Talent Communities – What is Needed to Make Them Work?

By Posted in - Recruiting on August 20th, 2013 0 Comments

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the use of talent communities in recruiting with some individuals lauding them as a revolutionary breakthrough while others saying they are of little use.  I suspect that both sides could be right depending on how a talent community is formed and utilized.  I think they can be highly effective if approached properly.  In this article, I want to share my thoughts on what is needed to make them work.

Career Value

A talent community is comprised of individuals who have shared skills, employment goals and career interests. They voluntarily agree to membership with the expectation they will receive a valuable service.  A key component of whether a talent community thrives is the actual level of service that is received.  It needs to be more than just visibility to job openings.  An employer that is interested in maintaining and growing motivated, quality candidates needs to invest in their careers by providing development tools and resources as well as providing regular updates and insights into the company and its operations.

In order to be a community, there must also be interaction among its members.  They should be able to connect with each other, start discussions and share useful resources and content.  In order to ensure a vibrant community of scale, the community can be rapidly grown by enlisting quality candidates that were not successful in pursuing an initial opportunity but desire to be considered for future opportunities.

Level of Information Stored

Too often recruiters view a talent community as little more than a database of active candidates.  The only information they really have is contact information and a resume.  In order to effectively match individuals to opportunities and accurately evaluate fit, you need a comprehensive talent profile.  This profile should include assessment information, career preferences and interests, key experiences and relevant background data.  Individuals should be able to access and update their profile as they acquire more experience and skills.


A talent community application should have many of the design elements that you see on social media sites today.  However additional core design elements are needed to match talent to opportunities.  To do this, you need to include a comprehensive job requirement profiling process that uses the same elements as the talent profiles.  This allows for a systematic comparison of the talent profile to the job profile to determine the degree of fit.

You need the technology to instantaneously make these comparisons to identify individuals that are a good fit for the opportunity.  Technology can also facilitate the communication of opportunities to the candidates and track their responses.  It can also maintain a historical record of past opportunity pursuits, activities, and outcomes.


It is possible to have a well-functioning talent community if one utilizes social media design elements, accurate matching technology and takes the time to nurture members and enrich content available to members.  They can be a first source pool for shortening time to hire, cost of hire and quality of hire.  They can also provide an enriching experience for members that distinguish the employment brand of the organization.

While the future will determine how successful talent communities ultimately will be, OMNIview is dedicated to providing technology and strategy now to help make effective talent communities a reality.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
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