10 Tips for Building and Engaging a Talent Network

10 Tips for Building and Engaging a Talent Network

Key Takeaways:

  • A talent network, also known as a talent community or pipeline, consists of individuals who have provided contact information and consented to receive communications from a company.
  • Balancing informational content with promotional messaging ensures subscribers benefit from the communication, improving overall engagement and retention.
  • Consistently delivering valuable information fosters trust and transparency within the talent network, strengthening relationships with candidates.
  • A/B testing and analyzing data help refine content and messaging strategies over time, ensuring that communications resonate with the talent network audience.

Over half of business leaders expect their hiring needs to increase over the next year and into the future. However, 48% of hiring professionals say that finding and hiring qualified talent has become more difficult recently, and 44% of companies cite it as their most common challenge.

For many, raising awareness about open positions within their brand and building connections with potential candidates are the hardest recruitment tasks. Building a solid talent network may be just what these hiring professionals need to solve these issues.


What Is a Talent Network?

A talent network (sometimes referred to as a talent community or talent pipeline) is simply a group of people who have given their contact information and consented to receive communications from the company. Because hiring professionals now have their expressed permission to do so, the company can send them information and updates about the organization, including open jobs, events, and educational content such as interview tips.

The typical pipeline can be built via several methods, including opting in via an email capture form on a landing page (or a paper form) and selecting an opt-in option when applying. If the organization has built a solid social media presence, someone may even subscribe to receive exclusive content on a social media platform like YouTube or Instagram.

A talent network can contain different types of candidates, including passive ones who are happy with their current position, active job seekers who are ready to apply and interview, and candidates who previously applied and want to stay updated on possible openings that are better aligned with their skills. This makes a talent network valuable even if the company isn’t currently hiring for any open positions.

talent network recruitment


5 Steps to Building a Talent Network the Right Way

Building a talent network is beneficial for hiring professionals, but it isn’t always easy. To ensure the effectiveness of their talent network strategies, all organizations need to follow five critical steps.


1. Determine the Goal

Before collecting a single email address, understanding the ultimate goal is a good idea. Some companies may want their communications to build awareness for their employer brand. Others may want to convert their talent network into high-quality candidates for job openings. Others may want to provide job seekers with education for any position they’re seeking.

The objective of the communication will determine the type of candidates joining the talent network and the messaging the organization weaves throughout the content.


2. Segment the List

Segmenting the list is key to achieving results in any marketing campaign. Organizations may choose to segment their subscribers according to several criteria (including age, interests, or job title) or split lists by the type of content that will be sent to each (such as company news, career advice, or technical subjects).

As hiring professionals work to segment talent network lists, giving subscribers choices about what content they want to receive is critical. One way to do this is to offer a link to a “Preferences” page that allows them to determine which lists best suit them and their needs. 

Once the list has been segmented, hiring professionals can tailor communications to each specific audience. When subscribers receive only the content they’re interested in, they’ll likely be more responsive to messaging.


3. Take a Soft-Sell Approach

Remember that the people who have joined each list have done so because they want to learn something – not because they want to be sold to at every turn. Make sure subscribers are getting plenty of informational content. When promotional content is needed, weave it into that informational content in a way that clearly shows subscribers where and how to take action. This way, they’ll feel like they are benefitting from the content even when it’s persuasive in nature.

talent communitites


4. Measure Effectiveness

Measuring effectiveness is crucial to any talent network strategy. While finding, hiring, and retaining qualified talent may be a hiring professional’s end goal, it’s crucial to understand how campaigns are performing so they can be optimized.

When measuring, consider how often messages are opened, the click-through rate on calls to action, and how many people are unsubscribing from different types of content. If open and click-through rates are low, hiring professionals may want to re-evaluate subject lines and calls to action. High unsubscribe rates may warrant a look at segmentation or an evaluation of whether the content is helpful and relevant.


