The internet these days is flooded with a plethora of blogs and opinions written over “talent communities”. According to Google trends, searches on “online talent communities” have grown rapidly and it continues to be one of the hot topics over the last couple of years. Even though talent communities are trending, there are many people who still don’t know what these communities are and how they can be effectively used to channelize the recruitment process. But, let’s see first what a talent community is. When you need help with your recruiting and hiring, use Recruiteze! Recruiteze is the top free online recruiting software on the market. Start your free trial here.
According to Wikipedia, “A talent community is a mechanism that employers use to keep warm pipelines of talent for future recruitment.”
These talent communities have talent pipelines which consist of some good potential employees who are interested in joining a given company but aren’t ready to apply. So, the aim of these communities is to engage and remain connected with these employees on a frequent basis. This means that when the employees are ready to switch jobs, they are already in a relationship with that company.
Perspective from a Job Seeker’s Mind
Job seekers join a company’s talent community if they are interested in a company but are not ready to move to a new job.
Let’s take an example:
John has worked at ABC Corporation for five years and he is happy and fully satisfied. However, John learns about XYZ corporation from a recent PR related to the company’s innovative technology. This certainly excites John and he is interested enough to drop his name and email at the career page of the company’s website in its talent community section. He will now be getting regular updates from the company regarding interview tips, new job openings, information about the company, work culture, etc.
So, when John makes up his mind to switch jobs, he already has XYZ Corporation on his mind. His chances of applying there increase manifold because of the relationship he has built over the time by consuming the company’s content after joining its talent community.
The Aim of Talent Communities
The actual power of the talent community lies in the hands of the community members because they are the ones who dictate topics for discussion. The main aim of these talent communities is to build relationships and trust with potential employees, thereby, framing a positive aura of the company. Another aim is to keep the company as a top priority in the minds of employees. The real difference between other recruitment related concepts and talent communities is that the career opportunities are not at all on the forefront of the communication.
Building a Talent Community
Building a talent community is not as easy as it looks. It does require a lot of dedication, time, and prodigious effort. As a recruiter, you need to keep the participants engaged in order to foster a solid foundation between them and the community. You need to be patient as there is no scope for short-term or immediate hiring. Rather there is a need for a content marketing strategy that is completely focused on building a relationship with the participants as per their interests.
The main HR strategy should be to build an emotional connection with the participants, think of them as humans and not resources. You should try to engage participants just like you would do with your friends. You must also keep in mind that the talent community is a cycle and not merely a transaction.
Creating Great Experiences
The best way to foster great experiences that make the participants feel valued is by using content irrespective of the condition whether they join or not. These applicants are the potential brand ambassadors for your company and, who knows, one day they could get on board with you. You might also want to read our post on building a good candidate experience.
In fact, building a good candidate experience is one of the top four strategies mentioned by Forbes for sourcing top talent. It’s really important to nurture the community, as you do in relationships, so that you have an engaged talent community at your fingertips. The experiences you are creating both before and after hiring process matter.
Do you know the best candidates just won’t settle for any random company? You need to set a benchmark that you’re living a compelling and authentic employer story. So, before starting to improve your candidate experience, make sure that you have a great employer story.
Potential candidates expect to work in a company culture that reflects their own values. So, you need to work on capturing the employees’ love and interests and craft your content as per their desire.
Have a look at some tips which will help you to humanize the candidate experience through relevant content.
- Careers Page
The best place to start with content sharing is your career page. Your career page is actually the face of your company. It is the finest opportunity to showcase your company in front of the prospective hires. This is the page where they actually get to know about job openings, work culture, your areas of work etc.
The content is the masterstroke here as with a perfectly tailored content you can actually give them an insight into the company’s culture and values. You can also add video testimonials by your employees or a corporate video that will actually bring these values to life. This is the best way to advocate that your employer story is genuine and authentic.
Giving a sneak peek into your office space is yet another good way to engage the community. This will help the applicants visualize themselves in that working space. Include some good pictures of your workspace showcasing some innovative aspects of your work culture.
For example, you can add a picture of a gym if you have one in your vicinity, a yoga room, a game room, or any competition you have conducted internally. Highlight what’s special about your office space through visually compelling images that let future employees know what’s important to you.
- Applications and Interviews
Starting from the applications and on to the interviews and beyond, you have the responsibility to provide a great and engaging candidate experience. Just imagine yourself as a job seeker. If you don’t get a response when you submit your resume on a company’s career page, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind?
“Is my resume dumped?”
“Did someone actually read it?”
“Should I follow up?”
Now, if you don’t hear from that company even after a week, you are doomed to think that this is not the right company.
As an employer/HR manager, it’s your responsibility to provide the candidates with great candidate experiences. Make sure that each and every individual who applies to your open roles receives a thank you note from your side. You can use the help of an Applicant Tracking System which is able to send auto-reply messages. You can easily customize them to make them look personal and compatible with your brand.
Let the candidates know that their application did not fall into a black hole and has been received by someone. Even if you are rejecting the application from your side, make sure to craft the content in such a way that they don’t feel discouraged. In either case, do let them know whether you will be inviting them to meet or not.
You may also share some video testimonials which you have prepared beforehand (on your career page). This will help them to prepare for interviews as well as feel connected with your team.
The thing which you should keep in mind is that providing a great candidate experience does not end with the interviews. Rather, you should be even more thoughtful in your communication while rejecting people. This is the time for you to draft content in a creative way to not only give tangible feedback to candidates for their future interviews, but also encourage them to stay in touch with your company.
Beyond the Hiring Process
Now that you have created an authentic employer brand and have provided a good candidate experience, what’s next? When you develop and nurture your talent community it further adds a new pillar of strength to your employer brand.
Share all the company insights, the fun times, company awards & recognitions, employee programs, PR, blogs, tips, etc with your talent community to give participants a sneak peek into your culture and values.
Now that you have created the content, it’s time to start sharing. You can start a community page or forum on your social platforms, webinars, blogs etc. It also means that, as an employer, you can spend less time managing inbound applications and more time activating a highly-skilled and passive talent pool that understand your values and is eager to join you.
Your content marketing strategy should be 80% educational with the remaining 20% focusing on company news. This means that your prime focus should not be on job openings or making announcements but on sharing compelling content such as the latest technologies, trends, etc. Your community should also encourage participants to share their views. Adding educational content helps in building positive relationships and trust, thereby, allowing the community to thrive even more.
What content strategies are you following to engage your talent community?
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