By Jessica Miller-Merrell
If you’ve ever done any gardening, you understand that there’s much more to a plant producing flowers, fruit or vegetables than simply digging a hole in the ground and dropping in a handful of seeds. A good gardener recognizes that’s only the first step, and often the easiest. But when those first signs of growth come in, it’s clear that the work was worth the reward.
In the same way that a garden requires time, attention and a little nurturing, growing your talent network takes more than simply launching your community. It’s an ongoing effort to take candidates from passing by your career site to being invested in your talent network.
The benefit of having a talent network is the fully branded community of candidates that your company owns and manages. It puts you in control of engaging and building relationships with those candidates who choose to join your community. As you go about building and growing your network, it’s important to create an environment that welcomes them from the very beginning. Building this community starts with enticing candidates to join your community. Start with these five strategies and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Make social part of your strategy year round
You probably already know that social media provides a major opportunity for you to advertise job openings, but what you may not know is that there’s never a bad time to engage on social. Regardless of whether or not you have open positions, share your talent network via social media and invite and encourage others to join. This kind of proactive recruitment is how candidate pipelines are created.
Provide a visual
The majority of us are visual people, and social media has made people more accustomed to seeing rather than reading. Take advantage of this by creating a series of videos to talk about the benefits of joining your talent network and how it allows you and the job seeker to connect before the formal job opening ever happens.
Encourage your employees to share
Your employees can be your biggest brand ambassadors, so engage them in promoting your talent network among friends and peers. The majority of them are engaged in social networks, so you’re providing them a way to promote the company easily and quickly.
Share everywhere you can
Look around and think about your company’s HR and recruiting communications. From brochures to business cards to promo items, these are all places you can include your talent community’s link. Get the whole company in on it by adding it to all company signatures.
Host online events within your network
Make joining your talent network worth their while by hosting member-only events online. For instance, you could offer resume review or an ask-the-recruiter session. Get creative and help establish a reputation for being candidate focused in your community.
Read more about what a talent community can do for your company here.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.