Optimise your talent pool to overcome candidate shortages

As candidates are increasingly rare and also more and more demanding, what if you were missing out on the ultimate candidate sourcing channel for your talent acquisition strategy? Your talent pool might be guarding a hidden gem, sitting around waiting to join your team. But if you’re looking to capitalise on your talent pool, it needs to be qualified. So how can you optimise your candidate pool for a more efficient use in the future?

A long-term talent acquisition strategy

Recruiting has never been more like a marketing campaign. If a prospect fails to convert into a customer, they join a database. Through nurturing, prospects can then be activated at a later stage. After all, customer circumstances can change down the line, just like their interests and needs. And the same goes for candidates.

Building a talent pool

Your pool may include a variety of profiles:

  • Former employees with potential to become boomerang employees
  • Unselected candidates who had submitted applications (in response to a job offer, or in the form of speculative applications)
  • “Silver medallists”, i.e. candidates who came second in the selection process
  • Interns and apprentices with potential to join the company in the future
  • Candidates identified through external platform sourcing, including via social media
  • Etc.

But simply casting profiles aside “just in case” won’t work. Your pool needs to be fully incorporated into your overall recruiting strategy as a driver in and of itself, thought out right from the start, and properly organised and structured so you can exploit its capacities.

This entails qualifying your database according to each profile and to their potential and skills in a way that aligns with your needs and strategy.

The tool you need: an ATS for a structured talent pool

An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a solution designed to help recruiters make decisions and analyse a person’s profile and application. When it comes to talent pools, most ATS solutions offer a tagging system to allocate precise criteria to each profile. For example, you can add “iOS developer” or “Salesperson” tags to some of your candidates. With an ATS, you’ll find it a lot easier to perform searches down the line.

Think carefully about the tags you want to be using. Let’s take the “iOS developer” example. If you start using another tag 6 months later – say, “mobile developer”, “lead mobile dev”, or “Android developer” – your chances of successfully centralising your data and making it readable are very slim. The trick is to adopt standardised and sustainable terminology.

Staying in touch with your candidates through a personalised approach

Now that your pool is well-stocked and qualified, you want to focus on developing a genuine relationship with your talents. You can start off by sending automatic emails every month to check up on their situation, but it probably won’t be enough, because chances are your email message will give your talent the impression you hardly know who they are.

So instead, why not come up with a process that allows you to use collected data and automate targeted personalised email campaigns? What’s in it for you is that you get to strengthen your relationship with your candidates by sharing useful content that will grow their interest in joining your team when the time comes.

The tool you need: a CRM system to stay in touch with your candidates

The first thing most people will think of when they come across “CRM” is Customer Relationship Management: a tool for managing relationships with… customers. Candidate Relationship Management tools (also abbreviated to CRM) are for managing relationships with your… (drumroll) candidates!

Securing a candidate CRM will help you increase efficiency in the way you use candidate data in your ATS. Your CRM will allow you to implement useful actions such as:

  • Send birthday emails
  • Send event invitations based on candidate criteria
  • Send new job opportunities for positions that meet candidate profiles
  • Curate employment-related content that might be of interest
  • Etc.

You can also set up “scenarios” (email sequences) and automate your communication. This will increase the regularity of your communication with minimum effort and you’ll nurture your ties with your candidates. That way, your company will stay at the top of the list of companies they turn to when they decide to seek new professional opportunities.

Looking to establish and nurture durable relationships with your talent pool? Explore the module

Update the information in your talent pool

For it to function efficiently, your candidate pool needs to be regularly updated. Collecting masses of data without exploiting it is pretty pointless. Imagine a pile of resumes so high it reaches the ceiling – what would you do with them all? You need to think of your talent pool as an active driver for recruiting, and candidates as customers.

That way, instead of hoarding quantities of information, you create relationships with your candidates. Take advantage of these ties to collect their opinion, ask questions, and regularly update their profiles. This will allow you to send increasingly targeted messages next time you contact them.

Capitalise on your talent pool to find qualified candidates

Now that your candidate pool generates regular interactions, you can use it as a sourcing channel for your upcoming job vacancies. Your next challenge is to do this in a quick and smooth manner.

The tool you need: matching technology to exploit the full potential of your talent pool

Through artificial intelligence, matching allows you to compare the contents of a profile with the contents of a job offer. The higher the compatibility, the higher the score. Recruiters can use these systems to check the level of compatibility between their candidate database and new vacancies to fill.

Need to identify profiles in your talent pool that match your vacancy? Explore the module

Combined with an ATS, matching solutions help to automatically isolate high-scoring candidates – it’ll be up to you to decide what a “good” score is – and send them a sequence of emails to invite them to apply to the vacancy. This saves recruiters from having to wait around too long because they already have a pool of known profiles that match the vacancy criteria.

The research and screening processes have already been completed. In short, leveraging matching technology to take full advantage of your talent pool saves recruiters precious time.

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