Finding great talent is far from easy, but it can be deeply rewarding. We see someone we know could bring real value to our business, and we hope they’re keen to take up the opportunity. But what if we don’t have the right opportunity for them at the right time?

Your talent pool is a selection of potential candidates who have shown interest in working for your organisation but (for one reason or another) it wasn’t the right time for them to join you.

Maybe you didn’t have the right opening for them immediately. Maybe they lacked a key skill and needed more training than you could offer. Maybe they had family commitments that prevented them from travelling. Maybe they received a better offer.

Whatever the reason, keeping their details on file as part of your talent pool is just common sense. Surprisingly, this common sense approach isn’t quite as common as you might imagine.

A surprising proportion of companies aren’t using their talent pool effectively — if at all.

A recent Forum for In-House Recruitment Managers report found that only 86% of organisations used a talent pool. Of those who do, only 20% of their recruitment comes from these pools.

Talent pools can offer so much more, but only if they’re used effectively. Let’s look at why talent pools are so important and how you can make the most of yours. 

Why are talent pools so valuable?

Before we get into the details of how to make the most of your talent pool, it’s worth asking why a talent pool can be so beneficial to your recruitment. After all, if a candidate’s happy to work for you, they’ll apply again for themselves. Right?

Talent pools are an incredible tool for passive recruitment. The best talent isn’t likely to be sitting around waiting for you to have an opening for them. If you want to find the very best candidates, you need to be reaching out to them.

Having a talent pool allows you to make this approach more personal. You’re not cold-calling to suggest they come work for you. You’ve already started to build a relationship, especially if you’ve been putting effort into candidate management.

Using a talent pool lets you start your approach with a personal touch. You can talk about how much they impressed you in the past and how excited you are to speak with them again. This provides an outstanding candidate experience, increasing your chances of making a successful hire.

Having a great talent pool makes it easier to take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to recruitment. Comparing your projected future recruitment needs with your talent pool encourages a strategic approach to hiring decisions.

Having a ready base of candidates to draw from can also make a significant difference to both the time and cost involved in making a new hire. These can be significant considerations, especially if you’re aiming to expand or make many hires quickly.

Working with a high-quality talent pool can also help you achieve your DEI goals. Talent pipelines can easily become dominated by a narrow demographic. Creating your own talent pool can disrupt the usual practices and encourage a more diverse workforce.

Five best talent pool management tips

So, how do we make the most of our talent pools? Here are five top tips to help you maximise the benefits of the great talent you’ve already encountered.

1. Look around to fill your pool

The deeper your candidate pool, the more useful it is for you. Make sure that you’re keeping records of great talent wherever you see it.

Look for anyone who has previously applied but wasn’t a great fit for the role you had available. It doesn’t end there. Previous employees who left on good terms may be convinced to return for the right offer. Include both active and passive candidates.

Think creatively about where you might find great talent to fill your pool. For example, if you’re speaking to someone while checking an applicant’s references and the person you’re speaking to seems interested in your work, add them to your talent pool! 

It’s also possible to find great talent working for your competitors via crooton’s unique employer fencing technology.

Don’t forget students and recent graduates in your talent pool. Attending university career fairs and doing outreach with schools and colleges are great ways to find potential candidates who are excited to work with you and will be keen to join your talent pool.

2. Make it easy to collect talent

Obviously, we can only contact talent who has consented to hear from us. Create a landing page that allows you to collect contact details and permission to use them.

This could be as simple as a tick box on your application form or even on your reference requests. You might also want to include a section on your website that allows potential candidates to express interest in working for you. This helps keep your candidate pool replenished. 

3. Ensure your talent pool is easy to use

Your talent pool could be full of amazing potential employees but it’s no good to you unless you can make meaningful use of it. Make sure that your talent pool management is user-friendly.

Find ways to categorise talent to make sure you can easily find the people who fit your needs. Make it easy to search by how qualified a particular candidate is, their location, their experience, and where you foresee them fitting into your business.

4. Make sure your teams use your pool

Hiring managers, team leaders, and recruiters need to get into the habit of using your talent pool.

The more urgent your hiring needs, the more likely your teams will fall back on their normal hiring habits. Given the benefits of using your talent pool for making faster hires, it’s essential to make this your default first step.

Signpost your teams to encourage them to use the talent pool. Let them see the benefits of changing their hiring practices and experience the power of a talent pool as a recruiting tool.

5. Create nurture campaigns

It’s not just your colleagues who need to be reminded of the value of a talent pool. Create a campaign that develops your connections with your entire talent pool, keeping you and your organisation on their radar.

This might mean providing periodic updates on your progress or exciting new developments. It can also be helpful to reach out from time to time to help build a deeper, more personalised relationship.

Stay on top of your talent pool with help from crooton

Maintaining a great talent pool is a combination of candidate management and employer branding. Check out the crooton blog for expert advice on how to create meaningful relationships to attract top talent.

Building a deep talent pool doesn’t have to take forever or cost the earth. Get in touch with the crooton team for help sourcing multiple great candidates at an affordable fixed rate.