More than one third of organizations are not prepared to handle looming skills gaps. McKinsey Research suggests that companies consider three watchwords to address this challenge, asking themselves whether they should build, acquire, or rent talent.
While build involves reskilling and upskilling internally, acquiring and renting talent often involves working alongside agencies to find the right people. As this happens, agencies need to turn to a diverse range of skilled talent to meet the demand, and that’s where the idea of a talent pool comes in.
Interested in developing a talent pool to take your agency growth to the next level? We’re here for it! Join us as we discuss how a talent pool works, why it’s so important for stability and growth, and the kinds of talent pool you can nurture in your business.
This article is part of our guide on talent management.
What is a Talent Pool?
A talent pool is a broad database of potential external or independent workers. Keeping an organized system for all potential agency hires, including their skills, availability, and preferences cuts down on time to hire, and saves you valuable resources when you’re looking to fill a specific gap. As all the members of your talent pool will have consented to having their details on file, you’re creating a source of engaged and relevant contacts who are open for work.
Much like recruiters lean on their talent network to reach out to when a potential job opens up, agencies can use a talent pool to form and nurture relationships with a wide range of contacts.
The Importance of Maintaining a Talent Pool
By collecting information on qualified candidates who could meet both immediate and long-term needs, agencies are in a better place to offer quick and proactive support to their customers, exactly when they need it.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it can take as long as 36 days to fill an open position, and that’s lost time where agency workers could be simply getting on with the job. The best candidates will often be snapped up much faster, so having skilled, pre-vetted talent at your disposal is a powerful value-add.
Another great reason to maintain a talent pool is it increases your likelihood of drawing from a diverse range of talented individuals. While traditional hiring processes often work against diversity, creating your own talent pool gives you the opportunity to disrupt the process and encourage a wider range of people to be considered for a role.
What Kinds of Talent Pool Can Agencies Draw From?
Your talent pool needs to be live, which means it’s up-to-date and accurate, and also as broad as possible to encompass as many relationships as may be necessary. After all, if you have one graphic designer in your talent pool, and then they are involved in another project or with another client when you need them – you’re going to come unstuck.
There are three main places to source workers for your talent pool:
1. Compiling an Internal Talent Pool
Who have you worked with already, who you want to make sure you can work with again?
We all have situations where we work with a freelancer or a consultant and it’s just a great fit. Unfortunately, if you don’t keep their information available in an accessible way, they can fall through the cracks when their specific contact leaves the business, or if they finish a project and move on. Make sure to keep track of all relationships, noting down areas of expertise, professional accreditations or certifications, working preferences such as hours or location, contact details, and payment terms so that everything is to hand when you need it.
Speak to other departments who may be working with people that you aren’t aware of, and explain to these workers that you want to make them a go-to person when the right skills gaps present themselves. They may have added areas of expertise that you don’t know about, so it’s great to get a full background.
2. Nurturing an External Talent Pool
Who can you add to the talent database who isn’t already part of your network?
This group can include previous employees who may have left a full-time position but are still interested in consulting or freelancing, or unsuccessful candidates who weren’t offered a specific role but still have a lot of value to give. This approach is also a great way to soften a disappointment, allowing candidates to feel that their talent was recognized even if they were unsuccessful, and keeping the relationship on good terms with ex-employees.
It’s important to maintain engagement levels with an external talent pool, as they don’t work for you regularly, and you want to keep the relationship strong. Consider reaching out periodically to check whether they still have availability, engage on LinkedIn or other professional networks, or simply keep them up to date on your open projects and vacancies. Especially when you’re working with freelancers, networking is the name of the game, and they are likely to appreciate the opportunity for connection.
3. Engage with Online Talent Pools
What awesome talent is out there, lost in the noise of a million potential candidates?
Today, some of the largest and most effective talent pools are housed online. Freelancer marketplaces like Fiverr are packed to the rafters with expert talent, available for work at a super-fast turnaround. The best platforms will allow agencies to see reviews and ratings, and get a complete understanding of the capabilities of applicants before they start the onboarding process.
Fiverr Enterprise customers can access their own online talent pool, with matches consolidated from millions of talent profiles worldwide, allowing you to filter by employment type, location, skills, or your own specific corporate policies. Add new talent to one simple database in a single click, and keep an up-to-date holistic view of your whole talent pool, internal, external, and online. Easily bookmark talent profiles to find them when you need them, and as all profiles are pre-screened, you can rest assured you’re hiring with confidence.
Learn more about how Fiverr Enterprise can support your business’ growth, and chat to one of our experts with a no obligation 30-minute demo.