We talk to clients every day who are interested in upping the ante in terms of recruiting. In our opinion, one of the best ways to do this is by creating talent pools with current and future goals in mind. This in turn leads to a pipeline of talent that will always be aligned with the direction the company is headed. While the end product seems great, many companies are left wondering where to start with such an endeavor. Relax, because we’re here to help with just that.
What is a talent pool, really?
You should probably start with realizing that talent pools aren’t exactly what they sound like. Unfortunately, a pool of ultra-qualified candidates just waiting for your phone call doesn’t exist. If only it were that easy for the Recruiters and Hiring Managers I work with! To be clear, that cabinet or file of names, addresses and resumes isn’t a talent pool either.
So what exactly is a talent pool and how is it impacted by company goals? In reality, the very nature of a true talent pool fits in pretty nicely with the ongoing process of goal/talent alignment.
Goals Have Stages
While big picture goals aren’t going to change frequently, the stages of those goals will. Herein lies why talent/goal alignment can get tricky. The seemingly stable goals that make up your company vision are made up of projects that are always evolving to the next step. Furthermore, talent pools aren’t as stagnant as their name suggests. The goal here is to be able to clearly forecast those stages and communicate them down the talent river in order to achieve alignment.
Even when your entire HR department can clearly define the big picture goals, will they be able to map out how to get there, what the stages are and what talent will be needed for those processes?
It's no small project ...
Creating an organizational roadmap for everyone is where true goal-aligned talent pools begin. This isn’t just an HR endeavor; if you make it one, it will likely fail. Each level of the organization should have a strong understanding of how the roadmap - or business objectives - will impact them on an individual and departmental level. The day-to-day and year-to-year should be purposeful, driven and trackable. When you have a roadmap in mind, you can effectively forecast hiring needs and understand what will need to be accomplished by your new hires. Arming your recruiters with that information is essential to effectively curate talent pools.
Still, a company-wide daily memo on goal status is annoying at best, and impossible at worst. The proper software is essential in consistent goal and talent alignment. The roadmap isn’t exactly something you can lay out using a spreadsheet alone, no matter how good your Excel-fu may be. ClearCompany’s software allows leadership to set short and long term goals, while watching talent achieve them in real-time.
Back to Talent Pools
So what does the in-house have to do with talent pools? The definition of talent pools from EmploymentOffice.com is:
“A database of candidate profiles interested in working for your organization. They could be limited to a specific area of expertise, or focused on a broad grouping of individuals who are capable of performing a variety of job tasks.”
But why exactly should all of these people wait around for your call? Because of your culture. Your brand ambassadors. Your purpose-driven workforce and their acheivements. Instead of only a handful of people knowing exactly what talent the organization needs now and in the future, each employee is enabled to help you recruit the right people at the right time.
Jessica Miller-Merell talks about creating talent oceans:
“The most effective and fastest way in which to build a talent ocean is through your already established relationships. Encouraging your current employee base, previous job applicants, your customers, and their pockets of community to join in your conversations is the best way to get your talent ocean off the ground.”
Pools, rivers, oceans –whatever you want to call them. Each referral will be made with alignment in mind. Each hire will know exactly where they’re going and what they’re doing, because canned attraction initiatives won’t exist. They will be replaced with the precise knowledge of what the organization needs. Leverage the power of internal talent/goal alignment in order to create external talent pools relevant for the future.
Although software was a small part of this post, it’s actually a pretty large part of talent and goal alignment. While social outreach, a continued dialogue and some hard core networking are all solid parts of crafting dynamic talent pools, it all really does start in-house; with the right tools and the right leadership.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.