8 Ways To Make Your Talent Community Blossom and Thrive

A talent community is a place where you gather people who share an interest in your employment brand. They sign up to be part of your database, allowing you to communicate with them via posts, email and social sharing.

This is one of the most effective ways to engage potential employees and build your employment brand. But knowing just how to optimize your community can be challenging.

Many talent acquisition managers view talent communities as places to track and communicate only with people who have applied to jobs. This is definitely a key purpose of the community, but I believe communities drive deeper engagement when they are seen as a place for anyone who has an interest in your company to stay connected with you.

Most candidates who apply to a job are not hired on their first attempt. That doesn't mean they aren't or won't be a great fit for your company at some point. By nurturing a relationship with them in your community, you stay connected with them and they understand that you value their interest and career.

That said, there are a few things that make talent communities blossom and thrive:

1. Make it easy to join

Your community needs to be accessible and easy to join even if someone is not applying for a job. Have a sign-up location on your website that requires only an email address and make it clear that you welcome people to join.

2. Offer more than job postings

You want to create a warm, welcoming place where people feel they receive value for belonging to your community. This means you do not just post job openings, but you communicate tips, advice, helpful career information, career fair invites, employee stories, interviews with your executives and day-in-the-life feature stories of various people working at your company and in your industry.

3. Integrate with social

Because communities typically do not have a way to provide two-way communication, your social channels become the surrogate. Be sure to include your social icons on your community pages and everywhere else someone might see your brand.

4. Be responsive

A best practice is to respond within 24 hours (faster is better and builds credibility and trust) to all social communications.

5. Be transparent about the hiring process

Clearly spell out what your application and hiring process involves and the average timeframes people can expect. You can save your team a ton of time if your applicant tracking system allows applicants to log in and check on the status of their applications. Candidates want to know where they stand, and for many, time is of essence as they consider multiple job opportunities.

6. Make it personal

Hiring is about people. Candidates do not want to relate to a "brand" or "company." Give them a real person to connect with who can answer questions and represent your employment brand well to them. This person needs to be personable, friendly, helpful and courteous. Many recruiters are now offering their cell phone numbers so candidates can text them — you may or may not want to go to this extent, but today's candidates expect to be valued and treated as a person or they move on.

7. Post consistently

It takes some time to figure out what type of content engages community members and what posting schedule works best for your resources at hand. By creating a system/schedule, you can more easily plan for and manage time and resources. Posting consistently creates a level of visibility and familiarity with your community members and encourages engagement on social media.

8. Track and adapt

Not only can your metrics from your community inform your sourcing and recruiting strategies, but you can also use them to help you adapt communication and application methods that better fit your targeted audiences.

Creating and maintaining an engaged talent community takes effort, organization and commitment of resources, but it is well worth your time in advancing your employment brand and creating a pool of potential talent that you know is interested in your company.

You can see Erin Bazinet's full commentary on The Business Journal: 8 Ways To Make Your Talent Community Blossom and Thrive


Related: Best practices, Candidate engagement, Recruiting best practices

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