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The whole discussion about talent pools is completely misguided. Seriously! It’s such an outdated recruiter/hirer perspective and never ever includes the perspective of the individual candidate. Have they been asked to be in the talent pool? And by this I don’t mean, if they have given permission, but are the actively participating.  Or have they only been earmarked because I can’t place them at the moment but maybe in the future? That’s not a talent pool – that’s a list. It’s even worse – not by a lot, but still by a bit – than the claim that companies are able to build communities.

Have the people talking about talent pools completely missed the development that is happening everywhere else? It’s not about owning the individual (because I’m the only one that owns me); it’s about knowing the individual for their own benefit. That requires a lot of data integration and a lot of – user centric and user defined – engagement. So, unless, I want to be in your pool, I’m not in your talent pool. And unless you use your pool to offer me other jobs that might be of interest of me, it’s not for my benefit, it’s just for the benefit of the hiring organisation for reducing advertising costs and placement fees.

So instead of wasting your time in building talent pools or creating plastic communities, listen and engage with individuals on their own terms . Don’t try to groom them, just treat them with the same respect you want to be treated with.

The whole talent pool idea has been around as long as recruitment has existed, it always grows in times of economic downturns and cost savings but hardly anybody has the brand, the inclination, the philosophy, the resources and the content to pull it off. And you know what’s even worse – talent exchange. Don’t even get me started on this nonsense.

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