Part 3: Fostering talent communities at the enterprise level: Why some companies fail while others succeed

Talent communities play an essential role in a business’s long-term hiring process. Without a significant investment in building talent pipelines, enterprise companies are at risk of losing out on high revenue projects due to a lack of skilled employees. 

Still, building a high-functioning community is no easy feat. The entire company needs to be all in, from top execs to entry-level employees. In part 3 of our 3 part series, we examine the enterprise element in building top-tier talent communities. 

Why talent communities are worth the effort

Talent communities aren’t built overnight. They require foresight, planning, company-wide cooperation and years of trial and error to get right. But done correctly, they’re key to a solid hiring process. 

Talent communities are an important part of Direct Sourcing, a talent acquisition strategy that includes relying on internal resources to hire candidates without the use of third-party agencies. Talent communities allow for companies to build a candidate pipeline, which supports Direct Sourcing strategies. 

Take Procter & Gamble (P&G). The global giant invested heavily in creating a talent factory with a sizable candidate pipeline. When the company had the opportunity for a strategic partnership with an entrepreneur in Saudi Arabia, they had little time to find talent. Not only did the role call for a senior manager with emerging markets experience, but the candidate needed to have international experience and had to be willing to relocate. For most companies, finding appropriate candidates would be a herculean task. For P&G, it took several minutes. 

The company simply searched the internal talent profile database it had spent years cultivating and quickly found five strong candidates. P&G was able to on-board a new manager in only three months. 

This is the power of a well-implemented talent factory. 

We live in an era of constant online engagement, where communities naturally develop. Online talent communities have natural advantages:

  • If members are happy with the community, they’ll help bring in new recruits on their own.
  • Communities breed loyalty. Members aren’t likely to leave if their needs are being met, which means long-term retention.
  • Strong communities lead to internal support. Members will help other members, which takes some of the workload away from your company

Starting from the top – how to build a successful community

Enterprise companies who effectively created a talent community have one thing in common – top executives were fully committed. Without complete top-level buy-in, community building efforts often stall, leading to ineffective, fragmented hiring practices. This is especially true of global companies with different departments worldwide. Eventually managers who aren’t fully convinced by the company-wide hiring policies will go rogue, fragmenting the talent pipeline. 

HSBC is an excellent example of company-wide commitment. The international company branded itself as “the world’s local bank,” promising customers local resources regardless of location. This meant hiring regional employees worldwide. 

HSBC became determined to develop local talent. Executives implemented company-wide policies that support professional development, with built-in flexibility to adapt to regional needs. For example, the enterprise company set up a talent pool system that keeps track of high-potential employees. Once an employee is selected, they’re given opportunities to prove their leadership skills, learn, and grow in their field. 

P&G’s talent community also supports professional development through its internship program. Interns are chosen with the expectation that they’ll develop into successful full-time hires, which significantly boosts retention. 

Tips for a booming talent communities:

Candidate engagement is essential in any effective talent factory, especially when attracting passive talent, which makes up about 70% of the global workforce. Some tips for building candidate engagement include:

  • Ensure a positive candidate experience with seamless onboarding. The application process should be quick and easy, and candidates should feel supported. Open communication is essential, even for applicants who aren’t chosen. 
  • Use online resources to your advantage. Social media and recruitment sites like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter are important for connecting with candidates.
  • Drip campaigns work. Job seekers are similar to consumers. Drip campaigns ensure your brand is top of mind, building brand loyalty and company interest. 
  • Talent Acquisition platforms are key. Whether you’re a global enterprise or a mid-market business, these platforms are great for organizing candidates, building up talent communities, strengthening pipelines and promoting engagement and communication. 

Nurturing talent, one step at a time

Building a talent community can seem daunting, but with the right support, and a commitment from top execs, it’s worth the investment. TalentNet’s talent acquisition software helps companies foster communities while keeping talent engaged and ensuring positive candidate experiences. 

The company’s latest platform, TalentMobility, allows companies to build talent communities made up of internal employees, reducing the amount spent on external hiring. Once an employee registers on the platform, they’ll be matched to open roles based on their qualifications. 

To learn more about our solution, book a demo.