5. Build Trust and Relationships

A talent network wants to know that the company is reliable. One way professionals can reinforce this sentiment is by sending them helpful information regularly. Analyzing data (such as open and click-through rates) can help companies find a rhythm and what the list most frequently interacts with. If professionals stick with that cadence, they can build transparency and trust. When they know what to expect, candidates will come to look forward to receiving information from the company. 

Once that trust is established, hiring professionals can build a relationship. So, when sharing the details of a specific position, include plenty of information about the company's benefits and the role. Introduce the candidate to the team they’ll work with. Show them what makes the company a great place to work and how professionals can help them succeed in their careers. Giving them this “insider” look goes a long way toward building relationships and attracting and retaining the best talent.


5 Best Practices for Building a Robust Talent Network

The current labor shortage across U.S. sectors isn’t expected to let up anytime soon. Consequently, an organization’s talent network is a critical resource. 

Having a pool of qualified candidates means job postings and requisitions are more likely to be filled faster. However, creating that pool requires hiring professionals to be proactive, even with no job openings. Creating a talent network today ensures an organization is well-prepared for future hiring needs. 

Here are five best practices to help companies build an effective talent network.

talent pool


1. Take a Holistic Approach

Take a holistic approach to engaging with the talent network by focusing on more than just sending email blasts or alerts about open positions. This type of content doesn’t help the organization build a relationship with subscribers. Instead of just focusing on the top of the funnel, hiring professionals should include messaging about other opportunities within the organization (such as sustainability initiatives) to create a value proposition at every stage of the pipeline.


2. Have an SEM Strategy

Every hiring professional would benefit from learning about search engine marketing (SEM). A strong SEM strategy can help candidates actively search for industry-related keywords and find job postings or company blog content online. It also makes it more likely that passive candidates who receive job alerts from Google and LinkedIn will come across postings from the company they may be interested in.


3. Use Career Sites and ATS

An organization’s existing ATS and career site can often be an untapped source of candidates to help build the talent network. Candidates who have already applied to one job posting are clearly interested in working with the company. 

Keeping them engaged with helpful content and future opportunities is an excellent way to enhance both the candidate experience and the employer brand. Prioritizing candidate retention and referrals from past candidates can make finding qualified talent much easier.


4. Get Funnel Insights

Creating a talent network is an ongoing process that considers how an organization interacts with all stakeholders, including current and prospective employees. It’s crucial for hiring professionals and recruiters to ensure their employer value proposition and brand are in sync with what their talent network is looking for. 

A/B testing content is one way to achieve this. When testing and optimizing content, avoid making too many changes at once. Instead, make small tweaks to learn what a particular audience segment finds valuable over time. It’s also essential to make changes according to analytics data from the audience instead of gut feelings. 

Additionally, analyzing data from A/B testing will help hiring professionals find a messaging cadence that works. This way, subscribers in the talent network will come to expect and anticipate the relevant and reliable content an organization provides.

talent community in recruitment


5. Leverage Social Media

Email signups aren’t the only way to reach many candidates; social media is another powerful way to build a strong list. With 73% of job seekers aged 18–34 having found their last job on social media, it can be a rich source of potential candidates. LinkedIn has over one billion members, for example, many of whom search for jobs daily. 

Fortunately, these social media platforms make it simple to post regular content and gain subscribers. Because these sites already collect plenty of data on users, it’s easy to target the company’s content to a specific audience, which leads to greater engagement. Hiring professionals can also directly interact with candidates through messaging, further personalizing the company’s communication.


Make Candidates the Number One Priority

Throughout the process, recruiters and hiring professionals must remember the “why” behind their work: a positive candidate experience. Every step must be executed with care and with the candidate in mind – failing to do so will result in a transparently insincere experience. 

By considering the above tips, hiring professionals can deliver immense value, demonstrate what makes a company the ideal place to work, and use data-driven decision-making to build a thriving network of interested candidates.

If you're looking for help with engagement and building a talent network, Recruitics can help! The team is skilled in expanding talent pipelines while improving overall lead quality.

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