06/22/2017  //  By Steve Tiufekchiev  //  candidate experience

Finding the perfect candidate requires talent acquisition teams to employ creative ways of sourcing talent, including engaging passive candidates who may not be looking for a new position. A talent community is a top way to stay in touch with passive candidates and nurture these relationships until they are ready to explore opportunities with your company. Authentically interacting with your company’s talent community provides passive candidates with a unique view into life at your company, keeps them up-to-date on company news and shares relevant career opportunities. Find out how to implement and engage a talent community, to ultimately hire candidates who are the best fit for your company.

Implementing a talent community

It’s likely your team often experiences heightened pressure to find the perfect candidate, quickly. Growing a talent community will provide your team an engaged candidate pool to source from when it’s time to fill in-demand positions. Below are eight steps to take when implementing a talent community.

1. Use talent relationship management (TRM) software. 

A TRM system is a top way to keep passive candidates engaged until a position opens up. Implement a talent relationship management (TRM) system to capture candidate information, qualifications and experience in one central location, and to help the team communicate more efficiently with candidates by automating email and text campaigns. Use a TRM to track relationships with passive candidates until they are available for a new opportunity.

2. Automate communication.

Increasing the volume of candidate communication doesn’t need to add additional hours to your day. Do the prep work up front, and automate candidate email and text campaigns to ensure every candidate who enters your talent community is receiving relevant content: job updates, company updates, industry news, your company’s latest blog posts and media coverage.

3. Segment audiences.

Once you’ve automated the text and email campaigns, maximize the reach of this content. Organize your talent community into relevant groups such as technology-focused careers and business-focused careers, so the talent community only receives content relevant to them. Creating smaller communities will help you target your communication with this group to maximize its reach and impact.

4. Leverage current employees.

Refine key talent community audiences by finding out where current employees network with their peer groups. Join the online groups, local networking groups, or social networks to which colleagues belong and engage with passive candidates who meet your search requirements.

5. Conduct regular job title research.

Conduct online research to view how other companies are marketing similar open positions to find alternate job titles and descriptions. Many companies use job titles that are unique to their company, which makes it harder to search for potential employees. Build Boolean strings around different job synonyms (i.e. engineer AND software developer), and different keywords to identify people who have the right skills for the job.

6. Maximize career fair attendance.

Attend college career fairs to build your network of students. Add freshmen and sophomore students to your talent community to keep them updated on internship opportunities. Make sure you have recruitment software to assess the ROI of every event, so you only attend the events that offer the greatest return. Make it easy for students to sign up for your talent community by providing a form on your careers site for students to enter their name, major, expected graduation date and contact details.

7. Re-engage past employees.

Create an alumni network talent community for those who left on good terms (i.e. out-of-town move, left to further their career, relocation due to spouse, etc.). Send job updates and content to this group, so they can share with their networks. Use this network to also find potential boomerang employees (someone who returns to work with a former employer).

8. Communicate with silver medalists.

When you have a single position open, and two top candidates, a talent community enables you to keep the runner-up engaged and informed until a new position opens. Silver medalists who didn’t get the job have already shown interest in your company and been vetted by the hiring team, so continue to communicate with them and share opportunities.

Authentically Engage Passive Candidates

Building and nurturing a talent community with a passive candidate pipeline is key to your company’s long-term recruitment strategy. To successfully attract these candidates, it’s important to remember they are not proactively looking for a new job, so it’s up to you to authentically capture their interest, instead of expecting them to find you. Here are five ways to engage passive candidates.

1. One-to-one communication.

Initiate the first point of contact with passive candidates and remember it can’t be a hard sell of your company’s open positions. Tailor your communication to each particular candidate. Instead of selling your company to candidates, get to know them in order to understand if they are a culture match for the organization, if they fit into your company’s long-term hiring goals and if they can fill any potential talent gaps. Invite high-potential candidates to join your talent community so you can keep them warm until they convert to an active candidate.

2. Regular candidate touch points.

Ensure you have continual touch points with your talent community, to stay top of mind with these passive candidates. Send regular communication that might include updates on company awards or accolades, open positions, industry events or networking opportunities. Maintain an updated careers page to ensure it reflects your current recruitment marketing efforts.

3. Non-monetary benefits.

Since passive candidates aren’t actively looking to leave their job immediately, it’s important to highlight additional benefits outside of job responsibilities, benefits and pay. Highlight your company’s unique benefits, such as career path, growth opportunities, flexible work arrangements or any other lesser-known benefits, for which active candidates may not be searching.

4. Encourage two-way communication.

Facilitate two-way communication with candidates, through investing in self-scheduling tools, video interviewing and faster response times. One-way communication will slow down your recruiting process and cost your company top talent, resulting in your talent acquisition team spending unnecessary time sourcing. The time-to-fill metric is critical; two-way communication can help attract top talent efficiently and at scale.

5. Proactively recruit passive candidates.

Create relevant industry and career-focused content to attract passive candidates. Research social media groups and find discussions to which you could lend expert advice. Focus on creating relationships with some of the top candidates in the industry, by inviting them to speak at events, or sending an invitation to an exclusive company event.

Learn how Yello can help you build and nurture a passive candidate pipeline.

About Steve Tiufekchiev

As Yello’s Chief Evangelist, Steve’s mission is to be the voice of recruitment change. With nearly 20 years of experience in talent acquisition, he evangelizes the benefits of using technology to power recruitment programs.

Connect with Steve

More talent acquisition insights