The following is an approximate transcript.
Heather: Good morning, and welcome to Episode 33 of Talent Connection. A podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced my Cachinko. I’m Heather Huhman, founder & president of Come Recommended, and I’m also the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. I’m joined by my co-host, and a very special guest today, but my co-host is Tony Morrison.
Tony: Thank you and good morning, Heather. My name is Tony Morrison, and I am the Vice President of Business development for Cachinko. We’re a technology company that offers a suite of online recruiting tools for recruiters and employers to find, attract, and engage candidates for their open positions. We also operate a free job matching and career networking tool to help people find jobs they love, through the people they know and trust. As Heather mentioned, we have a special guest. For this discussion, I’ve asked a domain expert and friend, Raghav Singh, to join me. Raghav is a partner at the A-List, a Minneapolis based firm that specializes in global recruitment. He has an MBA in HR Management and Management Information Systems, and a masters in Information Systems. His career includes building recruiting processes, marketing and implementing enterprise HR systems at Fortune 500 companies. Raghav is also a professional presenter and writer with many highly acclaimed articles revolving around topics such as, recruiting on the internet, social recruiting, and the candidate experience. His recruiting success secret is to build and nurture talent communities. So, he’s perfect for this discussion today. He is one of the few movers and shakers in this domain that are truly passionate about building social talent communities to improve the candidate experience and the efficiency and effectiveness of employee recruiting programs. Raghav, thank you for joining us.
Raghav: Thanks Tony. I appreciate that big open up there. I hope I can live up to it.
Tony: You always do.
Heather: Thanks so much guys. As Tony mentioned, today’s episode is, “Back to Basics: Talent Communities.” Let’s get started right away. I’ll throw out the question to both of you.
What is a talent community? Tony, if you want to start…
Tony: Certainly. From our company’s Wikipedia entry, a Talent Community is a network of candidates, employees, alumni, and our special social and professional networks that we use to build our career network, which allows productive two-way communication between all parties. If the community is engaged in collaborations and the sharing of information, it involves people conversing and working together to solve problems, to meet goals, share opinions and ideas. It’s the social engagement in a real community that makes people feel included and compelled to contribute positively to the betterment of the community.
Raghav: Let me just add to that. In a Talent Community, just take the word “talent” out for a moment, and any of the online connotations and versions of it. The key word is “community.” That means it is a group of people who are very engaged with each other around a topic or something that they are discussing for which they have a lot of passion. In the Talent Community context it also means that they may be open to finding employment with a particular employer who is associated with that community. But I want to emphasize the fact that the key word there again is “community.” It’s a group of people that are engaged with each other. Talent Communities are about building engagement. Finding people that are passionate about what they like and maybe eventually getting them a job.
Heather: Okay great. So how can job seekers, specifically, benefit from a Talent Community, Raghav?
Raghav: Well, with your typical job seeker, the process that they have experienced in the past with pretty much any employer is largely a one-way street. Which means that information flows from the job seeker to the employer. The employer asks all the questions, the job seeker answers them. And depending on how that goes, they either move ahead or they don’t. A Talent Community, again going back to what I said earlier, is a place where they are getting engaged with the employer. And by definition, it has to be a two-way street. That means the employer is giving them a lot more about what the job is like, what the place is like, so many other things in terms of what they can do that lives up to their passions, or may it be of interest to them. For a job seeker it’s an opportunity to really understand an employer, their values, their culture, the environment that they’re going to be working in. It’s a completely different approach than what they traditionally have been having to do with employers.
Heather: What about the employer side, it seems pretty obvious to me but for listeners and viewers, what are the benefits for the employers?
Raghav: Employers have tremendous benefits because typically in any economic situation, (in any time) the vast majority of people- close to 80 percent- are not looking for work. They are not actively interested in finding employment. So, a Talent Community is an opportunity for an employer to pull together a pool of people who are very interested in a particular topic – sales, programming, chemistry, engineering, or something narrower than that. And build relationships with people. That’s the engagement piece. As an employer, you have access to a talent pool that frankly you don’t have access through any other means-job boards, or pretty much anything else. People who may not be actively looking today, but as your needs develop, and even as we are seeing today that for a lot of jobs, there are extreme shortages of available candidates. To bring those people in your organization that you simply aren’t going to be able to reach any other way.
