The basics of Proactive Talent Pooling – with Yvonne Sims | LiveHire

One of the biggest challenges organisations face today is where to start with proactive Talent Pooling.  When you are tied up with business-as-usual recruitment activities and you’re operating in a lean environment – it is very difficult to make the time for being proactive. I understand – I’ve been there myself!

Having spent the majority of my career working in and looking after large recruitment teams, the past few years has seen me on the other side, working closely with recruiting teams who are embracing the Talent Community concept and are transforming the way in which they source, engage and recruit talent. During my time at LiveHire, one of the most common problems I hear from recruiting professionals is the desire to be more proactive and be able to build a pipeline of talent for future roles. Unfortunately, many are constrained due to capacity issues, a lack of capability, no technology and/or lack of leadership support to do anything about it.

What roles should I be Talent Pooling?

A workforce plan is a great place to start. If you don’t have a plan, your best course of action should be to consult with the hiring managers and/or HR in your business to understand what types of roles they are forecasting over the coming 6-12 months. Ask them to consider projected attrition/turnover as well as potential and planned business growth. This may seem like an impossible task but you might be surprised with what you can learn by simply having this conversation.

Take a look back at your hiring outcomes for the past year and compare to what you are currently recruiting for. Ask what were/are the critical roles? Who are the retention risks? What were/are the high volume / high churn roles? What was outsourced to/filled by recruitment agencies? Start with these.

How do I build and manage Talent Pools?

Start by establishing the criteria of what you are looking for in your talent and the roles which you will be Talent Pooling for. It might be your entire workforce or it might just be your business critical, and hard to fill roles. At LiveHire, we consider the following criteria when Talent Pooling for our future growth:

  • Key attributes, skills, and qualifications
  • Geography
  • Alternate job titles for the roles you’re recruiting

I often hear about Talent (Pools) being managed via spreadsheets – this makes me cringe. Spreadsheets are great for recording, organising and managing data, not people. As the Talent Pool(s) starts to grow – the management of this spreadsheet and the associated engagement activities becomes unsustainable. When you overlay that with day-to-day recruitment activities, you’ll soon find there is no time to be proactive anymore and your Talent Pool spreadsheet becomes a talent graveyard.

Sound familiar?

Consider investing in a technology solution that will help to manage your talent effectively and gives you the ability to nurture those relationships in a humanised and responsive way. The user experience will be far superior to your spreadsheet, not to mention the productivity gains you’ll make by eliminating the admin burden as a result. LiveHire’s Talent Pool Management is powered by AI and machine learning so it does some of the heavy lifting for you. It will suggest high-quality people from your Talent Community that you should consider pooling based on the talent profile criteria you have established. It even makes it easy to communicate with your top talent to let them know your hiring.

How do I grow my Talent Pools?

Previous Employees/Alumni’s: Understandably, not all employees that leave your business are ‘good’ leavers, but what about the ones that are? The ones that already know your business? The ones that your hiring managers would bring back in a heartbeat? Reconnect with your good leavers and let them know they’re welcome back any time!

Referrals: Leverage your biggest brand advocates (your existing employees and Alumni’s) to refer quality people into your Talent Pools. Once you’ve established what talent you need to pool consider running a referral campaign to help grow your Talent Pool.

Past Applicants: Revisit your past applicants who progressed to the interview stage – they are a great way to start growing your Talent Pool. Use the opportunity to identify these people and even better, reconnect with them to let them know you haven’t forgotten about them.

Sourcing: Job Adverts and Expressions of Interest will always have a place in your sourcing approach. They are a great way to initially grow and then supplement and refresh your Talent Pools. However, they typically yield high volumes of active candidates of which only a very small percentage are the quality you are looking for. This is a reactive approach to sourcing and means you’re creating unnecessary and time-consuming work reviewing lots of applications and rejecting people, and that’s only if you’ve had time to review them.

Consider being targeted and creative in your approach. What is the demographic you are targeting? Take the time to understand who they are – What online platforms/forums are they on? What are they reading? What events/ expos/ meetups/ forums are they attending? Where do they hang out in their spare time? Ask the people already doing the role or the Hiring Managers in your organisation for this intel and use this to formulate your sourcing strategy.

The key here is to be proactive in identifying and qualifying people before the need (job vacancy) arises.

I’m always keen to hear about what others are doing in their organisations; what’s working and what’s not? What great tools are you using? Please feel free to share, ask a question or just reach out for a chat!

Until next time!


Yvonne is the Commercial Manager for LiveHire in WA. Her role is focussed on business growth and partnering with customers and helping them through their transformational journey to being productive, agile & proactive. To learn more about how LiveHire can transform your recruitment process, visit us here. 🙌#GetLiveHired

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