In the war for talent companies are going to great lengths to win over skilled professionals, but more competitive still, is the contest for promising young talent – the so called ‘digital natives’. In order to find and recruit their target audiences, employers are developing new ways to source candidates on a more ‘personal’ level. Talent Community is the term given to an online collective formed specifically for job seekers, employers and recruiters to interact together on the same level.
How a Talent Community Works
As opposed to a talent pool, which is essentially a database of candidates kept by an employer, a talent community is an online environment in which people can interact and exchange thoughts and information. This allows professionals, students, employers, hiring managers, ex-employees etc to communicate over a common topic, in this case, career networking. A talent community is generally organised by a hiring manager, employer or recruiter, therefore they are able to get to know prospective employees and are able to hand pick candidates from a community of promising talent. The key to a talent community is that all parties are engaged in communication, as opposed to talent pools which are comparatively one sided.
The Benefits of a Talent Community
Because of the nature of a Talent Community candidates and employers are able to converse on an equal level. If well conducted, this can boost an employer image and make them a favorable choice for prospective employees. A talent community builds itself organically via social networking, with new member being invited or added by existing users. This benefits hiring managers as they are automatically put into contact with prospective talent via word of mouth. The process of hiring via talent communities is not only mutually beneficial (all members opt in willingly) but it saves time and money for the employer. It removes the cost of advertising, and generally offers a higher quality candidate.
How a Talent Community is Made
1. The Platform
For most companies the easiest way to create a talent community is via a social networking channel such as Facebook. By creating a closed group they can form an invite-only page that will allow people of similar interests to interact. Alternatively, the corporate career page is also a good area to form a talent community, as it directly markets to those who have an active interest in joining the company.
A talent community thrives on like-minded people. Companies can quickly build an engaged network by inviting existing employees and professional contacts to join the group. The group can then grow through word of mouth referrals. Employers can further source members whilst, for example, participating at jobs fairs or networking events. Employers can encourage member participation by initiating interesting discussions and posting regular updates.
3. Talent Community Maintenance
Maintenance is the key to a successful talent community. The HR manager or employer in charge must regularly contribute to discussions, post behind-the-scenes information or otherwise interesting material to maintain engagement. For large talent communities with many participants it is also useful to create sub-groups for members to expand on specific discussions.
Talent Community Considerations
A talent community can only really be effective if it is of real interest to it’s members. It thrives on audience participation, and therefore must be engaging. The HR manager, employer or recruiter in charge of maintaining the talent community must therefore contribute with regular interesting material. Encouraging employees to add their own friends is also vital for growth.