What does a Talent Pool Mean?

What does a talent pool mean

A recruiter always has a job pending to be filled and a bunch of resumes to be screened. Most of the recruiters, being reactive recruiters, start their recruitment process only after they get a requirement. Successful recruiters follow a proactive approach and constantly build effective talent pools.

What does talent pool mean?

A Talent Pool is a database of all your past, present and potential future employees. It is a resource center where you can quickly find pre-qualified candidates. You keep feeding this database with every resume that you get in the form job postings, sourcing, social media or referral.

Building a strong talent pool is the quickest way to fill your job openings with the least amount of cost. However, building a high-quality talent pool is a daunting task for many. 76% of recruiting managers find difficult to attract top talent for their jobs.

Importance of Talent Pool

An active talent pool is an asset to any organization. This reduces the time to hire, reduces the cost to hire, and improves the quality of hire.

The job market is changing fast and the demand for talent is more than ever. The need for fresh and active talent pool database is inevitable. Candidate preferences, experiences, qualifications, and locations keep changing. The more you keep your talent pool fresh, the better it serves the purpose.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, Europe and North America will need 16M more than available worker by 2020.  High demand and less supply make it important for recruiters to start proactive recruiting. You might like to check the top jobs by 2020 and start creating a talent pool now.

How to build talent pool

Ways to build Talent Pool

There are two broad ways to build talent pools

  1. Outbound
    Candidates sourced using sourcing tools is a prime source of building a talent pool. Professional networking tools like LinkedIn and Ladders also provide ways to source candidates.
  2. Inbound
    Promote your job on job boards, social media, and your own company website/blog. Interested candidates will apply to those job openings. Keep adding them to your talent pool database.

Candidates sourced using sourcing tools, outbound method, is one of the prime sources of building a talent pool. Some social recruiting tools like LinkedIn, Ladders etc. also provide ways and methods to source candidates that make way into your talent pool database.

However, when you promote your job on various channels including job postings, social media, and your own company website/blog, interested candidates apply on those job openings. This is an inbound method of creating your talent pool database.

As a strategy, keep your even green job published all the times. Incoming resumes of interested candidates will keep filling your talent pool database. Don’t worry if you do not have a real-time job description, use a dummy job description to collect leads.

Referrals are another interesting and important way of building your talent pool. Referrals are considered to be one of the best-recruiting strategies. The quality of the candidate and its attribute of long tenure simplifies the hiring.

Recruiters need to get more proactive on forums and meet-ups. That’s another channel that can generate a lot of referrals for you. If you are hiring for startups proactive recruiting is the only way to hire.

uptodate talent pool

How to keep your talent pool updated?

As much as it is important to build the talent pool, it is important to keep your database afresh.  The candidate profile is dynamic, keeping a tap on each candidate seems impossible. But, if you plan from the beginning, it’s easier than what it appears to be.

Segmentation of Candidates

Segmentation is like making different buckets of different skills. Keep the relevant candidates in respective buckets. Sure, a single candidate may fit into many buckets, so let it be.

Segmentation helps to send relevant information to the candidates. Candidates would prefer to read emails of their interest and stay connected with you. Broadcasting every information to everyone will put them off. They are most likely to stop reading your content, unsubscribe or mark your spam. You do not want either to happen. Give them a personalized experience.

Minimum interruption but the maximum value

When a candidate joins your talent pool, they should know the type of content they like to get from you. Some may only want you to send relevant jobs as and when you have for them. Others may like to read your newsletter. Some may like to read knowledgeable content if you produce so.

Keep the expectation right when they are joining the list, will help build their trust on you. Tell them that you won’t be selling their data to any third party. Explain what kind of emails they can expect from you and what would be the frequency. Give them the right to unsubscribe from your list, if they like to.

Keep communicating

Don’t keep sending emails about the job opening that you have. Your emails should have something for them to read and engage. If you slip in the current job openings, your purpose is done.

