Building a talent pool can save you time and money during recruitment — and is essential for growing organizations. As retention rates reach record lows and talent gaps widen, talent pool development becomes a more valuable resource for HR teams. In this article, we’ll be defining the types of talent pools, the benefits of each, and how your organization can begin the process.
What Is A Talent Pool?
There are two types of talent pools: internal and external. Internal talent pools are groups of employees that are being trained in a variety of skills aligning with their organization’s goals. Eventually, they can be given greater responsibility within the organization
External talent pools are a group of candidates with relevant skill-sets that are either being considered for hire or kept in mind for future openings. Maintained in a database, these reservoirs of talent should be easily accessible to employed recruiters.
Benefits Of Internal Talent Pools
Fill Talent Gaps Thoroughly
Employees who are being trained as a part of an internal talent pool are often being developed to fill a gap. That gap is either a currently existing talent gap or a gap that is speculated to crop up as the industry changes. Having a group of talented individuals with a combination of necessary skills will shore out a talent gap more efficiently than a single trained employee or a group trained independently.
Internal talent pool development allows organizations to place large responsibilities on groups, which is much more effective than placing expectations on individuals. As SHRM’s The Recruiter’s Handbook puts it:
“This allows talent pools to address the biggest challenge with succession planning, which is telling individuals they’re part of the plan. Organizations can communicate to a group, “You’re the future of the company,” instead of telling an individual, “You are our next chief marketing officer.”
Flexible Skill Sets
Having a malleable group that is willing to learn new skills and assume emerging roles can be critical for emerging and evolving industries. While talent pools can be used to fill existing and future gaps, internal talent pool development is an ideal tool for developing transferable and soft skills as well.
Benefits Of External Talent Pools
Broaden Your Company’s Connections
An external talent pool development plan builds upon your existing network of connections, making it more diverse and robust. If a talented applicant doesn’t quite make the cut for a position they’re in the running for, keeping in contact with them can yield a fantastic employee in the future.
Improve Organization’s Image
A well-managed external talent pool can boost your organization’s reputation significantly through word of mouth. Too often rejected applicants are given no feedback post-application or post-interview — sometimes they won’t even receive a formal rejection. Being up-front and communicative with both those you aren’t interested in, but especially those you plan to consider in the future can give them a more than favorable opinion of your company.
Makes Future Hiring Easier
Probably the biggest boon of external talent pool development is the resource it provides recruiters — a database of qualified candidates. It acts almost like a referral pool in that it contains known talent, with skill sets that fit your organization’s interests. A well-maintained external talent pool database can make sourcing a snap.
How To Develop A Talent Pool
Internal talent pool development requires an abundance of planning. First, it’s important to identify what skill set the pool needs to be trained to acquire: What talent gaps are present? Which soft skills might be needed for the organization’s future? Those chosen for a talent pool should be high performers that are eager to learn.
External talent pool development means compiling a database of qualified candidates. This can take place over time, as recruiters compile references and potential employees, but can be sped along by using recruitment tools.
AI recruitment software can help manage the compilation and evaluation of applicants. It can sift them into an organized talent pool database or reject them outright while learning what an ideal/above average candidate looks like. More advanced AI like our own Wendy can even contact those added to the talent pool, managing interviews, answering questions, and providing insight into company policy in a human-like manner.