Candidate Experience, Career Site Optimization, Recruitment Marketing Concepts, Recruitment Marketing Platform, recruitment metrics, Talent Network

Part 3: Building a Talent Network

Talent NetworkThis is the third post in a series on Talent Networks.  You can view the other posts here:

Part 1: What is a Talent Network?

Part 2: Developing a Talent Network Strategy

In our first post, we set the stage for what a Talent Network is and the value it can provide to employers and candidates.  In post #2, we went into developing and setting the foundation for your Talent Network strategy.  In today’s post, we’ll take a more pragmatic look at Talent Networks and go into the first steps in executing your strategy so you can start building your Talent Network database with qualified candidates you attract.

Where do you interact with candidates?

The first thing you need to do when thinking about building a Talent Network, is to understand where you are currently interacting with candidates.  Your Talent Network should be a central location where you begin collecting these candidates through the interactions you are already having in your recruitment strategy.  When I think about building a Talent Network activities you need to have strategies that are aimed at both active and passive candidates:

Capturing the Talent Organically

As candidates are looking at your opportunities you need to make it easy for them to opt-in to engage with you and receive future communications that are targeted to their skills and interests.  By opting in the candidate is giving you permission to reach out to them in the future which can be a huge win for the organization.  In order to opt-in, you need to have in place a way to simply capture candidate information in most cases through a simple form.  These capture forms should not reside in just one location but should be used to where-ever candidates interact with your employer brand.  Here’s a few scenarios to think about:

Career Site: The best and most popular place to have a Talent Network form is the Career Site.  It’s a place that candidates go to in order to learn more about the company and find the right opportunities.  It’s essential that when adding a Talent Network form to your site that you add it into the page template you use so it’s available on every page of your site.  This is to make it easy for candidates to opt-in at any time they would like as they are navigating your site.  It also provides a great option for them to take if you want to work for your company but don’t yet find a job that fits their skillset, experience or interest.

Dual Purpose Job Ads: One of the most overlooked aspects of recruiting is the amount of candidates that drop-off before they submit an application.  This percentage can be anywhere from 20-60% of candidates and represents a significant loss of value from the job distribution campaigns you run.  Many organizations are looking to mitigate these losses by using Talent Network forms as part of the recruiting process.  With this, you drop a simple opt-in form between when a candidate clicks to apply for a job and the application.  This enables you to capture candidate information so you can engage with them if for some reason they don’t apply for a job.  Think of it as a customer service rep taking your phone number in case a call gets dropped.  This is a simple fix and one that can help you reach and connect with more candidates.

Recruiter and Events: Your recruiters are the front-line of your recruiting efforts and can be a great way to build your Talent Network.  Recruiters should be able to create custom forms to capture candidates and then use them on the sites they go to find talent, in their email signatures, on social profiles and via LinkedIn.  Also, if you are like most organizations, you will attend industry events and career fairs to find talent as well.  Instead of just collecting resumes, you may want to think about having a way for candidates to opt-in via their mobile phones or capture candidate information via a mobile enabled form on an iPad.  Combined with an automated trigger email campaign and you can capture more information on the candidate including their resume with much less work.

Proactively Sourcing Candidates

Building a robust Talent Network isn’t just about setting the stage and hoping candidates opt-in.  Truly successful organizations will also proactively source and find talent that fit the skills that you are looking for on a consistent basis.  The key is identifying the skills that you need to recruit to be successful and setting up a process for vetting these sourcing contacts and getting them to apply.

I didn’t go too deeply into methods here as their are much better people than I that talk about sourcing.  Check out Boolean Blackbelt to start.

Tracking Success of your methods

While we will get more into metrics in a later post, I did want to mention the importance of tracking the source of the candidates that are opting in or being sourced into your Talent Network.  By tracking this, you can make better decisions on where to make opt-in available and reward recruiters who are doing a great job at building out these pipelines.

What Now?

Once candidate are in your Talent Network, it’s time to begin figuring out how to group them and most importantly what your engagement and communication strategy will be.  The next post in the series will go over how you should begin thinking about the how to build out your pipelines and engage with them in a targeted fashion.

About Christopher Brablc

I'm the Recruiting & Marketing Geek at SmashFly Technologies and help recruiting organizations improve their recruiting process and results. Follow me on Twitter: or connect with me on LinkedIn:


9 thoughts on “Part 3: Building a Talent Network

  1. Nice work breaking down the importance of Talent Networks, Christopher.

    We mentioned your series in a post we just shared on how some of employers are receiving 20% or more click-throughs on their “Join Our Talent Network” buttons if prominently placed on their Careers Home Page:

    Posted by Rob Kelly | March 12, 2013, 2:44 pm


  1. Pingback: Part 4: Talent Network Campaigning and Engagement « SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - January 15, 2013

  2. Pingback: Part 5: Keeping Your Talent Network Fresh « SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - January 17, 2013

  3. Pingback: Part 6: Where do Talent Communities Fit In? « SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - February 6, 2013

  4. Pingback: Part 6 – Measuring the Success of your Talent Network | SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - February 27, 2013

  5. Pingback: Part 8: How Talent Networks fit into a comprehensive recruitment strategy | SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - March 14, 2013

  6. Pingback: Candidate Experience: Why should we care? | SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - July 10, 2013

  7. Pingback: Your Buzzword Guide for the Recruiting Conference Season: Part 3 | SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog - March 27, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

To Subscribe, enter your email address and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recruitment Marketing Platform
Recruitment Trends

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,507 other followers