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10 tips for getting it right

Be realistic

A talent pool will rarely cover all roles in an organisation. Keep it to key roles and sectors that are hard to fill and crucial to the organisation’s day-to-day running. Don’t spread your resources too thin.

Know what you need

Have a reasonable idea of when you will need the talent, where you will need them and how many you will need – otherwise you risk wasting time talent pooling candidates in areas where jobs will never materialise.

Aim high

Set the bar high and ensure your recruiters fill the talent pool with the best. Don’t fill it with poor quality or irrelevant candidates. This can cause the data you garner to become unusable and ultimately jeopardise the whole program. Be clear on entry criteria and also exit criteria.

Shore up your EVP

Your Employee Value Proposition is your currency in the war for talent. Be clear on why your organisation is the best workplace in your industry and how to articulate that. This will help you retain and motivate current employees as well.

Be authentic

The information that you present to your audience has to be authentic or you risk people joining your organisation and being immediately disillusioned by the gap between what was promised and the reality. Being authentic ensures your new hires have the right level of expectation when joining your organisation.

Monitor its effectiveness

Is the talent pool justifying the resources that are going into it? Have a list of clear KPIs and report on them monthly, quarterly and annually. What is the placement rate of candidates in your talent pool? Is your cost per hire and time to fill going down?

Talk the talk

Sourcing specialists with deep experience in the industries they are responsible for are usually more effective at building rapport with the candidates they are seeking out, although there are exceptions here and strong generalists do exist. Remember they often provide the first interaction the candidate has with your company, so this first contact is crucial in establishing the relationship.

Line up your ducks

Talent pooling is a significant change to how many organisations operate. Explain the business-wide cost savings and efficiency dividends to the hiring manager and make sure he or she embraces the change. If approaching candidates will involve using social media, make sure the marketing team is on board. Does your social media policy need updating?

Manage candidate expectations

Be careful with your wording when accepting candidates into the pool. Avoid stating or suggesting that it will lead to guaranteed employment.

Don’t drop off the radar

Putting candidates into a talent pool and never contacting them again can leave a negative impression. If a candidate continues to be put up for roles without success, at some point arrange an exit from the talent pool.


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Darren Lancaster

RPO Leader
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