A talent network, or talent community, is a great place for recruiters to cultivate passive job candidates. A properly executed talent network is an outlet for candidates to express interest in the company and its job opportunities, and serves as a prominent source for future hiring purposes. Of course, a your network is only going to grow if potential candidates are aware that it exists and it's extremely easy to opt in, which is why a company must make it prevalent. Here are three important ways to make it happen:
Use the right language
In recruiting circles, we understand what a talent network is. However, job candidates might not be familiar with the terminology. That’s why it’s important to clarify exactly what you want a candidate to do. While a candidate might not be sure what “join our network” means, phrases like “sign up to hear about future job opportunities” or “register to learn more about our future job openings” are easy to understand. There are plenty of ways to phrase it, and the best option will likely be different for every company. It’s recommended to test different text variations on the sign up button on your career site to determine which one has the best click through rate.
Put the sign up button everywhere
Think about your last trip to the grocery store (or any other retailer, for that matter). When you were at the checkout, did the cashier ask if you were a member of a rewards program? If you weren’t, did they ask you to sign up? These stores do everything possible to let their customers know that they have a rewards program and how to sign up and join. Companies must take a similar approach with their talent network sign up option. There’s no need to be shy about it! Candidates shouldn’t have to go looking for it, they should know it’s always an option and it should be right there for when they are ready to click. The sign up button should be prominent on every landing page of a career site and on specific job listing pages. That way, a candidate knows that even if they aren’t interested in that particular opportunity, there is still a way to express interest future opportunities. Links to a sign up page should also be included in email correspondence, social media posts, and any other online touch point.
Make it easy to "tell all"
Any good marketer will tell you that "opt-in" rates go up when you ask for less information. But the less information you have, the less value you can provide to the member in terms of jobs or content that is relevant. Luckily, it's easy to get capture as much info in your talent network as you do for a full application. Let candidates opt-in with an email address and a simple upload of their resume. Or let them use their LinkedIn profile. There's no reason you can't have a simple opt-in process with high conversion rates AND capture enough information to serve up relevant job opportunities and content. And by the way, this will give your sourcers more than enough information to find their next "purple squirrel."
The bottom line is, if you have a talent network (or are thinking of creating one), you need to actively promote the option, make it obvious to any candidate that it exists and then delight them with how easy it is to join and "tell all." This will increase the number of candidates in the network and the quality of the data which improves recruiter efficiency.