In this blog we will go over
What is a talent pool
8 Benefits of talent pool
How to Find and Manage Your Talent Pool of Freelancers
Given the tightness of the current labor market (thanks to a potent mix of COVID-19 and the Great Resignation), having access to a talented pool of freelancers is more crucial than ever for scaling your business.
Not least because it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure on-demand access to the professional expertise you need to fulfill job vacancies.
The benefits of maintaining a talent pool of freelancers are aptly demonstrated by the following statistics:
There are over 11 million jobs open in the US. This is an unprecedented shortage of workers, so talent pools are running dry. In contrast, recent figures show 59 million freelancers in the US, increasing from 53 million in 2014. As such, freelancers present an increasingly viable solution for replenishing dwindling talent pools.
As many as 61% of freelancers specialize in two to three talents, adding some much-needed versatility to your list of prospective hires.
59% of freelancers participated in skills training in the last six months vs. 36% of non-freelancers, proving that freelancers are more likely to offer a more up-to-date skillset.
In light of all this, this blog post will explore what a talent pool of freelancers is and how you can go about creating one for your business.
There is lots to cover, so grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive straight in!
What’s a Talent Pool?
In short, a traditional talent pool describes a centralized resource where recruiters can access and manage prospective job candidates. This saves HR managers tons of time when it comes to recruiting fresh talent because businesses don’t need to start from scratch to fill job vacancies.
Examples of this in practice include Spotify. The streaming platform has a talent pool aimed explicitly at students. It’s called “Join the Band” and offers Spotify the opportunity to keep in touch with people who are yet to enter the job market.
There’s also Sodexo. The food services and management company has a “Join Our Talent Community” page on its website. Here candidates can stay updated on future roles, and hiring events, navigate Sodexo’s hiring process, and hopefully get matched with suitable job opportunities.
Lastly, McKinsey encourages former employees to stay in touch via its Alumni Center. This serves multiple purposes. Not least to keep former consultants in touch with the company, its work, relevant events, perks, and discounts, but also to keep people interested in case they want to work for the organization again in the future. McKinsey recruiters can post jobs onto the Alumni Center in the hope of reaching skilled former talent.
A talent pool might comprise candidates who:
Previously applied to work at your company who didn’t quite fit the role they were applying for but might make a great addition elsewhere.
Current employees who are interested in a role change
Candidates recommended to you, but you don’t have a vacancy applicable to their skill set at that particular time.
Former employees who have moved on but may be suitable for future roles
People who have yet to enter the job market who may make suitable future freelance or long term employees
By adding these prospects to your talent pool, you have their details ready if the right opening comes up.
Pro Tip: Be sure to store the following candidate details:
Whether they’re signed up to your mailing lists and job alerts
Their preferred roles
Skills that are transferable to different roles
Types of work contracts they’re interested in - shorter or longer-term opportunities, part-time vs. full-time, project-based, and so on.
Salary or day/hourly rate expectations and ranges
That said, with the increasing talent shortage, more and more employers are turning to freelancers to bulk out their talent pools.
This sudden surge isn’t without good reason, which leads us nicely to our next section…
8 The Benefits of Adding Freelancers to Your Talent Pool
As we’ve already hinted at, freelancers could present an excellent solution to growing your diminishing talent pool. Not least because:
They’re More Likely To Be Available
Freelancers typically work for multiple businesses simultaneously, so there’s a higher chance they’ll be able to work for you when you need them to. In contrast, once a traditional employee gets snapped up by another employer, you’ll have to work harder to persuade them to jump ship and work for you.
Freelancers Are Quicker to Hire
Generally speaking, freelancers are much quicker to hire - you can snap up a freelancer in days or even hours. Not least because most freelancers usually work on short-term projects remotely, so assessing whether the freelancer complements your company culture isn't as arduous because there isn’t as much at stake.
Pro Freelancers Are Experts
Professional freelancers tend to boast expert knowledge in their niche - they also benefit from lots of relevant experience because they’ve worked with many clients. This makes freelancers much more straightforward to onboard because they typically know what’s expected from them from the get-go.
Freelancers Handle Their Own Taxes
Freelancers handle their own taxes, so that’s one less thing for you and your accounts team to worry about. This is just another reason why it’s often quicker to hit the ground running with a freelancer than with a traditional employee.
Typically, freelancers understand that consistent effort and first-rate work are required to secure ongoing business from high-quality clients. As such, you stand to gain from that!
It’s Easy to Re-engage Freelancers
Freelancers have a 70% chance of selling to existing clients. This illustrates how easy re-engaging freelancer services is (should you need them). Once you've built a working relationship with your freelancer, onboarding is much quicker because they should already know what you expect from them.
Freelancers Don’t Need Hand-holding
As a general rule, freelancers require low levels of supervision because they're self-starters and experts in their field. An experienced freelancer has likely undertaken hundreds of similar projects and knows exactly what's needed to get the job done.
Freelancers Are More Cost-effective
Freelancers tend to be more cost-effective than full-time employees because you just pay for what you need - without shelling out for conventional employee benefits.
How to Find and Manage Your Talent Pool of Freelancers
Traditionally, hiring managers would have to chop and change between different systems to find freelance talent - LinkedIn, HR agencies, local business directories, etc. However, now there are centralized platforms that enable you to identify and communicate with high-quality freelancers to add to your talent pool. That's as well as empowering you to invite freelancers you know already to your talent pool. That way, you can keep track of all your freelancers from the convenience of one place.
Successfully managing your talent pool is imperative. This is especially true if you have both freelancers and candidates looking for long-term employed work in your database. If that sounds like your talent pool, you need to highlight/separate who’s who, i.e., who’s a freelancer and who’s looking for full-time/part-time employment.
You also need to clarify the skills those in your talent pool possess so that you can see at a glance who boasts the necessary skillsets for the projects you need help with.
Historically, tracking these details was done via spreadsheets requiring constant maintenance. But, fast forward to today, freelancer management systems (FMSs) are available with built-in freelance talent pool management features.
The ability to search for freelancers based on skills, availability, rate, location, and custom tags (which isn’t something Bubty offers).
The ability to quickly create and match projects to the most suitable freelancer in your database using filtering and search functionalities.
A calendar view that enables you to monitor freelancer availability.
The option for team members to write notes and reviews concerning freelancers they’ve worked with.
Freelancers can create their own profiles brimming with up-to-date info, so gone are the days when you tediously had to keep freelancer records up to date. For example, freelancers should be able to add the following to their profiles: Price, language, availability, portfolio, signed documents, reviews, ratings, previous work, experience, skillsets, etc.
Fear not if you're already using an Excel sheet to manage your talent pool. This data won't be wasted. With the right platform, you should be able to migrate this info with just a few clicks.
Are You Ready to Start Building a Talent Pool of Freelancers?
Cultivating a talent pool of freelancers makes good business sense. In today’s volatile job market, a robust system that provides instant access to information on freelancer availability and skills is essential. Remember, having access to talented freelancers is an excellent way of bringing in fresh ideas to your business while also meeting changing demands of your organization. Fortunately, using a freelance management system like Bubty presents a cost-effective long-term solution to nurturing your freelance talent pool. Interested? If so, why not book a demo and start building your own talent pool?