Talent Community Essentials

There's a lot of buzz in the talent acquisition world around talent communities. In fact, we recently wrote about how all employers actually already have a talent community. Nurturing a talent community can maximize an employer’s hiring potential, but how does an employer maintain those relationships?

First, we need to keep in mind that just because people are in your talent community does not make them active candidates. These members could be fans of your Facebook page, alumni, brand loyalists, or past applicants (from years ago). They can however represent your future hires. The stars have just not aligned quite yet. The ideal job opportunity hasn’t been opened (or pitched). The timing just isn’t right for the candidate to leave a current position or relocate. Or when they were looking 3 years ago, they didn’t yet have the skill set they have now. The key here is to maintain relationships, but to offer more than just job. How do you get prospects to enter into long-term relationships with you?

In this post, we’ll cover some of the methods various employers use to stay in touch with their talent base.

Use Social Media

With the rise of social media, it’s never been easier for companies to build large-scale communities and interact with their followers. Applying via the ATS (or mail! remember that?) is a faceless, impersonal act. Social communities offer employers a chance to put a face(s) to their organization.

GM Careers Facebook page

General Motors is an example of one company that has embraced the idea of engaging with its candidate base in a very open way. Candidates or brand followers can ask questions about different topics, the culture, jobs, and comment on current events, etc.

Create a Career-focused Corporate Blog

Rackspace has developed a fantastic blog for their current employees, alumni, fans, and candidates alike called Racker Talent. With posts such as “Training to Your Strengths” or “Humanizing Technology,” it’s more than just “Here are our jobs.” Racker Talent creates value for a broad range users while highlighting the ideals and culture of the company, and thus attracting potential employees.

Rackspace careers blog

Send a Monthly Careers Newsletter

What better way to keep your community ‘in the know’ than with a semi-regular outreach? Monthly newsletters are just frequent enough to keep you at the top of the “Prospective Employers List” but not so frequent to overdose and prompt significant unsubscribes. Relevant content to an audience of opt-in members can bring a significant amount of new eyeballs to your. As seen here, a few tweaks can make product marketing content a real value-add for your candidate audience.

sample careers newsletter

Run Hiring Contests

Companies like Zynga, Facebook, and Microsoft are known for deploying technical challenges and hiring those with the technical prowess to solve them. Many forward thinking companies will also be interacting with candidates on a new CBS reality competition called “The Job”. The companies haven’t been announced yet, but it’s rumored that Zynga will be among the employers vying for talent.

Host Live Meetings Online or Meetups

Either digitally or through a local Meetup, what better way to kindle some valuable relationships? Apple is an example of a company that uses this method and hosts meet-and-greets to socialize with the best & brightest Apple fans. In true Apple fashion, these are premiere events complete with invitations almost as exclusive as their press passes. Here’s a pass to an invite-only event Apple held to staff its iPhone team:

Apple careers meetup

What other methods do employers use to engage with their talent community? What made them work?

Related: Sourcing, Talent communities, Candidate engagement, Social recruiting

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