- Posted by admin
- On May 1, 2020
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The effects of COVID-19 on employment are well known. After almost 6 weeks of COVID-19-related closures, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed and businesses everywhere have faced lay-offs, furloughs, and temporary hiring freezes. While hiring a new employee may be the last thing on your mind right now, it’s important to prepare for the eventual reopening of businesses.
Rather than wait and then scramble to hire employees, the time to start preparing is now. You may not have the work or the funding to hire someone during the pandemic, but you can prepare for your next hire by building and engaging with a talent network of potential candidates.
What is a Talent Network?
A talent network, also known as a talent community or talent pool, is a group of candidates that have expressed interest or taken some steps to work with your business. Your talent network might consist of former applicants who have already gone through your recruitment process, connections who are passively interested in your business, referrals from other employees, or other professional connections with the skills and experience that fit your business.
Your business may have a talent network of potential candidates even if you haven’t formally organized one. Some businesses have official talent networks where interested professionals can opt-in to receive updates about open positions, company news, and more, while other businesses may simply have an untapped network of connections.
How To Build a Talent Network
If your business does not have an organized talent network, then right now is a great time to get organized. Building up a talent network of qualified potential hires now will make the hiring process that much easier once the worst of COVID-19 passes and your business is fully back to work.
Not only does a talent network help with faster, more efficient hiring, but it can also ensure you find the best candidates for the job by cultivating relationships early and keeping communication open with top talent that you don’t have a place for just yet. Take these steps to start cultivating a talent network today so that you’re ready to hire post-virus.
Organize Your Connections
Even if you don’t have a formal talent network, you probably have connections that meet the criteria. Organize those connections, whether it’s via a CRM or other recruitment software like an applicant tracking system. If you interviewed a great candidate in the past but they weren’t the right fit for that specific role, they would make a great addition to a talent network for future hiring consideration. Pool former applicants, referrals, and others in your professional network that could be a good fit for your business.
Make sure contact information is up to date, and use either software or another organizational system to keep track of any qualified talent to keep in your network.
Make It Easy for Candidates to Find You
To build and grow a talent network, you’ll want to include more than just your immediate network. That’s why it’s vital that you make it easy for candidates to find you and engage.
Social media is a great way to connect with candidates and get your brand name out there. Consider sharing a link to sign up to join a talent network or to opt-in for updates. It could be as simple as an email list, or you could encourage them to submit resumes. Use social media, email newsletters, and more to spread the word about your talent network and to find more potential candidates.
In light of COVID-19, some businesses have changed the careers page on their website to include an opt-in for a talent network. That way, even if they don’t have any open positions at the moment, interested candidates can leave their information and sign up for alerts about future opportunities.
Keep in mind that some candidates may give up if a form is too involved – while it’s good to collect resumes so that you can screen those within your talent network, you don’t want to lose a good connection due to a tedious application. Consider making certain fields optional so that those looking for a quick opt-in can simply provide their names and emails. Those who want to provide more information will, and others can be contacted later for resumes if needed.
You should be clear about the fact that providing information does not necessarily guarantee that their resume will be reviewed. Be transparent about how your talent network works so that candidates aren’t disappointed if there isn’t a follow up email or call.
Stay in Touch
Once you have a talent network of qualified candidates, engage with them regularly! This is where many businesses fall short. It is vital that you stay in touch with your talent network to keep them interested and to keep the relationship going.
Send updates with company news and open positions, encourage your talent pool to follow your business on social media, and share industry information via your blog. If you have candidates that are especially qualified and high on your list, consider calling or emailing them personally to nurture that relationship. If you have the time, creating a one-on-one connection with all of your talent network is an even better way to stay in touch and keep them engaged in the process.
Building and nurturing a talent network takes time and effort, which is why it may be easier to work with a recruiting or staffing agency. Recruiters work to maintain huge talent networks, so that businesses like yours can tap into a pre-screened and qualified pool of candidates. If your business needs help hiring, contact TalentFleX Solutions to discuss your staffing needs.
As businesses gradually come back post-COVID, it will be important to rehire the large number of unemployed in the workforce. Without a certain timeline in place for when your business can reopen, it’s easy to put off hiring. Building a talent network of strong candidates today will ease the transition back, however, so be proactive to ensure success in the future.