Amidst today's competitive labor market, it's imperative enterprises stay agile to meet ever-changing demands.
For instance, let's look at the UK to give us a better feel for just how volatile the market is. From January to March 2023, job vacancies fell for the ninth consecutive period, reflecting the rocky economic climate impacting most industries.
The bottom line: Employers and employees don’t know if they’re coming or going, causing many to crave more stability.
One way to achieve this for both your HR team and freelance workforce is to build your own private talent pool.
So, what’s a private talent pool?
In a nutshell, a private talent pool is a database of all your company’s current and former freelancers/contractors with the skills, experience, and potential to fill future job openings.
Having this data quickly in hand is a proactive approach to optimizing talent management, leveraging your existing talent better, and minimizing external hiring costs.
Interested? If so, stick with us as we explore:
The benefits of building a private talent pool
How to create one
Best practices for managing it to support your business goals
As you can see, there’s lots to cover, so let’s dive in!
The Benefits of Building a Private Talent Pool
A private talent pool should provide easy access to a wide range of candidates with precisely the right skills for your projects. As a result, compared to the traditional hiring process, you should be able to start work much quicker. Not least because candidates should have already undergone pre-screening and onboarding, allowing you to fill roles faster, reducing potential disruption caused by skills gaps in your workforce.
The stats show that hiring times have been reduced by 50%in organizations that use talent pools. You don’t need us to tell you that’s a lot of time saved!
But how do you manage your freelancer’s contact details, work history, availability, etc? You might automatically consider a spreadsheet, which, needless to say, would inevitably get pretty complicated.
Thankfully, there’s a more straightforward solution to ensuring quick and easy access to your freelance talent pool members.
Cue, a freelance management platform (FMS).
A best-in-class FMS provides everything you and your HR team need to:
Search for talent based on skills, price, location, availability status, language, etc.
Once you’ve found a good fit, invite the freelancer to work on the project with just a few clicks.
Finally, upon project competition, you should be able to rate the freelancer’s performance (for internal reference). This could include their work rate, pros, cons, etc. Notes like this should make matching the right freelancers to the right job a slightly easier process in the future.
How to Create a Private Talent Pool
Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of how a private talent pool could benefit you. So, with that in mind, let’s take a gander at how to create your own:
Identify Your Business Needs
Before diving head first into talent pool creation, you need to assess your company’s staffing needs both in the short and long term. To evaluate this, ask department managers:
Whether any upcoming projects might need outside expertise
Which vacant roles could be filled in the short and long term by a freelancer
Which skills are required to fill those roles, such as marketing, IT, finance, and so on
Are there any niche skills gaps that may take longer to fill?
These are just a few examples of questions that will provide a better understanding of your company’s talent requirements, but hopefully, you get the gist.
With this sort of information, you’re better positioned to take a more proactive approach toward finding and inviting freelancers to your talent pool that meet your business needs.
…which leads us nicely to our next point:
Source Talented Freelancers
When sourcing freelancers, approach it just as you would recruiting traditional full-time roles. For example, it’s possible to find freelance talent on LinkedIn, Twitter, online freelance marketplaces, online job boards, etc.
It’s also wise to tap into your existing professional network. By this, we mean asking your current employees and freelancers whether they can recommend anyone suitable to join your private talent pool. Not only does this foster engagement with your existing talent, but you could also potentially save yourself some time.
Once you have a shortlist of freelancers, interview them to determine their skills, availability, and attitude toward work. You’ll also better understand whether they’re a good cultural fit for your enterprise.
Lastly, be sure to communicate consistently with candidates throughout the sourcing process. You don’t want to earn yourself a reputation as a business that leaves its candidates high and dry, not knowing if they’ve been successful or not.
Invite Freelancers to Join Your Private Talent Pool
Once you’ve sourced freelancers you think would be a good fit, invite them to your talent pool.
Again, this process is made much simpler with the help of reputable freelance management software. Often all you need is the freelancer’s name and email address to get the ball rolling!
How to Manage a Private Talent Pool
Now you’ve started to build your private talent pool; we thought it would be helpful to list a few best practices for managing freelancers to ensure you’re leveraging this resource to the fullest. So let’s take a look:
Onboard Freelancers as Quickly as Possible
Once a freelancer accepts your invitation to join your talent pool, onboard them as soon as possible. From a freelancer's perspective, a poor onboarding process can be frustrating. In fact, just 12% of respondents in a Gallup survey agreed the company they work for gave them a good onboarding experience.
On the flip side of things, i.e., from your perspective, an incomplete onboarding process can create unnecessary headaches. For instance, delays starting projects or issues during tax season.
That’s why using a freelance management solution that streamlines and automates most of your onboarding process is handy. Not only does this speed things up, but it also goes a long way to ensure nothing is missed - which is especially important where compliance is concerned.
For instance, Bubty provides everything you need to quickly onboard freelancers so they can hit the ground running on your project. This includes providing a centralized place to share, sign, and store compliance-related documentation—for instance, NDAs, confidentiality agreements, etc.
Keep Track of Your Freelancers
You may have access to a great talent pool, but that alone isn’t enough. Instead, you need to track precisely who’s in it, their availability, time zone, skills, etc., to quickly match freelancers with the right skills for your projects.
The easiest way to achieve this is to enable freelancers to create and update their freelance profiles within your FMS.
That way, you don’t have to manually revise records to ensure freelancer information is fully updated, saving lots of time and effort!
Needless to say, it’s also in the freelancer’s best interests to keep their profiles up-to-date because it increases the likelihood of getting invited to work on relevant projects. So this arrangement is a win-win for all concerned!
Pay On Time
Freelancers commonly complain about difficulties getting paid, with 29% of invoices settled late.
The moral of the story: To successfully manage your private talent pool, you must pay your freelancers on time, every time. Period.
Again, an FMS like Bubty can help with this. It allows freelancers to upload invoices for you to view, approve, and pay. Not only does this make it easy for you to pay freelancers promptly, but it also provides a record of your freelancer outgoings to keep a clear track of project costs.
Are You Ready to Harness the Power of Private Talent Pools for Your Enterprise?
Finding qualified talent is challenging. In fact, 77% of large businesses struggle with this. But, hopefully, having read this blog post, you now have a clearer idea of how your private talent pool can ensure consistent access to high-quality freelancers.
Of course, you’re not going to employ every contractor in your pool all of the time, so having their details to hand when you need them is such a benefit.
However, as stressed throughout this article, having a talent pool is not enough. Instead, you need to manage it properly to harness its power to the fullest. This is where adopting the services of reliable FMS is worth its weight in gold.
With that said, contact Bubty today to see how they can help you achieve exactly that!