We’re big, big fans of talent communities – we’ve been banging on about them since 2015 and they’re still so great.
Why? Because with a talent community, you have a bunch of great people who are actively engaged with your brand, just waiting for the right opportunity to crop up. Here’s why you need one and how to build it.
Instead of burning every unsuccessful candidate who applies for a job, you keep them. You nurture them, educate them and turn them into a community of people who’ll love working for you. It’ll boost culture fit and your employer brand while minimising recruitment spend, time to hire and churn.
Reduce time-to-hire and cost-per-hire
Advertising the role, waiting for applications to roll in, pulling people away from core tasks to interview, onboarding and contractors to fill the gaps in the meantime: recruitment is spenny and takes ages. An active talent community lets you sidestep that – your candidates will snap up roles so you’ll spend less on ads and fill roles faster. You’ll also find onboarding speeds up, saving time and getting value out of your recruits faster – their time in the talent community will mean they’ll already have a handle on things by the time they start.
Build your employer brand love
Make no mistake – your candidates are your customers. When they have a crappy experience with your employer brand, that bleeds into your consumer brand. Talent communities let you keep the love of unsuccessful candidates – they’ll feel connected to your brand, even if they’re not (yet) employed by you.
Fish in the passive candidate pool
The best people for a role might not be actively looking for a job. But they might be in your talent community. Keeping connected with them is the best way of luring otherwise happy employees over to you.
We built a talent community for Superette, a high-end fashion retailer. Their staff needed to embody the brand for customers, walking the line between professional salesmanship and aspirational-but-friendly fashionista. And finding the people who can do it is… tricky.
Before Weirdly, the Superette guys were filling available roles from scratch. It was slow, painful and didn’t necessarily uncover the best people. Now with Weirdly, they bring people into their community, even if there’s no job available. The good ones they keep and then when an opportunity comes up, they talk to people who are already prequalified and connected to the brand.
Building a talent community takes a wee while, but it’s worth it – start now, and plan to stay focussed on it for a couple of years.
Decide on a platform
There are plenty of options for where to house your community – the simplest is to just keep everyone on a database and email them regularly. If you think your community might be particularly engaged, you could go for a more inclusive platform like Slack, Facebook Workplace or Yammer. Not that we’re biased or anything, but using a platform like Weirdly will give you a bunch of benefits down the track. You’ll have the community all linked up to some great features like automated candidate nurture emails, instant longlists, and seamless interview scheduling. You can also integrate a soft-skills or values assessment to make hiring extra fast and effective.
Bring in your community
The next job is to get people into your community. The fastest and easiest way to do this is to invite every candidate to join. That requires a bit of thought around your systems – how are you going to funnel candidates in there? For example, a lot of our big retail customers who recruit frontline teams, put Weirdly right at the beginning of their process. This means all their candidates flow straight into Weirdly (instead of the ATS) where they’re captured into a talent community - ready to be screened or nurtured.
Hatch a plan to add value
Once you have people captured, you turn them into a community by sending them (genuinely) useful stuff. This will mean regularly updating them with content like company updates, industry trends and news, useful resources, funny things and goodies (promos and giveaways). Again, using Weirdly makes this pretty easy – you can send this content straight out of the system.
When a job crops up, you know where to start your candidate hunt – in the engaged, enthusiastic, prequalified pool you’ve been keeping warm. Recently, we helped one of our biggest clients, a high-volume retailer, re-engage with 60,000 candidates in their talent pool. Within 24 hours, 11,000 of them had logged into to update contact and availability. That made for some very fast recruitment.
Talent communities aren’t rocket science – just keep in touch with the people who you know already want to work for you. You can start small with any basic online tool, and funnel all your candidates there. Then, keep the conversation going – put out some news, share some LOLs, tell them what’s going on in the company. If you’re using Weirdly, that’ll be super easy. It also comes into its own when you suddenly need to fill a role – with soft-skills or values assessment, instant longlists and seamless interview scheduling. It’s everything you need to stop recruiting and simply let the candidates come to you.
Sound like a good time? Check out our talent platform for high volume roles.