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12 Tips for Developing Relationships With IT Talent Pools

Why begin anew each time you must fill a position (or several)? Elevate your hiring game by streamlining recruitment through vibrant IT talent pools—a dynamic community with potential from past applicants, referrals, and passive seekers.

A talent pool, also known as a talent community or talent pipeline, is a collection of candidates who express interest in working for your organization. It encompasses past applicants, referred candidates, and passive job seekers.

Rather than solely focusing on candidates’ education or work experience, consider adopting a skill-based hiring approach. This approach will enhance your talent pooling endeavors and allow you to attract candidates with the essential skills your organization values and requires most.

Let’s dive into these established strategies for building and nurturing warm, engaged, highly successful talent pools to revolutionize your organization’s IT recruitment process. But before that, let’s look at the state of recruitment for IT professionals. 

Challenges in IT Recruitment

In a cutthroat hiring market, especially in the IT sector, finding talent is like searching for hidden treasures. Companies need to dive into the talent pool game to snatch up the best.

Data shows that 76% of hiring managers consider attracting the right talent the most challenging aspect of their roles

Roughly three-quarters of job seekers will only consider a company with a good reputation. This data worsens as only 30% of the global workforce actively seeks new job opportunities. Most are content with their current positions and are not actively seeking change.

Moreover, recruitment comes with significant costs. It takes approximately 13 hours for a talent acquisition manager to source candidates for a single role. The most qualified candidates typically remain available in the job market for ten days before being swiftly hired.

Companies must implement an effective recruitment strategy and hiring process to establish a solid and diverse talent pool. This entails cultivating relationships with potential candidates and utilizing recruitment technology. 

Companies should invest in recruiting platforms, AI-driven talent-matching systems, automated communication tools, and talent-mapping software.

How To Build and Nurture IT Professional Talent Pools

Talent pools require ongoing nurturing and maintenance. Companies must establish talent pipelines by consistently engaging with potential candidates and monitoring their performance in the industry.

In addition, companies need to evaluate their talent pool to identify areas for improvement consistently. Ensuring talent stays updated on the latest trends and technologies is crucial.

Here are some tips to help you get started. 

1. Utilize talent pool software

Utilize recruitment software to establish talent pools comprising top performers. When implementing a well-designed talent management strategy, leveraging technology is often the most effective starting point, and talent pooling is no exception. 

To ensure efficiency in your recruitment process, it’s vital to maintain a centralized database housing all candidate information. This central platform facilitates data consolidation, communication streamlining, and outcome monitoring.

Begin by assessing previous roles: can you identify top-performing candidates to include in your talent community? While they may not have been selected for prior roles, your recruitment team has evaluated and acknowledged their skills and potential. 

Conversely, these candidates have demonstrated interest in your organization and, ideally, were impressed by a positive recruitment experience.

2. Keep shared data safe and private 

Ensuring the security of applicant data is extremely important for several reasons. Firstly, it must comply with strict laws like the GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in the US. Not protecting applicant data can lead to serious legal trouble, including hefty fines.

Secondly, safeguarding privacy is crucial because applicants share sensitive information, such as contact details and work history, during the hiring process. Protecting this data is essential for respecting their privacy and building trust. 

Using a VPN can help protect the privacy of applicant-shared data by encrypting the communication between the user’s device and the VPN server. This encryption makes it more difficult for unauthorized parties to intercept and access the transmitted data. 

Suppose you’re using an Apple device to manage your IT applicant pool. In that case, an Apple VPN can help you with data security. VPNs can hide the user’s IP address, enhancing anonymity and reducing the risk of tracking by malicious actors. It’s similar to using an Apple TV VPN app to patch security vulnerabilities within your network.  

Safeguarding applicant data starts with selecting a VPN provider that prioritizes privacy. But it doesn’t end there! Enhance your security game by implementing strong authentication methods, access controls, and routine security audits.

3. Curate an interesting career site

Crafting a compelling careers site and expression of interest forms is vital for expanding your talent community and necessitates a multi-faceted recruitment marketing approach, beginning with your careers site.

As a crucial point of contact for potential candidates, your career site serves as an ideal platform to showcase:

  • Your employer brand features engaging content like employee stories, images, and videos.
  • Your organization’s mission, vision, values, and Employee Value proposition highlight meaningful employee benefits.
  • Current job opportunities
  • Calls-to-action, such as encouraging visitors to submit an Expression of Interest form to join your talent network or explore and apply for available positions

Leverage analytics to assess the effectiveness of your content and identify the factors influencing candidate engagement and action.

