Creating and managing successful talent communities to improve your employer brand

Imagine your organisation bringing together a group of professionals (both from within and outside), to have qualitative discussions and exchange of ideas and interests in a motivated manner. Imagine them having conversations around domains, technologies, knowledge updates in their areas of proficiency, career advice and employment opportunities.

This is the world of talent communities. Effectively an engagement platform, it provides a great way to bring together skilled and passive candidates around common themes and subjects of shared interest.

From a talent community to brand ambassadors

Organisations may build and manage a variety of talent communities based on different themes. The ongoing interaction between members of a talent community makes them feel bonded among themselves and with the organisation. A comfortable relationship is thus forged that allows a smooth transition from mere membership to prospective talent and ultimately employees of choice.

It is a great way of engaging passive candidates and having a meaningful handshake with them before both the company and the member are ready to commit to employment. The recruitment function succeeds in hiring the right talent and the new hire arrives into the company with positive insights. Further, being familiar with the organisation, their cultural fitment is likely to be closer.

In effect, the members of a talent community become voluntary brand ambassadors of the company. And when the organisation is engaged with the talent communities, employer branding is subtly but powerfully built and enhanced.

A multi-dimensional boost to employer branding

A strategic approach to building talent communities can provide a wide range of branding advantages.

Collaboration between the recruitment, talent management, and business teams will ensure that the right talent communities are built and nurtured - those that map well with existing talent inventory in the organisation. Such focus translates into the right communication through the right channels (including mobile and social media) to the right demographic segments. This results in positive branding in the minds of the niche talent community members.

An assiduously built talent community has a cascading effect in terms of creating ease of access to wider pools of talent. The passive talent network thrives on the multiplier effect of referrals. They can engage an expanded audience to active interaction with the organisation. As the numbers of quality prospective talent in the community increase, its impact on the employer brand multiplies.

Knowledge interactions in the talent community also circulate high-quality content that is invariably tied to the company’s reputation of expertise. The shared content of technical and thought leadership articles and research papers create a keen interest in the minds of quality talent to be associated with the brand.

Ultimately, building talent communities is a powerful marketing tactic that gives a winning and cost competitive advantage in the war for talent. It has to be managed with a well-planned coordination with business and talent management teams, and a robust infrastructure to support the effort.

Engagement is the critical factor in executing the strategy for and sustaining talent communities. From executive leadership to HR, investments in time and commitment are vital. The result, however, will be more than worth the effort as it changes the equation of talent acquisition. Over a period of time, organisations become sought after by quality talent, rather than struggle to search for talent.

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