Size is important, quality more so.

Talent pool size differs from job to job. Developers may be a dime a dozen. You could build a talent pool with hundreds of candidates. However, if you want developers with specific skills, hard to find experiences or more, that pool may be very small.

Talent pool quality is the key. No matter what the size, it is the quality of what goes in, that determines what comes out. Filling the pool with the right talent saves time & money.

This is a two part blog with part 1 discussing how to get started building a job specific talent pool. Part 2 discusses how to fill a job specific talent pool with both active & passive applicants & evaluate that talent pool.

If the Job Brief was well defined & the effort invested, the search will deliver results. A clear & detailed Job Brief feeds the search.

Time to advertise the role. The information and advertising plan are in the job brief. Place the job ad, set up social messaging and get the messages out. The easy part is now done. Active job seekers should get the message.

Now for the hard part – headhunting. Remember, a strong talent pool should include both active & passive candidates. A good selection of talent should not be based solely on the people looking for a new job.

A recruitment consultant pursues talent for their client. Armed with all the information from the Job Brief the hunt begins. Job Boards, repositories such as SEEK & LinkedIn, social networks & more might be in the first step. Certain companies are targeted. After all, they have great staff with great skills.

Active job seekers comprise the majority of the talent pool. The quality & suitability is hit & miss with the active job seekers.

Passive job seekers are the high-quality members in the talent pool. They did not know about the role. They may have been ‘convinced’ to apply by the recruiter. Every passive candidate already meets the majority of the requirements for the role.


10, 20, 50 or 200+ applicants are now in the talent pool. Scary? Time-consuming? Not my day job? Ugh! Few people relish reviewing applications. It is a real chore for many.

A recruitment consultant takes the brunt of the pain & whittles down the talent pool. That is their job. Consistent evaluation across the talent pool comes from the well defined Job Brief.

Soft skills around presentation, motivation, character, honesty & team skills are scored. Problem solving, planning & execution ability & even the potential for growth are measured. The soft skills are specific to your talent pool.

Hard skills around tech ability, use of specific tool & level of experience are scored. The hard skills are specific to your talent pool.

Weighting both the soft & hard skills brings in the science & derives a final score for each candidate. Shortlisted candidates can now be compared across the talent pool. In a quadrant visual the top right corner shows the best of the talent pool.

Decision time.

Detailed Candidate Evaluations

Job View

Step 1 (flip the model) & Step 2 (invest the effort) are discussed in part 1.

SmartWorker is a modern online recruitment company. We specialise in building job specific talent pools for the IT industry across Australia. We made the transition to a consulting based recruitment model more than 2 years ago.

Download your own complementary Candidate Evaluation Tool. Give it a try to see how consistent evaluations of your candidates leads to better hiring.



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