Heather: What would you say the future looks like for Talent Communities?
Raghav: In a couple of words, very bright. Here’s the situation, without getting in a lot of details, the demographics today are that we are going to see shrinking talent pools of active candidates. We have an aging population, and the replacement rates are not that high, immigration is not going to suddenly increase. So for your typical employer, relying on the active talent pool is not the most practical option. You’re going to have to build pipelines of talent. I’m not going to say this is easy to do; it’s a lot of work. But that is where recruiting has to go. That is where employers have to go in order to succeed in filling their jobs.
Tony: To steal a title from Timbuk 3 and to add to Raghav- the future is so bright for Talent Communities that I’ve got to wear shades. Everyone is talking about Talent Communities right now. For two years, I’ve been discussing the importance of embracing social media technology and recruiting. Not only to broadcast job descriptions, but to engage candidates. Lots of people are talking about it, and they talk about Talent Communities as if they are an application. But they are not. It’s the living, breathing interaction between an employer and perspective candidates. Social networking platforms and social media technology make it possible to engage masses of job seekers with discussions regarding the fields in which they are so passionate. At Cachinko, being among the first recruiting solutions to give employers the ability to create their own social branding networking platform, it’s like their own social candidate relationship management portal. This enables them to collaborate with job seekers, and it enables the job seekers to interact with the company, learn about opportunities, and to present themselves online to a company with more than just a resume. This is an important perspective, that Talent Communities allow the collaboration of sharing. You don’t have a community unless you have a two-way, mutually beneficial conversation, collaboration, sharing. And that personal interaction that’s not just me talking at you, or someone talking at me. It’s people talking together, and reaching a conclusion. Raghav, would you add to that?
Raghav: Let me just add one more thing. There’s a bigger benefit to recruiting through Talent Communities that may not be immediately obvious. Which is not, if you are hiring people that you have a relationship with-take the online component out for a moment-but people who have come through a community, whether online or offline. They have a much better, and much more realistic appreciation of what the work is and what you are offering and so many other things, than someone who was solicited through other means – a job board, or something else. More importantly, if you hired someone who was passionate about the work, and whose values align with yours, this person is much more likely to stay with you longer than someone who came through the traditional means. That’s not my opinion, there’s hard research behind this. That if you are hiring people who you are engaged with, it works a whole lot better, which means over time, you are adding costs and other expenses go down, but also productivity goes up. Because frankly you have people who are much more realistic about what they are getting into than someone who really didn’t have a lot of insights when they got here. And that is something that I do want to say that Cachinko does. Because not only does Cachinko allow an employer to build Talent Communities, more specifically, it lets candidates connect with others who are “in the know” about a particular employer who has more insights than an candidate is ever going to get from any kind of research they do.
Tony: Thank you.
Heather: Absolutely. If people wanted to learn more about Talent Communities, where should they go?
Tony: I’d read Raghav’s articles!
Raghav: Well thank you, Tony! Yes, I do write periodic articles. There was just one yesterday on ERE with made analogies to the Love Boat. And there have been others, about what it means to be in a Talent Community. But I’m trying to keep the focus on something very practical as to what it means to participate in a Talent Communities, more for employers and candidates. Keep in mind that it is a community. It is only going to work if there is participation from both sides. There is nothing magical about it. It’s just that it is an engaged group of individuals. If you want to learn more about it, there are certainly a lot of online resources. There is Wikipedia material that Cachinko has put together, there are a number of articles that I have written over the years, also there are also a number of other HR authors, Kevin Wheeler and others who have written about Talent Communities. I’d encourage anyone to go look for those kinds of things.
Heather: Excellent! Thanks so much to both of you guys!
Tony: Thank you, Heather.
Heather: That’s all the time we have for today. You’ve been listening to Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. For details about the next episode, please visit blog.cachinko.com.