Employers Can Use Talent Communities To Recruit for Hard-to-Fill Jobs, Speaker Says

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By Caryn Freeman  

April 7 --Engaging the right talent, holding their attention and developing an ongoing dialogue via talent communities can help employers attract highly skilled employees well ahead of a hiring need, Tracy Ferry of consulting firm Deloitte said April 3 at the Spring 2014 Recruiting Trends Conference in Alexandria, Va.

Ferry explained that a talent community is a style of social recruiting where recruiters capture networks of job-seekers with similarly matched skills and interests by engaging them via online interaction with like-minded community members.

These virtual communities, typically hosted through an employer's career site, offer recruiters an opportunity to leverage the community into an additional talent pool to build relationships with, she said.

Talent communities can establish a competitive advantage for an employer by turning the company website into an “active, engaging talent community that promotes the employer brand and improves the candidate experience,” Ferry said.

“We've got to be more consultative and less transactional when it comes to the relationships we build with candidates and embrace new technologies that are coming our way,” Ferry said. “Talent communities allow for a more tailored candidate experience.”

Attracting Niche Skill Sets

There is no reason to create a talent community for an easy-to-find skill set, Ferry said. “Talent communities to me are about niche skill sets that are challenging to find and that would generally take a complex search.”

Ferry advised employers to look at where their cost-per-hire is the highest and to focus the talent community in that direction. “Look at hardest to fill positions, where the organization is paying agencies' fees,” she said. Talent communities can be used to fill such jobs, Ferry said.

Corralling the Community

She recommended employers use prompts on their career page to ask questions to ensure people end up in the correct communities.

Ferry said employers should ask such questions as: “What technology have you worked with most recently? What training are you most interested in? What's most important to you--compensation, professional development or having fun at work?”

She said, “For those of you that have a little bit of money to play with in your budget, you can pull in key word search algorithms, fairly inexpensively, and build that into your career site, so when the candidate enters your site they have a tailored experience just for them.”

Ferry said that companies that have this capability might have a tailored message that says, for example: “Welcome to the talent community. I noticed that you're a Java developer; these are the six positions available at our company that match your skills. Are you interested in these opportunities?”


To contact the reporter on this story: Caryn Freeman in Washington at cfreeman@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at snadel@bna.com