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the arrival of talent pools as a strategic workforce management strategy – the solutions

on Wed, 19/08/2020 – 10:23
workforce management strategy

reviewing the current approach to recruitment

As the current climate forces companies to engage contingent workers, they will need to review their recruitment methods as some of the traditional approaches are unlikely to work.

A recent FCSA report highlighted an increase of 112% in employment benefit claims in the UK since March suggesting 2.6m are currently unemployed with 3m to 5m anticipated post furlough arrangements. The volume of applications for any advertised role is likely to swamp most organisations and potentially lead to brand damage as they become overwhelmed. The Total Jobs website had an increase of 30% in searches for jobs in June whilst a restaurant in Manchester received 1,000 applicants in 24 hours for a receptionist role! (FCSA).

In the past, you may have used recruitment agencies to find staff and this is still a valid option but carries a set cost and many agencies may not be equipped to deal with all the requirements such as how to deal with the upcoming IR35 changes. If up to 80% of PSC (limited company) contractors effectively become PAYE workers as forecast by HMRC then many will not have the necessary payrolling capability for instance.

Furthermore, the Recruitment and Employment Federation reports that only 20% of non-permanent staff are sourced via recruitment agencies with the rest being found directly. This was not necessarily a major issue when less were required but companies will now find it a significant challenge to find the right workers in the required timescale to suit business requirements and at the least cost ahead of the competition.

the solution

If advertising new work opportunities will open the floodgates, we need to put a dam in place to filter available talent and provide a steady stream of required resource for consideration.

According to Gartner many organisations responded to the pandemic’s economic impact by initially reducing their contractor budgets but there has since been a shift. Their analysis shows that organisations will expand their use of contingent workers. This also fits with the changes in employment style being increasingly demanded by workers (and millenials in particular) who are looking for more flexibility in their lifestyles. If you can get to a position of defining the talent you need now and for the future, then you need to find a quick way to reach that talent and store it for future access. That is called a talent pool.

It is a place where internal recruiters, HR Managers and preferred agency suppliers can store candidates for current and future opportunities. Potential workers can also apply for generic or specific opportunities and have access to their own records via a portal.

To work effectively, a talent pool needs functionality to enhance your brand, provide a positive experience for participants and to minimise the administration involved for your team. You should be able to advertise opportunities via your own branded portal and linked through to other job sites with facilities for candidates to register their interest, and maintain their record. The talent pool should manage all acknowledgements and manage workflows with regular communication with candidates and agency contributors.

As job opportunities arise, your first port of call will be to the talent pool to check for previous applicants, without needing to re-advertise. A good system will have all the information you need to be able to define shortlists and progress applications. You may even choose to do basic screening of all candidates whether selected or not, in order to speed up the fnal selection process when a candidate reaches the next stage. This will be particularly effective if the screening technology is integrated with the talent pool operation.

When candidates have completed assignments their talent pool record can be updated ready for future access along with an appraisal of their performance for reference.

The ideal situation is that the talent pool will be constantly topped up ahead of requirements to ensure a speedy and efficient selection process. Being more effective than your competition will guarantee first choice of the best candidates who can be hired before your competitors know they are available! It works even better if the talent pool is the front end of a fully integrated, end to end process with a single point of entry for all.

next steps

As the use of contingent workers becomes more significant, so does the need to find them and attract them. Contractors turn over more often than permanent workers by definition and it is therefore critical to build talent pools that you will need to visit more frequently. Starting from scratch every time will not suffice in terms of finding appropriate talent or indeed in terms of the effort required by your HR and management teams to hire them.

Building effective on-going talent pools can make the dfference in achieving your business outcomes by finding the right resource at the right cost to deliver them. This is particularly true if the activities later in the process are connected as part of a coherent and effective process – of which more in the next instalment.

In the meantime, we are available to discuss the potential of talent pools for your business.