Posted January 19, 2012 by

What is the Difference Between a Talent Community and a Talent Pool?

Maren HoganMaren Hogan recently posted an interesting blog article on the importance of community and, by extension, talent communities. I think we are at the dawn of true talent communities. I hear from a lot of employers that they want or even have talent communities but virtually none do, at least not when you define talent communities to actually require community between the talent.

If the “community” is a communication tool that allows recruiters to communicate with potential candidates who may have expressed an interest in working for the organization then that, by my thinking, is not a talent community. That’s a resume bank and just a fancy name for what employers have been doing for a long, long time.

I think that a true talent community allows job seekers who have an affinity with each other to communicate with each other and the organization’s recruiters without having to wait for the recruiter to initiate the conversation. Until a few days ago, I couldn’t think of a single example of a large organization with such a talent community but then one pointed out to me that their Facebook Fan Page operates that way. They allow virtually any type of content to be posted by anyone. They’ll moderate out hate speech, swear words, etc. but will allow members to criticize the organization and its opportunities. Facebook Fan Pages don’t allow one member to engage in a conversation with another member, but Facebook does so that’s close enough for me.

I wish vendors who are marketing “talent communities” to their employer clients would start accurately describing the solutions as “talent pools” or “talent pipelines” as they’re not talent communities. True talent communities are coming. You can see the interest amongst the employers. They just need to get over their fear of giving up some of that control but most have, as seen by the willingness of many to truly engage with their candidates through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.

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