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Talent Communities: A Competitive Advantage

Hiring the best talent available, and being able to do this in a timely manner when they are needed, is a top priority of the HR function. For large enterprises, the optimal way to do this is to have candidates available in advance of the job requisition who are part of a talent pool that is already engaged and familiar with the hiring organization’s culture and values, and to make it easy to let the appropriate members of the talent pool and/or community know when relevant opportunities become available. Social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, is a key aspect of how positive news of the client organization, also its culture, are communicated.

Many RPO providers are assisting their clients by using talent communities to help them have a talent pipeline for any future hiring needs. NelsonHall research indicates that around 10% of new RPO offerings include talent communities.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Allegis Global Solutions (AGS) presented a webinar this week on “How to Grow, Maintain and Engage Your Talent Community”. AGS uses talent communities of passive and active candidates for both direct hiring opportunities and referrals. AGS has an internal social network to show what the company is like to work for that the talent community is able to tap into. Members of the community are then engaged via mobile and email communication. Results for one client included an 18% decrease in time-to-fill.

The use by RPO providers of talent communities has been around for over three years. Early movers included:

KellyOCG: in April 2011 launched in Germany Talent Relationship Management (TRM), a communication plan to develop and manage a network of high quality potential candidates and alumni, for any future hiring needs. TRM has since been deployed across the Americas and APAC.

Randstad Sourceright: launched Talent Communities in June 2011 (was SourceRight Solutions at the time). Features include:

  • Creating a talent pool of qualified and interested candidates via job feeds
  • Promoting the company's culture and employment value proposition via broadcast of company news, facilitated forums and networking groups, discussions between candidates and recruiters
  • Creating an Alumni Talent Community for referrals and rehiring talent that can be productive quickly
  • Engagement of community members via message boards, videos, chat, IM, event calendars, libraries containing documents and videos.

Alexander Mann Solutions: in July 2011 launched Source Cloud, for creating talent pools of active and passive candidates across geographies. Source Cloud is both a standalone service and part of AMS' RPO service offering.

ADP RPO (formerly The RightThing): launched Talent Community Builder, also in July 2011, for the recruitment of passive candidates. Talent Community Builder uses links that are put on targeted recruiting media enabling recruiters to capture contact information and resumes. In September 2013 ADP launched the ADP Recruiting Management platform, which uses social and mobile tools for targeted communications and talent community creation, helping to build an employer’s brand, expand candidate reach and boost interaction and engagement. For one client, Zimmer, one of the top vendor selection criteria was recruiting capability, including development of talent pools.

Aon Hewitt: was winning RPO contracts in 2012 (e.g., with a North American packaging and recycling company) that included building talent communities.

More recently, Futurestep announced in 2013 that it is building talent communities in all its RPO contracts. Examples include one with BNY Mellon where Futurestep is building a talent community in support of its mission to increase its sales force by 50%.

Cielo’s talent community includes email campaigning with active and passive candidates. This messaging includes familiarizing candidates with potential hiring company announcements; e.g. “Did you happen to know we were named one of the best places to work four years in a row?” Email campaigning has resulted in a two-to-three times increase in passive candidate responses.

At ManpowerGroup Solutions, talent pools are also now a standard offering. Talent pools are used for purposes including support in initiatives such as setting up a new center or for hard to fill positions.

Expect to see over the next few years more widespread awareness by large and even mid-sized organizations of the importance of having talent communities. And this, of course, is another factor that will help drive the continued growth of RPO. 

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