The Case for National Talent Pools

The average practitioner in the talent acquisition world is not always privy to the technology that supports it.  Recruiters and Sourcers rarely get a seat at the table when a vendor is developing automation for its very own industry. This gap between strategy and practitioner is wide but rousing in opportunity.

Every talent acquisition professional should be clamoring to know how the future of job hunting will transform. However, the trajectory and speed to which change will come are not often up to the Recruiter or Sourcer.

It is a technology-driven world; Recruiters are just living in it.

There is a new consideration in the talent industry called national talent pools. A national talent pool means, in simple terms, that the CRM or ATS company you purchased organizational licenses for can transfer passive candidate talent pools from client to client, universally.

Let me say it another way. In the future, you will purchase a CRM, and it will come auto stuffed with hundreds or even thousands of leads in the form of talent pools for the occupational sectors you desire.  What?  Cha-ching, right?

Let’s dig deeper to see what the benefits and challenges that a national talent pool can bring.


Where do the talent pool leads come from?

The first question to answer is how does a national talent pool get leads? In today’s environment, a potential candidate goes to a careers site, and sees a button titled “Talent Network”.  A person would join a talent network for a few reasons.  Perhaps they don’t have the time to fully apply online right now.

Or maybe the specific job they want isn’t available and you want to stay in touch, in case the job ever does become open. The Talent Network is a way for a candidate to stay in touch with the organization.

Joining a national talent pool would have the same sort of user agreement for digital use that no one ever reads.  You can opt-out, but most will probably just plow forward through end-user agreements and will unwillingly agree to share their candidate profile universally.

With a high unemployment rate right now, candidates just may be fooled enough to agree to have their information shared within an entire CRM network of employers.


Legal issues – who owns the candidate?

Oh, this is so murky.  In my best non-lawyer voice; it is arguable.  We will have to wait for the first case to be presented and review the verdict. If a candidate comes to your website, joins your talent network, shouldn’t that make the candidate property of your organization?

What happens when you change the ATS or CRM?  Does the talent pool go with the vendor?  Hmmm.


Unsubscribe due to misuse

I love Recruiters and Sourcers.  But like any role on the planet, there are good and bad people representing the role.  I

f a candidate joins a national talent pool, there will need to be safeguards in place so that candidate isn’t over-saturated with messaging within the network of employers.


I don’t trust anyone – will you sell my info?

People are growing increasingly skeptical to giving out personal information, with good reason.  I’d suspect they would be considerably cynical with something like a resume – talk about an easy way to steal my identity.

There will have to be air tight capability to assure my information is safe, let alone prevent data from being resold to outside marketing companies. It once took me almost two years to get a bed linen company to stop sending me emails to buy more bed-sheets.  I unsubscribed over and over.  You can’t trust anyone these days.


Candidates may be just desperate enough to join

It took the US ten years to recuperate from the 2008 recession.  People may struggle for some time when it comes to regaining employment at the same professional level they had, prior to Covid-19.  I don’t think anyone wants these candidates to be taken advantage of.

A candidate may have reservations about joining a national talent pool, knowing their information could possibly be exposed, but is desperate enough for work that they settle to accept the user agreement. Is that what we want to do to people when they are down?

How do we avoid a predator stance with a national talent pool?


How do we proceed?

Talent professionals should be having an open dialog with their vendors on upcoming technology and thought leadership surrounding the future of recruiting.

Ask to be part of the vendor’s client advisory board. If you want a more aggressive stance, join and follow the blogs and career sites of CRM and ATS vendors.  They are speaking and they will move forward with or without you.

Christine Hampton

Christine is a Doctor of Business Administration candidate researching talent sourcing strategies in healthcare. This is Christine's 29th year in Talent Acquisition, with the last 9 years focusing on sourcing and recruitment marketing.