The complete guide to creating, managing and optimizing your candidate pool

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The complete guide to creating, managing and optimizing your candidate pool

A candidate pool is a database made up of talent profiles interested in a job within a company, or who have already worked there. This is a major asset in case of recruitment, because it allows to have at hand profiles of first choice.

A talent pool can also be an indicator of the company’s HR marketing performance. The more it is filled and updated with good candidate profiles, the more it testifies to the influence of the employer brand and the interest it arouses among executives.

That said, how do you create a database of candidates and manage it on a day-to-day basis? What are the most appropriate tools to do this? What tips to apply to get the most out of it? Finf answers in this guide to creating and managing a pool of candidates.

Create a candidate pool

The profiles to be included in the talent pool can be:

  • Those of former interns or former employees;
  • Those of interesting candidates who have responded to a previous job offer without having been selected;
  • Those of talents who have sent a spontaneous application;
  • Those of candidates who have been recommended by the company’s employees, therefore by co-optation;
  • Those of executives met at professional events.

The information provided by these potential candidates is often scattered on various media: paper sheets, files attached to emails, sourcing on social networks, etc.

To avoid getting lost, it is important to dedicate a team to collecting, analyzing and entering them into the database. This is a time-consuming task upstream, but it saves considerable time when done with the right tools.

What are the best tools to use?

Chloé Duval, employer brand specialist, indicates that 3 types of tools can be used to create a pool of candidates. These are, in order of priority and expertise:

  • An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or recruitment software;
  • Google Sheet software for calculating and creating online tables;
  • The software for calculating and creating Excel tables.

The ATS is used to collect, process and track applications during a recruitment campaign. It can manage an unlimited number of profiles, and is also optimized for collaborative work and setting up a pool of applications.

It is therefore the premium tool to create and manage a pool of candidates. Otherwise, it is possible to use Google Sheet or Excel.

Even without offering the same functionality as an ATS, Google Sheet and Excel allow you to create multiple spreadsheets, each dedicated to a profile type. Recruiters can record a lot of information about interesting candidates.

The disadvantage with Excel is that it is not configured for collaborative work. If several recruiters need to collaborate on the same project, it is best to use Google Sheet.

What information should be recorded in the ATS?

For each candidate in the pool, the company must have:

  • A CV;
  • A complete identity sheet, contact details and geographical position;
  • The status of the candidate, i.e. whether they are an unsuccessful candidate, a former employee, an intern, etc. ;
  • The last diploma obtained;
  • The number of years of experience;
  • The last position held and the one they plan to have;
  • The grades they obtained at the last recruitment made if they participated;
  • A summary of any exchanges with recruiters.

When all this is perfectly classified and organized, it is easy to launch an original recruitment campaign, without ads or posters. A video or coded message can be sent to the profiles of target candidates, and the best are recruited in a short time.

Manage your candidate pool on a daily basis

To manage a pool of candidates, it must be regularly updated, but in strict compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.

What does the law say about data collection?

All potential candidates in the pool must be informed that the company wishes to store their personal data for a fixed period of time.

The legal data retention period is 2 years. Beyond that, the GDPR requires that data be anonymized. Talents also have the right to request that their data be deleted or anonymised at any time.

How do I update the pool data?

A pool of candidates can be updated quarterly, semi-annually or annually. It can also take place with each new recruitment. It all depends on the means at the disposal of the company and its HR policy.

In all cases, it is necessary to maintain contact with the candidates through:

  • An HR Newsletter to inform about the company’s news and invite you to update your data;
  • An automatic email sending system for sharing available job offers and opportunities;
  • A periodic information system of events organized by the company, or those in which it participates.

To simplify and automate the sending of emails, a CRM tool is integrated into the ATS. Then, the software takes care of the periodic sending of emails, once the associated content is available.

Optimize your candidate pool

Optimizing the candidate pool means putting in place an effective strategy to make the most of it as soon as the need arises. To achieve this, it is necessary to:

  • Organize and classify data to facilitate sorting and processing;
  • Consider candidates as clients to be converted and communicate regularly with them;
  • Implement a sourcing strategy for new talent.

Organize and classify data

Data from the candidate pool is often classified according to occupational category. But other details such as the level of proficiency in the English language, soft skills and geographical location can be decisive for a recruitment.

To navigate effectively, you must create specific fields for each of this information, and assign a score to the candidate. This method is called CV parsing. In this way, the pool is clearer and allows to anticipate recruitment needs.

Then, as soon as a position is to be filled, the ATS is asked to perform a screening and “matching” according to the profile of the candidates sought. The software must be able to bring out the best profiles from the pool of candidates if the classification and organization have been optimal.

Maintain contact with candidates

The golden rule here is to always respond to candidates who interact with the company, even if their application has not been successful.

Responding to candidates reassures them and offers the opportunity to revive them as soon as there are new recruitments in progress. On top of that, the HR department can send them wishes on their birthday, or text messages when the company has events in their city.

In addition, it should not be forgotten that candidates may want to consult the opinions of the employees of a company, in order to have an idea of the work environment they would like to integrate.

It is therefore important to have an interface where employees can express themselves freely about the company. It will also be necessary to ensure that employee opinions are responded. It’s a way to prove that everyone’s voice matters.

Candidates will be reassured that they will be listened to and that exchanges will be possible once they integrate the company.

Implement a sourcing strategy for new talent

A pool of candidates containing only unavailable talent is of no use in the face of the challenges of a recruitment to be closed urgently. To avoid such a situation, the company must:

  • Organize open days;
  • Participate in trade fairs;
  • Set up a community of experts or forums for exchange on social networks;
  • Make the most of professional networks such as LinkedIn and closely follow the profiles recommended by its employees;
  • Proceed with the digitalization of recruitment.

In summary, it must be remembered that any company that wants to enhance its employer brand and limit the costs and deadlines of its recruitment must have a pool of candidates. It must already make proper use of the information collected during recruitment, by storing it in an ATS.

Then, the company can add the data of spontaneous applications or candidates recommended by employees.

Finally, the data collected should be updated, sorted and organized as often as possible. Thus, as soon as the company needs to recruit or fill an absence, it will be able to do so quickly thanks to the matching of profiles available in its pool of candidates.

Did you know that employee reviews can be used to attract the best profiles to compose your pool of candidates?

More and more candidates are taking the time to collect opinions from people already working within a company before applying for the latter’s offers.

Want to take advantage of this opportunity?

Custplace offers the opportunity to benefit from a dedicated page on its platform where your employees can give their opinions on your company. In return, you will be able to respond to these reviews.

This is an opportunity to show talents interested in your company that you are open to exchanges and that you are concerned about the development of each of your employees. You can click here to learn more about this offer today.


What is a candidate pool and how can it be created?

A candidate pool is a database of talent profiles interested in a job in the company or who have already worked there. You can find former trainees, candidates who have responded to previous job offers, spontaneous applications, recommendations by employees, etc. To create a pool of candidates, it is essential to collect, analyze and enter these profiles into the database. It is advisable to use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), a recruitment software, to effectively manage the pool.

How to optimize the management of a candidate pool?

To optimize the management of a pool of candidates, it is essential to keep the data up to date while complying with GDPR regulations. Applicants must be informed that their data will be stored for a fixed period (2 years legally). The use of an ATS makes it possible to update and sort the information efficiently. It is crucial to maintain contact with candidates by responding to their interactions, even if they have not been selected. Finally, to enrich the pool, it is important to set up a sourcing strategy, by participating in professional events and exploiting social networks.

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