Is a Talent Community the Right Recruiting Strategy for You?

Whether or not organizations should overhaul their existing corporate careers pages from a listing of job openings into a full-blown talent community has sparked some polarized debate recently. 

We’ve taken a look at both sides and provided a couple different points of view to help you decide.

PROS: Talent communities are the future of social recruiting.
  1. Improve the candidate experience: One of the biggest complaints from job seekers is the lack of response they get from recruiters and employers. Talent communities offer an environment for job seekers to get feedback on the jobs they’ve applied to as well as hear about new openings as they become available.
  2. Attract savvy candidates: Social recruiting helps employers attract the attention of top talent. The best candidates will be impressed with forward-thinking employers who reach out through new communication channels, speaking to them through the social networks they prefer.
  3. Reduce the cost to hire through referrals: Many companies spend more than 20% of the cost of hire with job boards, another 20% to recruiting agencies, but only 2% on sourcing through referrals, yet referrals generally result in the best hires. The best organizations are building relationships in talent communities today to more easily recruit for tomorrow’s anticipated openings.
  4. Smarter hiring decisions: In a community environment, employers and job seekers can both share more meaningful information about themselves. Employers can see more than just a candidate’s work experience and education; they can get an insight into their attitude, personality and culture fit. Likewise, candidates have a better view into the company culture via photos, videos, blogs, and by chatting with existing employees. The result: a better fit for both parties. 
CONS: Traditional recruitment methods are effective; there’s no reason to change. 
  1. Only companies with an established image will benefit:  Employers without an organically glamorous company culture to tout will have a difficult time establishing talent communities – especially companies in blue collar industries or smaller companies that can’t compete with Google’s cafeteria or Facebook’s gym.
  2. What’s the incentive to join? Passive candidates won’t be interested in participating in a talent community that’s only pushing the message “work here someday”. They’re not thinking about lining up their next role.  Sure, active job seekers will participate, but the majority of their efforts will be focused on more aggressive tactics like blasting their resumes, applying for jobs, and pounding the pavement for interviews.   
  3. Too time consuming: The harsh demands placed on today’s recruiters require that they focusing on filling positions immediately. They don’t have time to invest in building relationships or nurturing a community of future recruits. Someone other than a recruiter should be managing the talent community. 
  4. Talent communities are just a fad: Over the years, the recruiting industry has seen plenty of new tools aimed at transforming the industry – job boards, applicant tracking systems, resume matching technology.  Social recruiting, recruitment 3.0, and employment branding are all trends which will eventually be replaced, because there is no perfect recipe to making the perfect hire.
About the Author
A former advertising agency executive, Lauren has launched global campaigns for clients in healthcare and consumer electronics including Dell, Johnson & Johnson, and Comcast. More recently, she’s turned social recruiting expert and leads the marketing team. When she’s not playing match-maker with job seekers and hiring managers, you’ll likely find her winetasting somewhere in Sonoma. After all, Sonoma State University was her alma mater with a degree in Business Marketing.

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