The 5 Talent Pools You're Overlooking - Glassdoor for Employers
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The 5 Talent Pools You're Overlooking

With US unemployment holding steady at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the means of finding and recruiting top talent is tougher than it has been in years. Recruiting teams must draw on a variety of diverse sources to remain competitive in today's market.

It's time to start looking at those runner-up candidates, the long term unemployed, and people outside of an industry that possess key skills and growth potential. Many of these talent pools are also eligible for a variety of tax incentives such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Reevaluate Your Runner-Up Candidates

Go back to your ATS and CRM to take a second look at candidates that didn't quite make it to final round or an offer. Reassess their resumes, skills, and interview notes and see if they're a good fit for another open role. This simple step can save days or weeks of searching for the correct talent through job boards or other passive recruiting methods.

Maintain active and passive engagement with runners up. Establish a system to follow up with them on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis to see how their skills have changed and could contribute to the organization. You should also add silver medalists to relevant mailing lists for new openings. Keep notes on them or drop them into a sheet for easy recall.

Tapping these candidates helps you bypass the vetting process and work directly with hiring managers on an existing pool of talented applicants. They've already made it through screenings and are qualified by hiring managers, so keep them as a first resource for future openings.

[Related: Hiring Manager Checklist + Satisfaction Survey]

Check in on the Gig Workforce

The gig workforce is also a useful source of talented professionals, with freelancers comprising 35 percent of the United States workforce. The question is that if more than 60 percent of freelancers are doing so by choice, how do you engage them with a value proposition that attracts them back to corporate work?

When it comes to attracting this talent - that already have specialized skill sets - you should consider their motivations for flipping back to a corporate workforce. These candidates aren't looking for a 9-5 arrangement and enjoy the flexibility that comes with freelancing. What they might not have is work that engages and excites them. Show these candidates how working at the company is fulfilling for more than just a paycheck.

[Related: Gig Economy and the Value of Hiring Contractors]

Reach out to the Long-Term Unemployed

Review your ATS periodically to make sure you aren't screening out candidates on the sole basis of unemployment streaks. At 1.4 million people, the long-term unemployed accounted for 21 percent of the overall unemployed workforce in 2017.

Recruiters and hiring managers shouldn't be discouraged by employment gaps, which can happen for a myriad of reasons, and are not predictive of future performance on the job. These candidates have valuable skills and experience and can fit into relevant jobs. They're looking for work they care about and can become loyal employees if properly cultivated.

[Related: 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Ignore Candidates With Resume Gaps]

Bring Veterans On Board

Military veterans are a popular resource for many companies but it can be difficult to know how and where to market an organization to former soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen.

While not all hard military skills are transferable, veterans bring crucial soft skills to the table: leadership, motivation, responsibility, teamwork, and loyalty. Employers who hire veterans also qualify for incentives through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There are many methods of finding military talent directly; ranging from military specific job boards to veteran career fairs. has a comprehensive list of recruiting resources. Before diving in head first, recruiting teams should develop a plan for military recruiting that helps to identify what backgrounds would be a good job fit and how those military skills will translate into the position.

[Related: How to Hire Veterans]

Ex-Offenders Bring Loyalty and Commitment

Former convicts attempting to re-enter the workforce face an uphill battle. By hiring them they not only provide businesses with vocational training and skills learned in prison but also the loyalty that comes from getting a second chance. Some prisons and jails host career fairs for inmates close to finishing their time.

In a report on convicts in the workforce from December of 2017, researchers found no clear difference in performance. In reality loyalty and decreased turnover from ex-convicts realized almost $750 savings per employee. By hiring former inmates and criminals, companies find realized cost savings and do good for the community by reducing recidivism rates.

Hiring From Different Pools Fosters Diversity

Regardless of an applicant's background they contribute ideas and understanding from their unique life experiences. Gig-workers have developed the focus and discipline to meet objectives, while a soldier's resourcefulness can provide unorthodox solutions for problems, and an ex-offender could bring loyalty and education from their rehabilitation. Bringing these diverse talent pools together can result in real gains for organizations and a more diverse pool of experiences and backgrounds.

This article was originally published on HireVue. Reprinted with permission.