share insights, and build relationships with members of the community. Networking is a key element in cultivating a thriving talent community. 

6. Feedback Loop: 

Ask for feedback and input from the community members. This not only helps in understanding their needs but also empowers them, making them feel like active contributors and shows you care about their point of view. This can be easily done by asking about their specific areas of interest, to complete regular NPS surveys or via community ambassador initiatives.  

Building a talent community is an ongoing process that requires commitment and consistency. By fostering meaningful connections, providing valuable resources, and actively engaging with members, organizations can create a vibrant talent community that goes beyond immediate hiring needs and contributes to long-term success. 

At Guidant Global, we have been successfully building talent communities and delivering employer brand-led direct sourcing strategies to our customers for over 10 years. That’s why you can trust us to help build your direct sourcing strategy for smarter, faster and better access to the talent you need to thrive. 

If you want to find out more about this innovative solution, download our Complete Guide to Advanced Direct Sourcing or request a discovery session with one of our experts.   

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