The importance of curating, nurturing and managing a talent pool

Time and money. Those are the two elements recruiters are always fighting against in their journey to find and place talented candidates. Anything that can save recruiters time and money is worth its weight in gold. Talent pools can do both, allowing recruiters to directly source suitable candidates quickly and reducing the cost that other search methods incur. Curating, nurturing and managing your own talent pool is enormously valuable – and it doesn’t need to take years to build.

Why talent pools are always important

Building and nurturing an internal talent pool is something every recruiter should do, regardless of market conditions. Having qualified, talented candidates – whether passive or active – that you can call on when suitable jobs arise is a gold mine. The ability to dip into a rich database of candidates that you have vetted, fostered relationships with (this is key – see below), and can easily contact gives you the upper hand in the race to source the right candidate for the right job.

When talent pools are particularly valuable

For the second consecutive month, WaveTrackR data has found that applications have plateaued, increasing by just 1% in July and 0% in August – and yet jobs rose by 18% from July. If candidate applications are slowing but jobs growing, alternative candidate sourcing strategies are essential. Rather than focusing solely on posting jobs to job boards and your website, try a more rounded approach. Reaching out directly to candidates in your talent pool that you know match the job specifications can be a way to quickly find the people you need. The same is true of hard-to-fill and urgent roles, as well as those where discretion is key and so publicly advertising a job isn’t possible.

Mitch Sullivan talks about the importance of creating a talent pool – Talent Matters Podcast

Why relationship building is key to success

Curating a talent pool is one thing but it is essential to keep in touch with those candidates, spending time on building relationships with each one. Don’t treat your pool as a list of CVs to look at when necessary. Check in with your candidates, see what their current job situation is, keep them informed of current job vacancies, offer advice where appropriate. Recruitment is all about relationships – with clients and with candidates. Nurture relationships with the candidates in your pool and not only will it ensure you are kept informed of the status of each, your candidates will trust you and your ability to match them with the right jobs.

How to build talent pools

There are a number of ways to build a talent pool and the best approach is to try and incorporate each method into your overarching candidate attraction strategy.

CV Search

The ability to directly access relevant CVs from different job boards – instantly hugely extending your reach – is a game-changer when it comes to finding candidates quickly. The bonus is that every CV you acquire can be stored in your candidate database, helping to build your talent pool. Searching each job board individually can be a drain on resources so a CV Search feature such as WaveTrackR’s newly upgraded version, which offers the ability to search multiple job board CV databases all from one location and in a single action, is incredibly valuable.   

Candidate registrations

Every time a candidate registers their details on your website, you obtain another CV for your database. Make it easy for candidates to register, upload and submit their CV, and show transparency and accountability when it comes to the protection of that data. The benefits of candidate accounts are huge. You are able to capture candidate data from website registrations and job applications, plus build a searchable CV database to create your own talent pool. If you are worried that having to set up an account will deter candidates from applying for your jobs, make it optional. Offer a quick apply option as well as the ability to set up an account for future ease and so that you can send candidates the right opportunities as they arise. Just ensure you have a clear privacy policy on your website, setting out how you handle their data and what their rights are. 


Offering a referral scheme whereby candidates are rewarded for referring other qualified candidates is a great way to tap into their valuable networks. Most candidates will have worked with or at least be connected to people in industries that you are recruiting in so it makes sense to utilise those connections.   

Social media

Building a talent pool that is diverse means looking in a range of different places and social media is great for that. Maintaining an active presence on a number of social media platforms and engaging with both active and passive candidates is a great way to source from a diverse pool. Posting about job openings, advice, general musings on the industry, and thoughts and opinions, will help to form relationships with candidates, eventually encouraging people working/ job seeking in the industries in which you recruit to register with your agency or simply send their CV to you.

Careers fairs and events

Attend careers fairs and other industry events, and encourage candidates to register and upload their CVs. Proactively going to the places the candidates you’re looking for will be is a great way to network, find a diverse range of candidates that you might not find in other places, and build your talent pool.

Keeping in touch with candidates

It is imperative that you nurture those candidate relationships. Keeping in touch with candidates you’ve previously placed, candidates you’ve worked with before, candidates that you may only have chatted to to on social media or at careers fairs, is vital in order to build a solid talent pool. It also makes the difference between a CV in your database a candidate that is engaged with your agency and trusts you to find the right opportunity for them – whether they’re actively looking or not.

Talent pools are a rich resource that allow you to quickly source the right candidate for the right job. They are particularly useful for niche and in demand roles and industries but are incredibly valuable in any scenario. If you have a role to fill that you know matches a number of candidates in your pool, you’ll instantly have an advantage over others that have to rely solely on advertising the job. The ability to retrieve a suitable CV quickly through candidate CV Search, pick up the phone and talk to them about the role, and set up an interview – all within a few hours of receiving the job spec – is of incredible value to recruiters.

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