Using Talent Communities to Strengthen Your Company’s Recruiting Strategy


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Talent pools. Talent pipelines. Talent Communities. What’s in a name?  Call it what you will, talent is what we’re all after. Building a talent community will likely help your company improve cost per hire, increase workforce planning on an enterprise level and increase employee engagement.

While everyone seems to have their own unique definition, it’s safe to say a talent community includes talent joined together by a common interest engaged in communication.

I recently turned to the team at Forrester Research (@forrester) for some insight on a definition of a talent community.  April Eldred, (@AmazingTalent) Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition and Kate Forrestall, Senior Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Programs shared their definition of a talent community; “our Talent Community is a global hub for current candidates and potential future candidates to experience our culture, products and values. At Forrester, we have a culture of transparency, collaboration and a focus on emerging technologies. Our Talent Community is a great representation of these values. Ultimately, at the end of the day, we believe that Talent Communities are really just a form of ‘inbound marketing’ for great candidates.”  

Talent communities are ideal for pooling existing talent and gaining access to referrals and job seekers who would be a great company fit. Bottom line, a talent community is an organized group where employers can interact with current and prospective employees. This group should also include past applicants and past employees.


Creating Your Talent Community

1. Build a Hub

Begin by identifying a key platform, such as your company’s careers page to create a hub for all types of talent including current employees, candidates, past employees and even recruiters. For those companies out there with more sizeable budgets, you may consider recruiting software that allows you to create an internal talent network. Once a hub is established, find matching members to cultivate your talent community. It takes time to build relationships. Use the various platforms available to recruiters to drive interactions in your community. From Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - all interested talent should be able to navigate their way (easily) to your hub and once there, be able to access and contribute to the conversation.


2. Tell People About it

Once you’ve built it, don’t just expect them to come.  (If only recruiting were a Field of Dreams…sigh).  Companies that want to cultivate a real talent pipeline need to manage the talent community.  Invite current, past and potential future employees to join your company’s online network.  This is a platform for them to share posts and engage in discussions. Focus on capturing new and lost applicants. Define your online network.  List out all of the communities or groups that are associated with your company or brand. These are all the organizations, clubs, relationships, alumni, and social networks that have ties to your company.


3. Share Content

Sharing is caring. This is your opportunity as a company to show candidates your real company culture.  Highlight employees or information on career advancement via blog posts, webinars, videos, or other shareable online content. Invite members to contribute opinions on certain topics and compile quotes into a blog post. 

“Remember to think about the community from the candidate's perspective and remember that competitive talent crave comprehensive, candid information on a company before they interview. What does a potential candidate need to get excited about your organization? This isn't just the corporate facts but also includes information on what makes your culture unique,” adds April Eldred, Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition, Forrester Research. 

Importantly, the Forrester teams points out that you should not “assume that potential candidates know the nuances of your organization and products---be sure to include information on a variety of products, as well as company history, culture and links to social and digital channels.”


4. Scale and Brand

Once you’ve created your talent community consider creating smaller talent networks to target specific audiences. Add a group for discussion and updates among company alumni, or a group just for interested job candidates and current employees to chat. This will allow you to narrowly target your communications to specific audiences when needed.

Once you’ve created a talent community, it can be utilized as an employer branding tool.

For example, to support their branding efforts, Forrester Research includes the links to their community in all of their collateral, including every recruiter's signature, emails, offline candidate collateral, and all social and digital channels. 

Finally, I asked Forrester Research to share their thoughts on the future of talent communities:

“Ultimately, we think that more companies will create communities as candidates continue to seek useful, fresh content about companies. As sites featuring user-generated content continue to thrive, there is more transparency into company culture. Candidates have, rightfully, come to expect that companies will grow their employer brand with a candidate-centric mindset. And, communities are, for many companies, a key way for candidates and companies to connect in real time.”  Eldred continued, “In the future, it would be great to enhance communities by encouraging and engaging in two-way dialogues with talent.”

If you have not already done so, creating a talent community for your company or small business should be at the top of your list for 2013.  

Kate Forrestall, Senior Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Programs, Forrester Research will be speaking at the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference this July 23-25th to share a case study on “Recruiting on a Tight Budget.” For more information or to register for #SRSC, please visit or register today using discount code: TDSCO15 for 15% savings.


Ms. Mignanelli serves as Senior Vice President of People and General Counsel. In her role, Ms. Mignanelli is responsible for all aspects of the company's HR and legal needs. She also blogs on the Social Media Strategies Blog on HR, Social Recruiting and Social Media Issues:



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