Candidate Pool

Austin Morgan
Your company will need new employees at some point as turnover naturally occurs. How will you fill those spots? Your first step is to create a well-stocked candidate pool filled with qualified potential employees that can help your company grow for the future.

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What Is a Candidate Pool?

A candidate pool is the total number of applicants who were screened and deemed qualified and capable to perform the essential job duties of an open position.

Candidate Pool vs. Applicant Pool vs. Talent Pool

A talent pool is the total of all potential employees that could fill an open position. When someone in the talent pool fills out an application for the open position, they move into the applicant pool. After reviewing and screening the applicant, they move into the candidate pool.

Why Are Candidate Pools Important?

Candidate pools are essential for the success of companies and their ability to maintain well-staffed departments to deliver goods and services.

  • Qualified candidates fill job openings. Every company will have turnover as employees retire, voluntarily quit, or are involuntarily terminated for lack of performance. As positions open, companies need to fill those spots to maintain business operations.
  • Having a pool of candidates makes hiring quicker. If a company is able to maintain a pool of candidates, they can quickly fill open positions. The ability to quickly hire will decrease the “cost to hire” liability for each hiring need. Often smaller companies will have their HR departments be recruiters. If HR departments spend a lot of time recruiting, then other duties may slow down and affect operations.
  • Becoming a choice employer brings better talent. As companies operate daily, they should aim to become an employer of choice. Instead of acting from a point of desperation and filling open positions with anyone that applies, companies should aim to make open positions more competitive. As a company becomes popular to work for, the company can attract more talented employees.

How Do You Build a Candidate Pool?

Candidate pools are not built by accident. Rather, building a candidate pool requires a great deal of time and attention. If you’re wondering how to get started building your own, follow these steps:

Step 1: Develop Your Talent Pool

Companies must first develop a talent pool. This is a group of potential employees that may or may not be aware of the company’s open positions. This is done by using ATS (applicant tracking systems) with recruiting abilities, creating your own list of potential applicants you find, or seeking referrals from current employees.

Step 2: Get Potential Applicants to Apply to Open Jobs

You must get potential employees to apply for your open jobs. This can occur by sending your application to everyone you are interested in or posting your applicant to a job board such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook Jobs, Department of Workforce Services, etc.

Step 3: Review Resumes

When potential employees apply, review their resume and determine the potential to perform the job duties. As a company, you should create a job description and job duties for all jobs. This will allow you to evaluate applicants’ ability to succeed in your company.

Step 4: Begin Interviewing Applicants

Move potential employees from your applicant pool to your candidate pool and begin the interview process.

Ways To Grow Your Candidate Pool

If a company can increase the total number of qualified candidates in their candidate pool, they will benefit from more efficient hiring and company operations.

Increase the Number of Applicants

Think of creative ways to have more people apply for your job openings. This can include a referral program that rewards current employees for assisting in recruiting. Add your job to as many online or print job boards that your budget allows. Source potential employees by actively reaching out to passive and active job seekers.

Build a Choice Employer Brand

If a company can create a workplace that current employees rave about, more people may want to work for you. This comes from a culture that employees want to work within, competitive wages and benefits, including flexible work schedules, medical/dental/vision plans, and work-life balance.

Constantly Reevaluate Your Job Standards

There is a fine line between being overly disciplined and not disciplined enough on candidate standards. The needs of job positions may change often, so a company should evaluate if they are disqualifying the proper amount of applicants to the candidate pool.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Candidate Pools

How can I improve my applicant pool?
You can improve your applicant pool by increasing the number of applicants in your applicant pool. To become more efficient in receiving more applicants is to review your application process. Ask yourself, how long does it take to complete an application? Is the application deliverable in the applicant’s preferred method (paper, electronic, video)? Are applicants able to upload their resume for quicker completion? Are the questions in the application pertinent to job success?
What is an effective way to attract diverse candidates?
What is an effective way to attract diverse candidates? Diversity in the workplace will help companies avoid groupthink and maintain innovative workflow processes. The first step to attracting diverse candidates is recognizing the need for diversity at your company. Without this recognition, diversity may be seen as an inhibitor to success. Second, have employees express their own feelings on diversity to ensure that everyone is open to working with different cultures and personalities. Third, celebrate diversity in an organic way. This will allow employees to see that diversity is helping the company achieve its goals. Finally, talk your company up to candidates and ask them about their experience with diversity. This will show potential employees that you have a diverse workplace they can succeed in.
Austin Morgan

Austin came to Discovery Connections in 2021 after working as an Account Manager for a Section 125 benefits and COBRA administrator. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science in 2019 and from Southern Utah University with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership in 2021. Originally from Oklahoma, Austin enjoys trying new foods in new places he travels to, watching college football, and snowboarding the local resorts in Utah. He has been married to his wife since 2019 and owns a cockapoo named Hershey.

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