Best Practices - Creating Talent Pools

Hiring is all about speed - especially when filling a necessary gap in your company. As your team grows, hiring also becomes a continuous action, instead of a "just when we need someone new" activity. You can stay ahead of the curve and be ready to fill a spot at any time by creating talent pools in your Hire account.

Talent pools are lists of candidates who meet the qualifications for various roles in your company. This allows you leverage candidates who you have already sourced, or who have already applied to your openings, to have a huge head start when you're ready to fill a new position. 

The best part? You can get started today. Read on to learn more!

Start with the application form

Application is the perfect place to make sure you're gathering the right information about your candidates. The application form allows you to ask questions such as certification and skill level, and even location.  

When built properly, these answers allow you to filter and sort your candidates - making quick "go or no go" decisions during screening. Post screening, these questions allow you to build lists and search for candidates from your candidate pools - all critical pieces covered below. 

If your application forms need some polishing, we've written our top tips and best practices here

Use labels to identify key talents or locations

Once you have your candidates coming in to your account with stellar application information, it's time to make that information visible and helpful. 

A great way to do this is by using Candidate Labels. Candidate Labels allow you to apply a label to the candidate's profile, identifying key information. These labels are visible from the candidate lists - making it quick to scan these visually, and allow you to filter and search by labels. 

Many companies use labels and all use them a bit differently to suit their needs. Here are a few examples that come to mind:

  • Using labels for identifying skills:
    Many users labels to identify certain skill sets. For example, if you are hiring for a computer programer, and you want to label what tech language the person knows, you could label some candidates as "Java" and other as "Python"
  • Add a label instead of using the favorite flag:
    Others use the labels to "shortlist" or identify certain candidates. The favorite flag in the candidate profile (small flag near their name) is handy for this - but flag is only seen by you as a user. The label can help you identify this candidate to all users who have access to it
  • Identify past jobs or experience:
    Some users use labels to highlight past jobs, college attended, or the location of the candidate
  • Highlight when a candidate is available to start work:
    Perhaps you have an A+ candidate, but they won't be available until later in the year. Or, someone isn't looking for work now, but they're happy if you check back in later in the year. You can use labels to add a date to the candidate - to help you see everyone who is available "Fall 2016" for example.

Note: Want labels to pull into your candidate excel report? Including a colon in the label allows it to pull to this report. For example, Available: Fall 2016 or Language: Java. In these cases, the word before the colon (Available, Language) would be the column header, and the information after the colon (Fall 2016, Java) would be in the candidate's cell.

Status candidates accordingly

When building talent pools it's important to remember to only keep candidates who you're actually interested in pursing in the future. 

Just as you do in your regular hiring process, candidates who are not a fit for your role should be rejected as soon as you realize they're not moving forward. This will keep your candidate lists clean for future hires. 

For the candidates that you are keeping for future roles (but not pursuing actively right now) leave them in an active status (not picking a decisioned state). If taking this route, you can leave them in the role that they applied for - or - consider moving them into a "Candidate Pool" opening specifically. This may be one opening for all your candidate pools - or - a pool for each skill set (such as: Candidate Pool: Sales Roles, Candidate Pool: Customer Support Roles). 

If you do wish to reject the candidates as a part of your process, make sure you use a clear rejection reason to highlight that they should be considered again in the future. Another option is to use the "Archive" status - this closes out the candidate - but doesn't have the "stigma" of the status of "rejection." 

Regardless, it's important to communicate your plan to this candidate - letting them know that they aren't a fit right now - but you'd like to consider them in the future - will help them know that there is still a possibility to hear from you again. 

Create smart candidate lists

Making candidate lists allow you to quickly find candidates based on answers to their application questions, labels, and other criteria. 

Some favorite filters to use when building candidate pools include: 

  • Application Questions - this lets you filter by a candidate's response to questions on the application form. For example, if you want to see only candidates who have responded "yes" to the question Do you have a drivers license? and 5+ years to your question How much experience do you have driving?, you can now filter by one, or multiple application questions! 
  • Candidate Labels: allows you to build filters based on the labels applied to a candidate's profile
  • Evaluation rating: see candidates who have received certain ratings in their review and interview evaluations

Once built, you can save lists for the future - so it's fast to find the candidates you are after.

Learn all about building candidate lists here.

Keep candidates informed

As you open new roles or are considering a group from your talent pool, reach out to them via Bulk Messaging to keep them informed of new openings and company happenings. 

When writing these messages you can use email templates to help standardize message content, and fillable fields to make messages look personal - even when sent in bulk. 

Consider including text telling candidates that they can reply to let you know that they're no longer interested in positions for you company, and make sure that you have a process to remove them (reject them, or move them out of your candidate pool) if they do request to be removed. 

Consider using a "Interested in our company" opening

If you're game to collect applications at any time, you can create an opening for "open application" - soliciting candidates to apply at any time, even if they don't see an opening that matches their current skillset.

When building this opening, make sure that the application form contains enough information to screen the candidates, determine if they may be a future-fit, and to put them into one of your candidate pools (via labeling, moving to a role, etc). 

It's also handy to make sure you turn your Automated Application Reply on for this opening, to help the candidate understand what potential next steps may be.  

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