Examining the shift from talent pools to talent communities

At Yoh, we’re seeing a significant transition among our RPO clients. They are purposefully shifting their focus from the development of talent pools to the building of talent communities. That’s no easy task. Not because of funding or because company leaders don’t see the value. Rather, the biggest obstacle is in giving up control and allowing the community to have a laser view into the organization’s culture, brand, products, solutions, employee engagement, and more. It’s as if the company operates inside a glass house. The good news is the talent entering the community is very curious and eager to see inside.

So why the shift? Looking at the differences between talent pools and talent communities can help explain.

Talent pools are designed to increase your applicant database, but they are one-sided. Through pipeline building, a company collects information about candidates that can be used if or when a position opens. Candidates have little to no engagement with the recruiter outside of an automatic reply, and they don’t receive any insight into the organization other than what is available on the company’s website. The only reward for the candidate is getting pulled from the pool quickly and offered a position.

Talent communities are the complete opposite. In many cases, the job seeker initiates the conversation and is looking for a response not only from a recruiter but from anyone in the community, regardless of their role.

Say, for example, that there is a job opening for a senior scientist for research and development. You, the job seeker, are interested but want to learn more about the role. Wouldn’t it be great to be part of a talent community that enables you to speak to one of the Ph.D.s in plant physiology who has a proven record of success? This person has a unique understanding of the role that he or she can share to easily spark interest that can develop into an organic hire.

Talent communities rank filling open positions second because that will come naturally. What comes first is the personal career brand you build with each and every member of the community. That’s the power of talent communities and that’s the future for organizations that want the very best talent.


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