Talent Acquisition

How to Run a Successful Talent Community, Part 3

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We’ve made it to our third and final blog on running a successful talent community. In Part 1 we looked at the benefits a talent community delivers, and in Part 2 we examined why talent communities fail and what can be done to correct that.

A common catalyst for success is observing the achievements of others. Seeing the benefits that other organizations experience through their talent communities should motivate you to build and operate your own talent community and drive candidates to it. Here’s your first building block.


The registration form

It’s not flashy, but a successful talent community begins with the registration form, a list of data fields that you ask a user to complete in order to opt in to the talent community and receive communications.

Registrants are parsed into folders in your CRM based on their experience, skills, location and more. Your creative team can use this information to develop content tailored to various groups of candidates, and your talent community manager can use the data to match candidates to requisitions. In this way, your registration form is the beginning to fast-tracking candidates to employment with your organization.

When designing the registration form, incorporate these key elements:

  • Make sure candidates can find the registration form easily. Embed it into your career site, your LinkedIn and Glassdoor corporate pages, job postings and intranet site.  Also, keep it fresh on your digital platforms. Promoting your talent community every three to six months will drive in a new audience.
  • Keep it simple, but gather critical data points that will allow for creating customized and relevant content. Along with contact information and a professional profile, gather data such as area of interest (job family), location, willingness to relocate, level of experience/interest (operations, project management, individual contributor) and personal drivers for professional achievement (challenges, financial, benefits, work-life balance).
  • Make the page user friendly. If a prospect cannot register in 60 seconds or less, they will most likely not opt in, which means you need to simplify the form. Keep it specific, yet simple.


Critical content

Once you have categorized candidates, develop content and frequency of communication around that audience.  We recommend quarterly communications with meaningful content about your organization, not just job opening announcements.

Here are content suggestions that have worked for other organizations:

  • Identify a senior level internal ambassador who graduated from a target school where you have acquired a high volume of talent. Ask this individual to author one of the communications. Alumni respond strongly to one another.
  • Develop a skill-specific e-newsletter that focuses on success stories in your organization within that job family.
  • Bring organizational culture into play. Sell your company using stories (via articles, pictures and videos) of the people who are thriving in it.


Pipeline management

Now that you have a pipeline of candidates, the next critical step is managing that talent.

Typically, recruiters have access to this pool of talent, but it’s the responsibility of a talent community manager to review, recommend and match talent to open needs. Once candidates are matched, the recruitment team can fast-track the best candidates to hire. They are interested, nurtured and hungry. The last thing you need is to lose them in a lengthy or delayed interview process.

Part of managing the talent community is tracking the metrics that indicate how it’s impacting talent acquisition.

Along with growth, engagement and click-through rates, the number of hires from the talent community and their time to fill are the most critical measurements of the talent community success. You won’t fill roles with quantity through a talent community, but you will fill roles with quality. These hires will result in a faster onboarding process, longer tenure and reduced costs in recruitment back-fill.


Engage your current talent

A common mistake organizations make with their talent community is viewing it as an external initiative only. The most powerful tool you have in your company is your human capital: the existing talent who make the engine run.

Rely on them. Feed them the tools to drive growth. For example, prepare several shareable social posts and images and ask your employees to help grow your talent community via the social media channels they belong to, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. They are a powerful force with networks of talent around them. Use your best ambassadors to your recruitment advantage.

For more ideas about operating a successful talent community and creating a memorable candidate experience, visit the IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization web site.

TAO Webpage


“How to Run a Successful Talent Community” is a three-part blog series about the design, development and execution of successful talent communities.

Strategic Sourcing Executive

Keith McIlvaine

Recruitment Sourcing Executive

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