Talent Pools

A talent pool is a risk-free method of preparing for workforce contingencies. With a minor investment, HR teams can build records of existing and potential employees who have the ability to take on important roles in the organization. There are even different types of talent pools to suit a variety of goals.

What Is a Talent Pool?

A talent pool is a list of people who have been evaluated as potentially having the capacity to fulfill specific roles within an organization. The purpose of a talent pool is to have a ready replacement for employees who leave, or, new hires for organizational expansion. 

However, those on the list face more of an “if, not when” situation. Aside from having their details and qualifications saved in the database, no other resources are expended on them until they are needed. 

Pools vs. Succession 

Talent pools are similar to the concept of succession planning. Both involve assessing people according to skills and characteristics that are wanted by a company. However, those involved in succession planning are in line to become part of the workforce at some point because they are meant to replace specific employees.

People in a talent pool, by contrast, might never join an organization. They are simply a reserve that is resorted to if unforeseen gaps in staff arise. If succession planning is done accurately, then the talent pool is never used. 

Pools vs. Pipeline

Another HR concept that is similar to talent pools is the talent pipeline. The talent pipeline is composed of individuals who have been selected for specific positions in a company. The major difference is that a talent pipeline includes those who have made it through some part of the hiring process. 

Types of Talent Pools

There are various sorts of talent pools. HR departments might maintain one or all of them, depending on how stable the workforce is, and if there are plans for expansion. 

  • Internal: An internal pool is formed of existing employees who have been recognized as having the ability to move into new positions. This is usually managed by the organization’s HR department. 
  • External: An external pool is the “classic” form of a talent pool, and is made up of people who have applied to an organization but were not not immediately hired, and who still have valuable qualities. Many recruiting agencies maintain such databases for a number of clients. 
  • Network: This type of pool is made up of former employees, freelancers, temporary workers, contact networks, and even LinkedIn connections. These can all be sources of resume collections to analyze for potential contingent hires. 

Why Is Talent Pooling Important?

There are several benefits when a company develops a talent pool:

1. Minimize hiring time

The main benefit of talent pools is the ability to contact a set of potential hires immediately. Instead of an employee quitting and HR then going through the lengthy process of advertising for the open position and resume evaluation, they can fall back on pre-sifted records.  

2. Identify talent

Many organizations are constantly looking to fill new positions. With a talent pool in mind, they might be able to easily find a candidate who was previously not as relevant. 

3. Reduce costs

Some of the people in a talent pool will have been introduced to a company by a recruiting firm. This means that, under certain contract terms, the recruiters have already been paid, and maintaining a talent pool avoids additional expense. Moreover, if you hire from a list of freelancers or temporary workers, then they are likely familiar with your operations and don’t need to go through a full onboarding process. 

How Does Talent Pooling Work?

Creating a talent pool consists of basically two activities:

1. Understanding current skills and future needs

Building a talent pool is a bit like going shopping. There are certain skills and personality types that are important to an organization, and HR must go out and get them. In addition, for growing companies that are strategically prepared, there is a “wish list” of skills that they will need in the future. Altogether, they form a profile of the types of people who should go in the talent pool. 

2. Analyzing candidates

Once HR knows what kind of people it needs, it needs to identify them–and this depends on the nature of the contact. For instance, if the person has applied in the past to the company, their resume should be on file. 

Fortunately, the framework for both of these steps is contained in a skills gap analysis. HR departments that are interested in starting a talent pool simply need to follow essentially the same guidelines. However, when it comes to vetting external candidates according to their skills, there won’t be as much information as there is when interviewing existing employees. Before actually hiring an external person for the talent pool, more of the recruiting process must be completed.    

Got Talent? Get GrowthSpace

One of the benefits of talent pooling is that it highlights employees with skills and motivation. But now that you’ve gone that far, why not get your best people ready for new roles today? 

GrowthSpace allows organizations of any size to customize talent development programs. The platform provides access to a global collection of certified coaches as well as mentors and trainers. And, for the HR team, GrowthSpace enables all administrative functions through a single intuitive interface.

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