4. Turn to social media

Harnessing the power of social media is a cost-effective method to actively engage with job seekers, directing them to your career site and enticing them to become part of your talent community.

Utilize your careers page’s content by crafting posts highlighting your organization’s employer brand, company culture, and available positions. 

This dynamic approach guides jobseekers through awareness, consideration, and conversion—whether joining your talent community or applying for a role—and can sustain candidate engagement throughout the hiring journey.

5. Make use of job boards

Strategic investment in job boards is a valuable tactic to broaden your talent pool, depending on your hiring needs and budget. 

As part of your comprehensive talent strategy, you may already be listing opportunities and targeting job boards that align with your industry and the specific types of candidates your organization is seeking.

In addition to advertising roles with compelling descriptions and multimedia content, consider posting Expression of Interest listings. This approach efficiently targets job seekers with critical skills for roles your organization frequently hires for.

6. Be consistent when you communicate

Frequent and effective communication is essential for nurturing relationships, which is true for your talent pool. It’s crucial to stay in touch with your candidates and contractors throughout the hiring process and beyond, offering them relevant information, feedback, and assistance. 

Additionally, you must utilize their preferred communication channels—email, phone, text, or social media. Communicating regularly and efficiently demonstrates to your talent pool that you prioritize their needs, goals, and overall satisfaction.

7. Offer added value and give credit where it’s due

Establishing and sustaining solid relationships with your talent pool is vital to providing them with value and recognition. 

This entails offering learning, growth, and career advancement opportunities while acknowledging their achievements and contributions. You can achieve this by sharing valuable resources, insights, and tips and granting access to training, mentoring, and networking initiatives. 

Additionally, you can show appreciation to your talent pool by sending thank-you notes, testimonials, referrals, or incentives.

8. Encourage feedback

Enhancing your relationships with your talent pool is greatly facilitated by seeking and acting upon feedback. Understanding your candidates’ and contractors’ perspectives on your service, processes, clients, and industry is essential. 

You can gather feedback through surveys, interviews, reviews, or ratings and encourage them to share their ideas, suggestions, and concerns openly. 

Actively seeking feedback from your talent pool and subsequently taking appropriate action not only signifies your commitment to valuing their opinions but also showcases your dedication to respecting their preferences and continually improving their overall experience within the organization.

9. Utilize alumni networks

Tap into alumni networks to attract boomerang candidates. Like current team members, former employees know your organization’s culture and values. 

They may have acquired new skills, gained additional experience, or developed fresh perspectives since departure. Moreover, they might be more inclined to return to a workplace where they’ve had a positive experience and established a professional network.

10. Start a meaningful conversation with the new breed

Engaging the next generation, including students, apprentices, and graduates, is crucial to many organizations’ rock-solid talent management strategy. 

There are several avenues to achieve this. For instance, participating in university career fairs, securing speaking opportunities, or hosting stalls with branded merchandise and sign-up options. 

Alternatively, organizations may have the resources to establish a well-structured graduate program, which helps secure essential skills and supports graduates in their skill development journey.

Furthermore, it’s essential to highlight meaningful employee benefits, as many young professionals prioritize them. Showcase these benefits on your career site and promotional materials, emphasizing career development opportunities, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and a healthy work-life balance.

11. Add a human element to your interactions

Personalizing and humanizing your interactions is vital to fostering and sustaining solid relationships with your talent pool. 

Treating your candidates and contractors individually and recognizing their unique qualities rather than viewing them as mere numbers or transactions is essential. Take the time to learn their names, backgrounds, interests, and aspirations.

Moreover, infuse your interactions with your personality, humor, and empathy. Doing so allows you to establish a genuine rapport and connection with your talent pool that transcends the purely professional realm.

12. Look at the numbers

It’s essential to track several key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your talent pooling initiatives. 

  • Conversions: Measure the number of job applications received from members of your talent community.
  • Successful hires: Determine how many applicants from your talent pool ultimately result in successful hires.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Analyze which recruitment marketing content yields the best results. Identify opportunities to optimize and share more content that resonates with your audience, driving a higher ROI.

The advantages of cultivating and nurturing talent pools are evident for savvy and passionate recruiters. These include reduced time to hire, lower cost per hire, and alleviated workload pressures on your team.

Additionally, it enhances employer branding and improves the quality of hires. A working database of skilled professionals readily available ensures you can hire the right individuals more efficiently.

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