If you don’t have a Talent Community, you’re falling behind.

This post is for all the Recruiters and Talent Acquisition people out there. I am making the case that every company, no matter how big or small, should have a talent community on their career site. If you’re short on time, here are the bullet points. If you have a few minutes and want to see some sweet, sweet data then check out the case study below.


The Bullet Points Part

  • You’re missing out on candidates
  • Those candidates you’re missing out on are pretty good
  • It’s a better experience for your candidates
  • Your careers website probably isn’t A-mazing, and this will make it just that much better
  • It’s not as expensive as you think

The Missing Out On Candidates Part

Every day there are people visiting your career site. Right now they only have two options; Apply for a job or bounce. Some of these people are high-quality candidates and with the right amount of information, and ease of process, could become your candidates.

People are busy. They have jobs, they have families, friends, and hobbies, not to mention binge watching shows. All of these things are competing for this person’s attention so we need to give candidates a third option. We need to give high-quality, passive candidates who are not in an active job search an option to connect with your company without having to burn that non-renewable resource, TIME.

Generally speaking, about 5% of the people who visit your career site will click the apply button. That means most people who visit a career site are there to learn. It also means if 1,000 people visit your site, you’re going to see 50 candidates. It’s estimated that an additional 3 – 10% of career site visitors will join a talent community if the form is easy to complete and there is some engaging content on your career site. So, now we are looking at an additional 30 – 100 candidates. So, let’s say 1,000 candidates come to your career site each month (it’s probably more) in the course of a year, and conservatively only 3% of visitors join your talent community, that means if you don’t have a talent community you would miss out on an additional 360 candidates per year. That is 360 candidates who visited your career site and thought you might be an interesting company to work for, 360 candidates who are being thoughtful about the future of their careers – these are the people you want to hire.

The Candidates Are Pretty Good Part

As a former Recruiter, I was curious to know who was signing up for a talent community. I can confidently say that you will be surprised at the quality of talent community members. I saw VP’s, Engineers, Directors, and others with good experience at great companies.

There are only a few reasons why someone would join a talent community.

  1. They landed on your company website because they are interested in your industry, saw some information about what it was like to work there and thought “When I get serious about leaving my current job, I definitely want to take a closer look at this company as potential next employer”. These are people who would likely be open to a 5 – 10 minute phone call with a Recruiter to learn more.
  2. They are in research mode. They want to learn what your culture is like and understand the product/service. They are allowing you to build a relationship with them and convince them to apply.
  3. They applied for a job and think joining the talent community will help their chances of getting a job.

The idea is that these people are interested in your company and they are worth a look. The worst case scenario is they join your talent community, they get more experience, they are nurtured over time, and they apply for one of your jobs down the line.

The Your Career Site Probably Isn’t Great Part

I have looked at hundreds of career sites in the last 6 months and I can tell you right now that I’ve only been impressed with a handful of them. While the bar isn’t very high, it means there’s a lot of room for improvement.

The reality is that your career site is probably just ok. You might have a few photos, some words to describe your culture, and a few employee testimonials. That’s fine. You don’t need to re-design your entire career site before you get a talent community working for you. Adding a talent community is one of the lowest hanging fruits you’ll find. Adding a talent community to your career site will instantly make your career site look a little more like it’s 2019 and will give you immediate value until you give your career site a makeover.

The Candidate Experience Part

A lot of people think candidate experience starts when the candidate walks into your office for the first time. The reality is your entire recruitment process starting back to how and where a candidate hears about your company all the way through to the on-boarding is part of the candidate experience. Each touch point is an opportunity that either positively or negatively affects how people think and feel about your company or in other words, how they think about your employer brand. We’ve all heard the story of a person with a positive experience telling two people and the person with a negative experience telling 10 people. So, you need to make sure your candidates are having a great experience.

A talent community instantly makes your candidate experience 10x better because it allows them to show interest in your company without having to write a cover letter, update their resume, and fill out your application. It shows that you care about their time and you’re giving them something they want – content to learn what it is like to work at your company.

The Budget Part

A platform that can allow candidates to join a talent community, manage the content that is sent to candidates and actually automate the distribution of these emails sounds like it might cost a lot of money. The reality is there are a few ways to hack this for even the cheapest budgets. I caution that if you don’t use a dedicated platform, you will have to spend your time managing this and, well…time is money.

If you want to bootstrap a talent community check out this other blog I wrote on boostrapping a talent community. If you want to save a lot of time and frustration, you might consider working with us at NextWave Hire.

The Case Study Part

Indigo Agriculture has been a customer since May 2017. Here are the stats from 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2018:

  • 979 Talent Community sign-ups
  • 5542 Nurture Emails sen
  • Averaged almost 82 sign-ups per month
  • Some candidates who have joined: VP, Digital Growth from a major healthcare brand, Head of Growth from a powerful tech company, Dir., Information Technology, Sr. Application Developer and the list goes on!

When looking at the data I noticed a spike in one of the months. They had announced the opening of a small office. Their marketing efforts were actualized not only on the business side but on the recruitment side as well. In the span of just one week, they had 169 people join their talent community. Had the talent community not been on their career site they would have missed out on 169 really interested, highly qualified candidates that week. You never know if your colleagues in Marketing or Product etc. are going to do something that increases traffic to your company website so it’s good practice to have a talent community ready to capitalize on that activity.

So maybe you’re not acquiring another company next week. The point is there are a lot of people visiting your career site looking to learn about your company. Without changing their talent acquisition strategy Indigo started to build a talent community they can hire from. If you can convince even just 3% of them to join your talent community you will build a talent pool that will fill your positions for years to come.

Final Thoughts

Talent communities are a short term and long term strategy all packaged into one. Candidates who are in your talent community today can be hired immediately, but they are also going to be there three years from now when they have more education and experience.  Every day you don’t have a talent community is another day you’re missing out on great candidates and it’s another day you’re falling behind in recruitment strategies.

Take it from someone who spent 10 years in corporate HR: Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Talent Communities are the lowest hanging fruit in the Talent Acquisition space right now. My advice, if you’re interested in talent communities, don’t wait until your team is way behind with hiring managers breathing down your neck, get a talent community live today and start filling your requisitions before they even open.

Brian Mooney

Brian Mooney

Talent Strategist at NextWave Hire
After 10 years in HR & Recruitment, I joined NextWave Hire to help more companies attract and engage candidates through recruitment marketing and employer branding software.
Brian Mooney