Community Matters #TNL Thinking #ATCSource #TruLondon

I’m in the middle of event season at the moment, #TNL in San Antonio being the most recent. I have had a lot of conversation recently around the topic of talent communities. I think people often fail to see the difference between an ATS, (and those people who have applied to you before), people you’ve identified as possible future hires and connected with on a social channel, and a real talent community.
I’m not sure people want to be labeled as talent. Talent communities often have the appearance of being holding pens. I’m not sure how appealing this is, and without any real benefit to belonging to these communities, other than keeping up to date with jobs, who really benefits?How does this differ from signing up for alerts and checking in with the recruiters you are connected with from time to time?
Recruiters are limited by available time. Many of the recruiters I work with in corporate teams would love to engage with candidates they might hire at some stage in the future. They see the benefit of building a pipeline for the future and offering continuous engagement about opportunities but, and this is a big but, they are too busy talking to candidates that they need to hire now, in the present. It is what they are targeted on and how they get measured, not by how many conversations they have in a day or how many people they have in the talent pool, it’s all about finding talent now and filling empty seats. Whatever we think about that, it is a major requirement of  most of the businesses they work for. There is no time to service the needs of the passive members of these communities.
Looking at it from a candidates point of view, there are times when they want to be all over recruiters. They want to be informed of opportunities that come up that fit them, now or in the future. Their level of interest is dictated by how active they are in the job search, but what they want most is for opportunities to be very relevent to their location and what they can do. Anything seen as not relevent is seen as spam.

What potential candidates want above all else is access to recruiters and other people who are doing the jobs they aspire to do. They want to be able to look inside an organisation and its real culture to see if it fits with what they need, They talk to recruiters about job descriptions, duties and most importantly, the application process. This is the bit that’s usually missing when candidates apply via career sites. The content is recruiter centric, usually hard fact based without the content they want around process and culture. It’s also one way broadcast, without access to their potential future colleagues. The decision over whether the culture that has been sold matches reality. The engagement that comes from community impacts on later retention because members of the community have a much better first hand picture of what work and culture will be like. The challenge is that people want to dip in to the community when they need it: i:e: when they are thinking about or actively job seeking, and not the rest of the time. The challenge for recruiters is engaging with people who are unlikely to be employees by virtue of their background or experience.

A few thoughts I have on solutions to these issues:

  1.  Build company communities with recruiting features (like links to jobs) with plenty of other content and features.
  2.  Market the communities internally to attract staff to become members, encouraging them to take an active part by taking a community DJ approach. This means a mix of on-line and off-line social events and initiatives.
  3.  Encourage the members to bring contacts outside of colleagues to join the community, contribute and share content amongst their connections.

These are just a few ideas I have on community issues. I will be discussing them in more detail at #truLondon in September in the community matters track.

What do you see as the future for talent communities?



2 comments on “Community Matters #TNL Thinking #ATCSource #TruLondon

  1. Bill

    I think your last paragraph about what a jobseeker wants from a community environment is spot on and something we focus on heavily within the Tribepad environment – transactional processes aside the aim is to give candidates “self serve” on a platform and show them transparency and openess in the organisation whilst having the ability to connect to key actors within the recruiter cycle.

    We also encourage the “internal job seeking” population to be active on the community as these are the real “brand advocates” and to be able to pull people and push content (including sharing jobs via the referral modules and token systems) is essential to keeping the community active and of use.

    Talent communities aren’t just about the attraction and acquisition of talent – it delves deeper into the employee lifecycle and we are finding that jobseekers on successful application of a role and ultimate hire are more comfortable in this environment whilst being onboarded and starting their journey with a business.

    We focus heavily on data metrics within the platform to ensure that recruitment processes are effective and efficient enabling the hiring population within an organisation to have insight into whats working and whats not in their recruiting activities – for example we know that 10% of all traffic from one of our clients is from Facebook which is linked back into the Talent Community.

    I see Talent communities as sticking glue for all acquisition activities whether its social/traditional/referrral whilst making sure the employee value proposition has the right message to the jobseeking population.

    Keep up the good work Bill – sensible approach


  2. Hi Bill

    I think the key point you make is that job seekers want to dip in when they are looking rather than be in the “community” all of the time.


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: