How to Leverage Your Talent Cloud to Drive a Positive Candidate Experience

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Jun 08, 2021

Like an incredible first date that is disappointedly followed by ghosting, successful sourcing of talent to a Talent Cloud is too often followed by little, if any, engagement. This fizzle-out effect can leave candidates understandably disengaged and unresponsive to an employer’s brand, resulting in wasted resources. So, what are the most effective ways to nurture and cultivate Talent Clouds that don’t lead to resource drain?

This article will delve into where Talent Clouds are today, how to best use them for and the immense impact they can have on both employer branding and the candidate experience when managed successfully. We will also explore the timely question of how best to use Talent Clouds to engage your contingent workforce. Using a Talent Cloud in your contingent workforce program is the key to unlocking direct sourcing of contractors.

What is a Talent Cloud?

A Talent Cloud is a community of individuals with a shared interest. In the case of recruitment and talent acquisition, that interest is in being a future hire or contractor at your organization. Like all good communities, there is a shared flow of information. For Talent Clouds, the prospective talent shares information with you on their capabilities, skills and values, and in return you share information about your employer brand, mission and values. When timing is right and a role becomes vacant, you already have an initial relationship from your previous engagements to build on.

Why use a Talent Cloud for Contingent Hires?

When effectively leveraged, Talent Clouds can drive a range of worthwhile results, from better fit for role applicants to a faster time-to-hire or time-to-submit to delivering a superior candidate experience.

Traditionally, contingent workers have been engaged via third party staffing providers. With this traditional method of contingent recruitment, it has left third party staffing suppliers as the responsible party for promoting the employer brand to source and attract qualified talent. Without a consistent approach to employer brand, candidates can be left with a negative candidate experience from the third party staffing providers.

Developing a Talent Cloud for contingent hires or working with your third party staffing provider to build a Talent Cloud that is consistent with your employer brand is key to attracting and retaining top talent across the permanent and contingent workforce.

Effectively managing your Talent Cloud allows you to engage with more contractors who are aligned with upcoming roles, know your brand and will be eager to apply.

In fact, using LiveHire benchmarks, there are a range of significant results you will obtain from effectively leveraging your Talent Cloud for contingent hires:

  • Faster responses: 17 minutes median candidate response time to SMS text message invitations
  • Higher conversion rate: When hiring from the Talent Cloud, organizations only need three shortlisted candidates to get a successful hire. By comparison, you would need 15 shortlisted candidates from traditional job ad sources to find a successful candidate.
  • Better diversity outcomes: A more inclusive and engaging hiring experience allows LiveHire clients to achieve 15% better gender diversity outcomes than their industry peers.

Using a Talent Cloud to compliment your employer brand

  • SMS communication is perfect for rapid, single or bulk communication and is the preferred experience for quality talent
  • Higher percentage of candidates in your Talent Cloud say ‘yes’ to joining a shortlist on demand
  • Unlike email, personalised, timely, and relevant SMS is not perceived as spam

The impact of cloud based talent management on candidate experience

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Therefore, to understand how you are moving the needle on candidate experience and having a positive impact, it is appropriate to use a Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a customer loyalty metric that is measured using one question ‘On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend <insert-company> to a family or friend?. By trading ‘customer’ for ‘candidate’, we can easily apply this method.

Why apply the NPS in this instance? Your talent community is about being responsive to future jobs. Therefore, to ensure that candidates will engage, a high NPS is paramount. That is, rather than the thriving community, a low NPS would indicate you are essentially sitting on a static, dead database, versus a community.

So, what is the magic number? Ideally, you need to be working towards a NPS score of 50 or above. This is the optimal number for ensuring that candidates will apply, re-apply or refer others. Anything below this will see your Talent Cloud be significantly less successful.

With the global pandemic bringing even the late adopters into the digital world, let’s bring this to life with an online shopping customer example. If an online store has a NPS score above 50, customers will buy again. In the e-commerce world, online stores have ‘moments that matter’, which positively impact the buying experience. Features such as, you receive a message when the merchant receives your order, another when it has been dispatched and another when it is an hour away from delivery, followed up by a thank you for your purchase. This level of clarification and communication are key drivers of a +50 NPS.

For a candidate who is used to the e-commerce experience in life, these moments are of equal importance when they become a member of your Talent Cloud. As a candidate, you receive a welcome message upon joining the Talent Cloud, then another message when you are placed into one or more semi-exclusive talent pools (think of this as your purchase having been dispatched), and then another message upon invitation to interview (your product is one hour away).

These are the moments that matter to candidates. Crystal clear communication goes a long way in any relationship!

We have learned through data over time on the LiveHire platform that a contractor will spend an average of 122 days within your Talent Cloud prior to being hired. When you invite candidates to apply for a role, 27% will agree to participate, and they will respond within 17 minutes. All this is possible with a leading candidate experience.

Thus, a steady execution of those ‘moments that matter’ which drive high NPS over time is key.

Who needs a Talent Cloud?

So, you’re aware of the premise of a Talent Cloud and perhaps eager to either implement or reactivate an existing one – but you’re unsure if doing so aligns with your overall strategic goals. Put simply, anyone who has designs on running a successful direct sourcing program for contingent workers needs a Talent Cloud.

The sourcing and engagement of contingent workers necessitates a shorter time-to-hire than permanent recruitment. Therefore, to ensure you have this engagement to deliver a shorter time-to-hire, the magic number NPS of 50 + as discussed above is critical.

The alternative to having a Talent Cloud and running a direct sourcing program is to have a static database – but by doing this, you are unable to communicate in those ‘moments that matter’. As such, the candidate experience is compromised, inhibiting your ability to attract and engage leading talent.

How do you build a Talent Cloud?

Building a Talent Cloud takes time, but the good news is you can get off to a fast start. The first step you can take is a re-engagement exercise. That is, invite all past applicants, for all types of roles, from the last 3-5 years to your Talent Cloud. This will give you a jump start on building the community, assuming an average of 25-30% of past applicants will accept the invite to join.

The second step is to place visible links on your careers page and across social media platforms. Sharing links to join your Talent Community allows potential candidates to express interest in your company and gives you greater talent management mobility. Following on from this, you could also get current employees to share these with their networks.

Powering a Talent Cloud

To power a contingent Talent Cloud, you need a direct sourcing technology, also known as a digital staffing platform. Ardent Partners completed extensive research  to assist business leaders in understanding the technology available for sourcing, curating and engaging contingent workers: 2021 Digital Staffing Platforms Technology Advisor.

Ardent Partners rigorous, multimodal research process contains data on usability, solution functionality, completeness of offering, future solution strategy, technology adoption, company presence, and ability to execute, as well as company focus and vision.

“LiveHire was one of the early innovators of direct sourcing technology and its core offerings have provided market-leading value to organizations across the world,” said Christopher J. Dwyer, Ardent’s VP of Research and author of the new research study. “LiveHire’s frictionless end-to-end platform was ranked as a “Market Leader” due to its near-unrivalled candidate nurture functionality, robust branded direct sourcing offerings and real-time workflow engine.”

Contingent workers are rapidly becoming a strategic backbone for leading organizations, offering flexible access to a range of specialised skills and talent communities that provide a vital gateway to them. So, the real question is, will your Talent Cloud become a stale database, or will you engage talent during those critical ‘moments that matter’ to deliver a standout hiring experience?


Want to learn more about how LiveHire can help you with your HR Technology needs? Book in a demo with us today.