Fast Track Recruitment

The Problem With Talent Communities

Posted by Mitch on 11th September 2014


What do these 3 things have in common?

1. The Sony Betamax

2. The DeLorean car

3. Talent Communities

Answer: They all sounded great in theory.

Which of these 3 things is the odd one out?

1. The Sony Betamax

2. The DeLorean car

3. Talent Communities

Answer: Talent Communities. The other 2 actually existed.

I like the theory of Talent Communities, which for the uninformed is described on Wikipedia as:

“A network of candidates, employees, alumni, and social and professional networks allowing productive two-way communication between all permitting and willing connections”

The theory being that a place is created where a company can engage with people who are not employees with a view to maybe one day hiring a small number of them.

If only candidates were that compliant.

Or had the time.

Or really cared so much about your company that they would login to your website several times a year to engage with your content.

As I said, I don’t disagree with the theory of Talent Communities – just with what actually happens in the real world, where the real people live.

I think most recruiters, be they internal or agency, are under too many immediate pressures to ever be good at or have any time to spend farming large groups of candidates.

If there is one type of recruiter that should be good at farming candidates for future hiring, it’s those very niche specialists who will generally have more than one option for any one niche candidate.

And I doubt they’re so arrogant as to herd them all over to a website to communicate with them or add them to a mailing list. I suspect they use the phone fairly regularly.

But the main problems lie with the candidates. Sorry, potential candidates.

I think many of those potential candidates who do actually bother to engage with a potential employer, will stop engaging once they’ve had an unsuccessful interview. That puts a lot of pressure on choosing the right ones to meet.

Then there’s the issue of whether candidates doing the same job for another employer are in fact the best candidates. Again, in reality, this is often not true.

In fact, are potential candidates employed at a competitor going to even bother signing-up to a Talent Community?

And if they did, wouldn’t it be possible that their motives weren’t what of someone looking for another job? That maybe they’d be there for entirely other reasons?

Talent Communities.

They’re not communities and they’re probably not talented.

Here’s some further reading on the subject:

The Talent Community Conundrum by Glen Cathay

The myth of the talent community by Gareth Jones


By Chadd Balbi on Thursday, 18 September 2014

Very good read. They don’t exist because we live in a “what can you do for me now” world. Sure I would love to stay in touch with the best Java Developer I know, but if I don’t have a position for him or he isn’t looking when I need him what kind of relationship can we really foster? You can only make meaningless small talk with someone for so long until it is time to walk away.

So more than a Talent Community I think we should focus on company branding. I’d venture to say most people are willing to pick up the phone when Google or Apple comes calling.

By Bradley Elliot on Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Well Java programming is a core sort of coding, that contains all the essential elements for programming.

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