Put yourself in their shoes. If you are recently joined a job, or you are happy with your current organization, further job email is no longer of interest. Isn’t it?

Use Social Media

Social media is a great tool to keep your talent pool engaged. It gives them their right to expression. Create communities, and forums and invite people in your talent pool to join those forums.

Engaging people in such forums is easy. Start thread by asking a question of their interest and you will see a lot of engagement happening. These forums are also a great tool to collect references. Ask the group/forum members to invite more people.


Building a strong, fresh, and active talent pool is important for recruiters and organizations. Hiring talent is getting tougher than ever. Hence it is important to keep the right kind of talent engaged with yourself, all the time.

The next big thing every recruiter should know is Resume Writing. Learn it to become better in recruiting.

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In Conversation with Santosh Alex

Santosh Alex

In my first meeting with Santosh, I knew that all this guy knows is “recruitment”. And I was surprised to know that he never dreamed of being a recruiter. Rather he wanted to build his career in sales and marketing. As like most of us, recruiting was “By Chance” for him too.

Santosh is a great example of willpower, dedication, and continuous learning. With these abilities, he started from nowhere and in 15 years he is one of the best-recruiting professionals I have known. Data-driven and a person who believes in following the recruitment process is what makes him a seasoned recruiter with Twitter today.

Today in my series of “In Conversation with..” I had an opportunity to steal some moments from Santosh and bring his recruiting journey in front of you. There is a lot to learn from him which cannot be covered in a few questions, but I have tried to capture as much as it was possible with the limited time I had with him.

Here are exerts of my conversation with Santosh:

Tell us who is Santosh Alex?

Originally from Bangalore in India, I have been in staffing since 2001 in the US. I have always been in CA and guess this is the job market I’m most calibrated in.

How the journey of recruiting started for you?

I’d love to say I always wanted to be a recruiter but, that’s not the case. I came to the US in May 2001 to do marketing on IT solutions. The dot-com bust had already taken its toll but, post 911, the small-to-midsize IT solutions industry went on a downward spiral. Most companies in this segment decided to fold shop on the solutions front and get into staffing which was an obvious and safe bet. My choices were to return to India or get into staffing. That’s how I got started in staffing. Looking back, I’d say, things have a way of falling into place.

What have been your major achievements?

Not sure if I’d call them achievements, definitely not major in any way. The way I look at it, career for me meant the ability to make a decent living, challenge myself and to continue learning. Looking back, I can say with certainty that I was able to meet these 3 needs and that to me, if any, is my personal achievement.

What is the impact of recruiting career in yourself, emotionally and mentally?

To piggyback off my earlier response, recruiting has shown me the way to make a comfortable living, definitely challenging to convince an individual on their next career choice and lastly, the pace of tech ensures that you are learning along the way. What’s important at a personal level is figuring out what matters the most to you. If the definition of that is accurate, it goes a long way in shaping one’s career.

Corporate Recruiter vs. Recruiter in a staffing firm. What are the differences?

I guess it’s probably the same as selling a Maruti and a Mercedes. The core of what you are doing remains the same, the stakes are different.

The most important thing is to listen and the next is to ask the difficult questions. What made me a good recruiter is when I started listening and talking less. Start with listening to what your client wants, listen to what a candidate is seeking and get them married only if there is an honest connection. We always know the right questions but I feel we fail to ask them because we are afraid that we might not like the answer.

I failed almost every time when I forced a connection, whether it’s as a corporate recruiter or in staffing.

Have you done hands-on Recruiting? If yes, what has been your success mantra?

Yes, for about 15 years.

Like I said, listening and asking the difficult questions. It is equally important to pay attention to detail and learn along the way. I have seen recruiters who call candidates without having read the job description or the candidate’s resume. I’d consider that setting myself for failure. I have to be smarter on my 3rd call for the same job description because I learned something from my first 2 calls.

As a recruiter what has been your best tools to hire quick and best?

I think for corporate hiring, LinkedIn has become the best without a doubt. For staffing, I prefer Monster since it covers a diverse skill set. Dice works for specific roles in pockets.

What have been your major challenges while working with recruiters in India?

Few seem to have clarity on why they have become recruiters. If you are doing it so that you can get a paycheck, you should find something else. The ones that want to really be a recruiter, I generally start by asking what/where they want to be in 5 years.

There is no better satisfaction professionally than to be a mentor and I’m happy I was able to be that mentor. It’s not a challenge, it’s an opportunity when you are working with the right set of recruiters, and be it in India or US. Most companies see them as commodities and they tend to either become dead weight to the team or leave.

I generally start with communication and thereafter technology-related training with most of them.

What did you do the deal with those challenges?

Personally, going out and meeting them as individuals helped me the most. I’d spend 1 week working with my recruiters, at a time and I’d do that twice every year. I was fortunate that the company I worked for at the time, Collabera, realized this as an investment and not an expense.

Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Everybody wants to be successful. Once these basics are clear, you can set clear steps on how you’d measure or track progress to success. Most companies seem to copy the metrics without any attention to basics.

A fresh recruiter vs. a seasoned recruiter, who according to you is the best bet?

Assuming both are individuals that want to be recruiters, they have their own advantages. The fresh recruiter does not think he knows. Easier to write on a blank board than to erase and rewrite. I prefer to have a mix of experienced and freshers. The only mistake, not to make is calling someone experienced because they have been doing something wrong for many years, which I have seen many companies do.

An experienced recruiter is someone who has discipline and can provide consistent metrics (2 hires a month). If that’s not the case, the resource is NOT experienced. Having an experienced recruiter helps mentor your junior while giving him bigger challenges. Not everyone will be an opening batsman, not everyone needs to score in boundaries and everyone is important for the team to win.

How important it is for recruiters to go through with training sessions, even if they have been recruiting for years?

Training sessions are important only if they address a specific gap. Every recruiter should be assessed by his lead/mentor and by himself. I have attended many pieces of training but learned something only when I had an open mind going into the training. It’s not that training was bad, it’s that my mindset was wrong. Training not only help learn new things but they also enforce good practices. As I got older, I’ve decided to spend more time reflecting on my blind spots and then seeking training to get over these gaps, which seems to work better for me.

What is your advice for people who want to take up recruiting as their career?

Recruiting is as good a career as any. It needs to be a personal choice based on an individual’s needs. I wanted to make good money, challenge myself and learn along the way. I can tell you that I make money in par with folks that work in fields including software, I have challenges every day and I have never stopped learning.

Santosh Alex at Twitter

About Santosh Alex

Santosh has over 15 yrs of experience ranging from Delivery Management to IT staffing and IT recruiting. He has demonstrated success in the end to end planning, strategizing, sourcing and delivery management on accounts in domains ranging from Utility, IT Product companies to Manufacturing to Media Services and IT Services.

Specialized at building teams to support and drive revenues and gross profit while achieving SLA metrics. Delivery & Strategy Management, Team Management, P&L Management, Assist in Proposal preparation, MSA / Contract Negotiation, Bulk Buy, T&M, Fixed Price Engagements. Experience mapping new accounts and building proactive candidate pipelines for niche skills ranging from BI/DW, Mobility, Big Data, UI/Front-end Development, and Cloud computing technologies.

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5 Best Recruiting Books for Recruiters 2018

Recruiting Books
Recruiting Books

People wonder why reading is important. Many, like me, hate reading a book. The thought of reading a book itself is too boring. And recruiting books for recruiters does not make sense to many. Some believe that recruiting can only be learned by doing it, not by reading it. If you also think so, you may stop reading this article here. For those who want to be a recruiting superstar may continue reading.

If you are not reading, you are limiting yourself. And if you read what you should be reading, you explore the all-new world of possibilities that were hidden from you till then.

There are plenty of other benefits to reading including improved concentration, improved vocabulary, improved communication, improved awareness, improved imagination and much more.

