Interest in candidate nurturing and engagement programs has increased over the past few months as talent acquisition teams acknowledge the importance of staying in touch with top talent and maintaining employer brand awareness, even if they have reduced or paused their hiring activity. These teams know that when hiring does resume, they will benefit tremendously from immediate access to qualified, interested and available candidates.
Those who have existing Talent CRM programs in place can attest that success is rooted in authentic and credible candidate communications, which require an in-depth understanding of one’s target audiences—often in the form of candidate personas—and the ability to personalize the experiences of your talent pool members. As a demand generation professional, I’ve witnessed firsthand that one of the best ways to achieve personalization objectives is through effective target prospect list segmentation and management.
List Segmentation = Talent Pools
From a recruiter perspective, this means thinking of list segmentation and management in terms of talent pools. As such, your first step is to identify your list—or talent pool—segmentation goals by articulating what you want to achieve. One obvious goal would be to create more targeted and personalized messaging. But you should consider other goals, too, such as perhaps those related to a better understanding of your Talent CRM outcomes. For example, you’ll benefit from comparing engagement and conversion metrics across distinct talent pools in order to see what works best and improve the results of subsequent campaigns and outreach efforts. You can also establish benchmarks and track how results perform over time given fluctuating hiring needs and labor market conditions.
For those new to the creating talent pools and managing nurturing and engagement activities using candidate relationship management software, keep these three best practices in mind as you design your program.
1. Determine the most relevant criteria for each talent pool. In order to funnel potential hires to the most relevant talent pool, or community, you’ll need to establish specific criteria for each one. The criteria doesn’t need to be exhaustive, but go beyond simply funneling people to a discipline-specific talent pool, such as finance, and evaluate if talent pools based on shared skill sets or perhaps career stage might work better given your goals and the needs and interests of candidates.
2. Use tags to get more granular with segmentation. Tagging is a great way to ensure you can drill down further within a specific talent pool as needed for both nurturing and engagement activities as well as reporting. To illustrate, you can tag silver medalists and other high-potential talent within your pools, allowing you to personalize candidate communications even further by acknowledging that a relationship already exists with those who were strong contenders for opportunities with your company in the past.
3. Keep your lists clean. This last practice can be the most challenging, but it is well worth it. For ongoing Talent CRM success and optimization, you’ll want to conduct regular list audits. The frequency of your audits—monthly, twice a year, yearly, etc.—will depend on the size of your list as the larger the list, the more often you will need to audit it. Ideally, your Talent CRM will be integrated properly with your applicant tracking system as this also supports clean lists because once a talent pool member applies, the ATS lets the Talent CRM know immediately that the candidate is now an applicant.
Another way you can ensure clean talent pool lists includes limiting administrative rights so that those adding or removing talent pool members are clear on the criteria and information required for each list. Also, make use of description fields within the system to define the list criteria as these can serve as helpful reminders to others with administrative access.
Following the best practices above will keep your Talent CRM efforts on track while ensuring that your TA team avoids the most common list segmentation pitfalls. By aligning talent pool segments to your hiring goals and optimizing candidate data collection practices, your team will have trust in the data driving your talent pools, whether it’s candidate-supplied or recruiter-supplied, and be positioned for ongoing nurturing and engagement success.
Learn more about best practices for effective candidate engagement and nurturing programs during times of crisis. Download GR8 People’s E-Book: Your COVID-19 Candidate Relationship Management Strategy.