You recently read an article that said that you need to build a “talent community” to compete in today’s recruiting world. Instantly, you thought: “I need to build a talent community.
But how?” Which was then followed by this thought: “Why do I need a talent community?” And now for the closer, a question too many recruiters have to Google these days: “What is a talent community?”
Well, I am glad you asked… let’s start with the “what.” There are many definitions out there since talent community means different things to different people. For example, there is this Twitter-length definition:
“A talent community is a segmented audience of targeted talent that maps to current and future hiring needs contained in the workforce plan.”
However, as a self-proclaimed talent community aficionado, I don’t think that goes far enough. A true talent community is just that – a community of people that make a conscious choice to interact in that area (website, social media, etc.), contributing to the conversation to grow relationships.
If your organization wants to grow, doesn’t it make sense to have ready access to a community of like-minded individuals who already have a relationship with you and have expressed interest in joining your cause? That’s what a talent community does. It brings these individuals together into a community that can help you to build a pool of qualified, interested candidates quickly before a job posting even goes up.
Now that we know the “what” and “why,” how do we build a Talent Community? Just like a garden, to cultivate a killer talent community, we must seed the soil, feed the plants, and weed the garden.
To cultivate a killer talent community, decide where you will put it. The ideal starting spot is to use your organization’s career page to create a hub for the talent you are looking to attract. Other areas to consider are closed Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups. Once the location is selected, an administrator must be chosen to oversee the community to keep it going and growing.
Keep in mind that a “community” can also live in an email blast list – although best practices advise against free-flowing interaction between all community members, so save the reply all for team lunch orders.
What draws the community together and keeps the conversations going? Offer exclusive, timely, and worthwhile employer branded content that tells your team’s stories and gives insight into unique opportunities at your company to feed the talent community. This content can come in many forms – we have found that the content that is most effective when building our own communities are blog posts, webinars, and videos. Gather content from a variety of people on your team to keep your strategy fresh and engaging. At Kinetix, we get content from our marketing department AND from our recruiters. Get everyone involved!
The key here is that the content must be useful and not just serve as an advertisement for the organization. Great content starts the two-sided conversations that grow killer talent communities.
Unfortunately, not everything works, so as talent pros we have to stay agile in our strategies. Constantly evaluate the content you’re a pushing out and your communication approach to assure that two-way conversations are taking place and driving applies. If not, cut the dead plants and come up with a new seeding plan.
Just like a garden, killer talent communities can be cultivated with the proper seeding, feeding, and weeding. In no time at all, your organization can be enjoying the fruits of your labors and adding strong talent to your team.