A good recruiter is a combination of all listed above. So what should a recruiter be reading? It is an investment of time and money that you invest in reading I will ensure that you get full ROI of your investment.

Whether this is your first time in recruiting or you been recruiting for quite some time, these recruiting books will open new dimensions in your recruiting career.

Best Recruiting books for HeadHunters

Who: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart and Randy Street

Who - Recruiting Books

Who refers to the person you are trying to hire. It also refers to the people responsible for decision-making. The quest for hiring the best person for your team ends here. I believe it to be one of the best business books that teach in fact-based simple methods to build an “A-Team”. Consider this book to be a professional recruiter’s handbook.

The book says that the average hiring mistake costs up to 15 times an employee’s base salary along with the productivity loss. And this is a serious cost, isn’t it?

This recruitment book helps in building new perspective and framework on recruiting processes. It lays out a 4 step process for hiring the best talent for the businesses.

The hiring process described is little lengthy and might suit best for hiring the C-Level executives. The same might not stay true for junior level hiring. However, the excellent ideas described in the books can be further customized to suit any environment for that matter.

You will enjoy every bit of this book without any obviousness.

Hire with your Head – Lou Adler

Hire with your Head

Lou Adler has seen recruiting industry evolving through the eyes of a recruiter and believes recruiting to be a systematic and straightforward process.

Adler recommends performance-based hiring to build great teams. The performance-based hiring process is free of prejudices and biases. This recruitment book describes a methodical approach that eliminates mediocre candidates and focuses on hiring superior people for the organization. He advocates evidence-based decision making instead of gut-based decision making.

The Adler 10-Factor Candidate Assessment is a valuable tool. This tool helps the decision maker and the interviewing panel to make an objective decision and avoid the costly mistakes of a bad hire.

According to Lou Adler, recruiting should be a step-by-step repeatable process that is more likely to hire great people. Each step, if followed religiously will eventually end up with a superior hire.

Hiring for Attitude – Mark Murphy

Hiring for Attitude

Murphy is a strong believer of attitude to be the main determinant of hiring. The author challenges you to hire people with winning attitude and eliminate people whose attitude may lead to organization failures.

Murphy believes 89 % of wrong hires are not because of lack of skills but because of lack of attitude. The book focuses on evaluating the candidate’s attitudes along with other skills to reduce the number of wrong hires.

Usual recruiting books provide a list of questions to ask during the interview process and interpret the body language etc. This book asks you to apply what you read and that means you will have to work and developing your own questions based on what you read.

In Murphy’s words: “This recruiting book will teach you how to select the high performers that will fit and excel in your unique culture. It’s a big departure from the traditional, and generally failed, approach to hiring.”

The book, however, has a lot of self-promotion. The author here promotes his company services wherever possible.

Social Media Recruitment – Andy Headworth

Social Media Recruitment

Social media has taken the world by storm and recruitment is no exception. More than ever, recruiters today need to know how to harness the power of social media.

Social Media recruiting is not just posting jobs on Twitter and LinkedIn, but it is much beyond that. This book help recruiters define social media hiring strategy and attract talent.

This book for head-hunters is full of information, tips and tricks, and dos and don’ts of social media recruiting.

Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow is a concept ideated by renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The author translates complex psychological concepts in layman terms. This book is for everyone who wants to understand human psychological concepts and practice them in real time.

For recruiters, these ideas can be applied that will help recruiters in finding higher quality candidates. Applying these physiological concepts can help you understand if the candidate will be happy in doing the job you have in hand.

A must-read book which deals with the subject of focusing on a particular work in a particular time to achieve excellence. The book is based on a lot of scientific research.

Now that you have the list of best-recruiting books, go ahead and pick the one that excites you. Spend some time, read new ideas and stay ahead in the competition. Rest assured, the ideas in these recruiting books will prepare you to be a recruiting superstar.

PS: I am constantly evaluating more recruitment books and will keep updating this post on regular basis. If you feel that you have read a book that is worth a mention here, please refer me to the book. I will do my analysis and update this list.

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