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Talent Pools: 4 Ways to Make Finding the Perfect Hire Easier

What if you always had lots of great candidates just a phone call or email away? Would it make hiring and filling positions easier? When you manage and nurture talent pools, you can do this.

Talent pools: Here’s what you need to know

So what’s a talent pool?

It’s a lot like the lead-nurture process used in marketing to generate leads, connect with prospects, and turn prospects into clients or customers.

  • Each step of the way they’re at different stages, or in different pools.
  • Some people move quickly from one pool to the next.
  • Some hang out in the same pool for awhile.
  • And from the lifeguard’s viewpoint, you can see all the different pools at the same time.

If you keep the water temperature just right, talent pools make it a lot easier to reach qualified candidates anytime you have a position to fill.

What if you could just pick up your virtual lifeguard megaphone, tell one of your talent pools you’re hiring, and quickly book a bunch of interviews with great candidates?

If you keep your talent pools at the right temperature (by staying in touch with potential hires), you can do this.

So how do you create talent pools you can draw from the next time you have an opening you need to fill?

There are four primary ways to tap into talent tools to find the perfect hire.

1. Keep in touch with former candidates

Every time you have a position to fill, you get a flood of applications and potential candidates. There’s usually some top-rate finalists, but only one gets the job.

These former candidates may very well be one of the best talent pools you can nurture. Stay in touch. Check in now and then with a phone call or email. And definitely invite them back to interview when you have an opening that matches their skills and experience. 

2. Invite potential candidates to a pool party

Maybe you don’t have an opening right now. But as a hiring manager, you’re always on the lookout for top talent. When a position does open up, you want to be able to bring in great candidates to interview.

Make cold outreach a regular part of your recruiting process, and build relationships with people.

When crossing paths with someone who seems like a good fit for your organization (even if you don’t have a current opening): 

  • Have a conversation
  • Get to know them
  • Ask about their skills and experience
  • Find out what their next career move is

Pay attention, and you’ll run into these types of potential candidates all the time…over coffee, via email, in conversations, on social media, etc.

Put these people into one of your talent pools, and keep the water warm.

3.  Maintain a college-recruiting talent pool

One of your employees gets promoted to supervisor or manager. Someone resigns or retires. Maybe your company opens a whole new division or department. It’s bound to happen.

When it does there’s often a domino effect that impacts the entire organization, leaving you to figure out how to fill those entry level positions…again. Been there, done that?

Here’s another talent pool you should fill up with top candidates…college recruiting.

  • Most colleges and trade programs have some type of job placement program and host job fairs. Individual departments usually do, too.
  • If you want to make hiring easier, attend job fairs, connect with faculty and students, and then stay in touch.

When you do have entry-level openings for college grads, just pick up your megaphone and let them know you’re hiring.

4. Stay connected with past employees

Turnover happens. People retire, change jobs, change careers, or leave the workforce for all kinds of different reasons.

If they left your organization on good terms, this is another talent pool you need to stay connected with. Why?

  • The next time you’ve got an open position you need to fill, one of these people might be ready to come back.
  • Someone who already knows your organization, your business, has friendships with co-workers, and the right skills for the job should be a top candidate. 

But that’s not the only reason to stay connected with past employees. This talent pool can also be an excellent referral source to help you find great candidates.

If you’ve been keeping the water warm, all you have to do is reach out and ask this group: 

“Do you know anyone with XYZ skills? We’re hiring.” 

And they’ll send well-qualified candidates your way.

Talent pools make it easier to find great candidates

Want to make it easier to find great candidates when you have a position to fill? Keep the water warm in your talent pools. When you pick up your megaphone and announce, “We’re hiring,” you’ll have plenty of qualified candidates to interview.

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