How to build and manage a pool of candidates?

viviers de candidats


No recruiter will say otherwise: a strong candidate pool makes recruiting much easier! In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2019 by HelloWork (formerly RegionsJob), “55% of recruiters believe that their recruitments are more difficult due to a smaller pool of candidates.”

In this article, we will see how to build and maintain a pool of candidates! 

Why create a pool of candidates? 

Also known as a CV library or talent pool, a talent pool is a database of qualified candidates. In other words, it is a pool of talent from which to draw when a recruitment need arises.

The purpose of a candidate pool is to allow you to keep an eye on the most promising profiles (whether or not you have already met them), to be contacted if necessary.   

What are the advantages of a candidate pool? 

Saving time and efficiency in the long term during sourcing, better quality applications, managing recruitment costs… Creating an application pool offers many advantages. 

  • First of all, when they are well organized and regularly updated, these pools can considerably shorten sourcing times. 
  • Beyond speed, it is also a question of efficiency with CV libraries. Indeed, by definition, a talent that we keep aside has potential. It is even already qualified if it has already been part of a shortlist during a previous recruitment… 

💡 With this list of available talent, a recruiter avoids spending too much time writing and posting an ad, or waiting to receive quality applications!  

Our tips for building and managing a candidate pool 

Creating and maintaining a talent pool is something everyone can do. To achieve this, recruiters and business leaders alike can apply these best practices on a daily basis: 

Collecting unsolicited applications

Ah, receiving unsolicited applications! This is one of the many benefits of a strong and attractive employer brand. It is also the ultimate goal of any recruiter who has embarked on an inbound recruiting strategy (i.e. creating a strong employer brand that regularly generates a certain flow of applications).

But be careful: receiving unsolicited applications is not an end in itself. The most important thing is to appreciate their true value and to carefully save all applications that have potential. 

💡 Consider every unsolicited application carefully – even when a candidate does not meet your needs at the time! 

Stay in touch with unsuccessful candidates who were on your shortlist

If you’re lucky enough, a hiring process always ends with a difficult choice: which talent to choose from two or three talented candidates? Whatever your final decision, never forget to keep in mind the last unsuccessful candidates. They were on your shortlist for a reason, and you may create a new similar position later! 

💡 Always keep in mind the profiles your company often looks for when building your candidate pool! 

Update your candidate pool regularly

Of course, professional life is not a long, quiet river. In the space of two or three years, the talents that make up your pool have time to change positions, gain skills or responsibilities… and even change direction completely! 

For your CV database to be reliable and useful, it must be constantly updated thanks to an important work of monitoring and documentation.

Take the time to select talent 

To obtain a pool of qualified candidates, it is essential to sort out the profiles beforehand! What we want is to select the talents that are in phase with our company, that have the skills that we lack (both technical and behavioral).

Then, so that each talent can be easily identified, it is important to indicate in your pool some key information, such as his or her name, the origin of his or her sourcing (former application, internal mobility, etc.), his or her career path, his or her skills… without forgetting the history of previous exchanges with the various contacts of your company! 

Be visible on the internet, especially on social networks! 

It’s simple: the stronger your employer brand, the more qualified candidates you will get, in line with your company and its values!

Take the time to structure your pool

Be more organized as your resume library grows! The larger your database gets, the more important it is to structure it with several categories. The goal? To be able to find the right talent at the right time, in a minimum of time! 

💡 To remember 

A good candidate pool should consist of a variety of talents:

  • These may be candidates who were not selected in a recruitment process
  • Candidates who have submitted an unsolicited application
  • Profiles sourced by you via social networks, online CV libraries, etc. 
  • From candidates co-opted by your employees
  • Former employees (employees or interns) who could be considered for boomerang recruitment
  • Talents met during professional events (trade shows, etc.)

⚠️ Be careful with data privacy! 

Since the 2019 GDPR law, it is mandatory for any recruiter to inform candidates who may be included in a talent pool. Let’s remember that a talent pool necessarily requires collecting personal information about the talent… And who says “collection of personal information” says “RGPD!

Create a pool of candidates with an ATS

There is nothing like application management software to structure your candidate pool and obtain a clear and easily activable candidate database. This is the case with JobAffinity! Our software allows you to centralize all your applications in one place, but also to create candidate pools! 

With an ATS, you can add “tags”, or labels that allow you to list each profile according to specific criteria. Remember: structuring your talent pool requires time, but in the long run, this approach greatly facilitates the search for talent! 

Finally, keep in mind that recruitment is a long-term strategy. A candidate you don’t select today could very well be the ideal candidate tomorrow. Remember to keep their contact information!

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