The Importance of Creating a Talent Pool


Talent pool is an expression used to describe a database with all of your current and potential future job candidates. Talent pool make not only candidates that have applied for jobs, but also sourced, referred candidates, silver medalists and candidates that have willingly joined your pool in an inbound way–

Traditionally, companies receive a lot of applications from unqualified candidates and this is time-consuming and costly. Every time a new post was opened, advertisements had to be made which costed companies.

In most cases, the hired candidates soon proved not competent enough and had to be taken into training of some sort. This added to the costs of these traditional strategies. More efficient and less costly approaches had to be devised. Talent pool creation proved to be just the right deal.  

Talent pool creation helps the hiring managers to narrow and shorten their search for potential employees. And only quality candidates can fit the criteria, while everybody else is left outside. Not only can talented people be found, but also skilled candidates form part.

Most recruiters are stuck in reaction mode for so long, that their state of constant catch-up becomes the normal mode of operation. Recruiters who take their department from reactive, to proactive are building talent pools to stay ahead of talent needs and forecasted trends in talent acquisition and their industries. Talent pools act as sort of a queue line for recruiters as they are comprised of potential candidates that best suit the employer’s needs. Building a talent pool is an effective way for recruiters to ensure a constant flow of candidates are available if needed. –Maren Hogan on 7 Ways to Build Effective Talent Pools

In fact, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We already have social recruiting going on. Recruiters, it seems, have taken it upon themselves to be talent scouts. The need to know who belongs with us, is what drives many recruiters.

Fatigue caused by having to screen applications from thousands of the unqualified, is remedied by use of talent pools. This is important in, at least two ways: first, recruiters are able to have at their disposal only perfect fits- a people who know about their company and can therefore, readily work; two, candidates can stop idling and get involved so that they’re then positioned to seize opportunities as they appear.

According Maren Hogan the following steps are critical in building an effective talent pool:

  1. Create a process that continuously assesses talent needs: in an ideal world, recruiters have a stack of applications ready and willing to fill each position that opens up. In reality, there is almost always going to be a disconnect between the right candidate and the right opportunity or time, and this is why talent pools are vital to driving and maintaining momentum in business.
  2. Be sure that your current practices are fostering your talent pool efforts for the future: the whole premise of building talent pools for recruiting is that what recruiters are doing now, strongly affects the success of the company in the future.

Human resources expert, Stephen Bruce talked about building talent pools in a recent HR Daily Advisor article:

“The next important step in the recruitment and retention process is to explore what skills, education and experience the company seeks. Don’t rely on old descriptions! In fact, you might even want to develop a brand new job description based on what you perceive are the organization’s needs.”

  • Turn to previous applicants: qualified applicants that reach the last round of interviews should not be completely dismissed by recruiters. Candidates who have already shown interest in the company by applying and have been assessed throughout the interview process are ideal for your talent pool. These candidates are valuable inclusions into the talent pool because they have been previously considered and are aware of what they need to do to become a better fit for the employer in the future.
  • Assess your current candidates:  just as there is the potential for many previous applicants to fit any number of roles within the organization, you also have a huge pool of current applicants that should be considered for both current and future roles. When recruiters make a leap into talent forecasting, they are opening opportunities for current candidates in the future. Both parties can then plan for the transitioning, with little or no gaps in talent planning.
  • Looking internally to build talent pool is also a very powerful option: in almost all instances, sourcing and recruiting gets more challenging, more expensive and takes longer, the higher up the ladder the position is. Internal talent pools save almost every resource that recruiting for these positions can cost an organization.

Leaders in talent management, SuccessFactors, believe in creating highly-skilled internal talent pools:

“A critical element of a successful talent management program is the generation of “talent pools” within a company- a reliable and consistent internal source of talent and valuable piece of the succession planning process. The development of skilled talent pools makes it easier to develop desirable skill sets in broader group of employees, resulting in higher performance across all levels and functions. By cultivating talent pools internally, you are ensuring that you will have experienced and trained employees prepared to assume leadership roles as they become available.F

Social media is also a powerful and costeffective way to foster your talent pools: social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be fantastic mediums to target candidates, engage them and inform them of opportunities.

Who can deny it? Talent pools are gold mines. It is, therefore, without a question that companies who lack behind, should get into the game. Bring a little life to the way we source talent.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.