Talent Community – it’s like a Talent Pool, but with a boat.

Ahhh the Talent Community – I have kept my counsel on this for a long time – I have read a series of blog posts, arguments and discussions, about the phrase `Talent Community`. It gets some recruitment people in a proper pickle. 

Kevin Wheeler made a really good, clear case yesterday in his post about trying to decypher the difference between the new-fangled `Talent Community` versus what has for some time been called, a `Talent Pool`. 

Well in July, I hired a Talent Community Manager. So my flag was pretty much posted then. 

For the unintiated – Recruiters would always depend on a database, that was your immediate accessible pipeline of available talent for the kind of jobs you deal with. That clearly seemed a little clinical – so got universally branded as a Talent Pool – kind of sounds nicer, doesn’t it? – it was the same thing – except maybe with the addition of Job board CVs. Then social media came along, and the likes of Brave New Talent started putting out the idea of a Talent Community – because that’s a word they use in social media – it’s all new – isn’t it? 

Well no. Kevin – gives us the historial `Community` definition in the linked post. Fine. But hold on, Online Community Management has existed for years – through forums or gaming portals. Many people, online, with a common interest – part communicating, part interactiong, part listening. Then Social Media created Community management for brands – Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, etc. 

So what does this mean for a Talent Community? – Surely if you add people on Twitter, Facebook maybe, and LinkedIn – and then add them to your database – then you just have a bigger Talent Pool, right? – Great – but no sign of Community there? 

No. There isn’t. Because you are doing it wrong. You are doing it without a boat. (probably best read on here…)

Social Networks are full of people. The Database of billions. But they are also a vessel. Good Talent Community management is using that vessel to carry created content, conversation and discussion with a chosen and attracted audience – and the opportunity for them to interact exists, because we are borrowing other people’s formats and their existing audience (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN) to manage and cajole our derived community, and thereby enhancing it’s numbers and potency through multiplication and sharing of content, information and conversation we generate – possibly even leading to offline community. 

A Talent Pool, sitting on an ATS system or a good old database, cannot do this. It has no boat. It is static – it could never be a community – in any language. 

We have to understand that `Community` has developed. It isn’t a village collaborative idea anymore, it’s about refined connectivity within an online space – creating possibilities for offline. Still like-minded people, and still people with common interest.

The question now is – WHO is going to be steering the best boat – and who sitting around on the dock, debating the waters of whether it’s actually a community or not?  


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