Definition

talent network

Contributor(s): Patrick Thibodeau

A talent network is a group of interconnected people with similar professional skills. The group may be connected informally and simply consist of a person's professional colleagues and industry contacts or it may be organized more formally and have communication within the network be facilitated by information technology.

Formal talent networks can have qualities and characteristics that are easily defined and recruitment management system technology usually plays a major role. For example, a talent acquisition website might invite job candidates to join their talent network and opt-in for alerts.  Job seekers often connect to talent networks through group on social media sites, including LinkedIn. Making it easy to join is a characteristic of this type of talent network. Once a candidate has joined the network, potential employers can use talent management software to assess the candidate's information. Some employers have recruitment software systems with artificial intelligence-enabled tools that automate the assessment process and can even perform personality tests. These tools look beyond keyword matching and hunt for patterns and interests that denote curiosity and drive.

Many independent recruiting platforms seek to personalize the experience for job seekers and make them feel they are part of a talent network. They also foster user engagement by sending targeted job alerts and making specific recommendations that can increase the odds of a job interview. Customer relationship technology may personalize ongoing communications to maintain the job seeker's interest. 

Benefits of talent networks

Many job seekers today may never hear a thing about the progress of their application. It can be frustrating. Some talent networks try to avoid this by providing a transparent application process with regular updates like the package tracking that shipping services provide. The intent is to keep the candidate engaged and in their talent network. As for employers, having a ready talent pool of contacts can speed hiring.  

Examples of talent networks

Employers who use contingent and freelance workers may use similar AI tools to evaluate candidates and fill ongoing special needs or seasonal work. PwC, for instance, calls its network the Flexibility Talent Network. Some talent networks can be exotic. Amazon, for instance, runs CamperForce, a pool of mobile workers who live in campers, full or part time. They travel to Amazon warehouses for three to four months of seasonal work.

This was last updated in January 2018

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