Your Talent Pool

If you were forced to hire someone today, would you be able to hire a top level candidate? Assuming money wasn’t the issue, do you have the resumes and contacts to bring in the next best employee to help drive your organization. The question is, what does your talent pool look like? Is it filled with the best and the brightest or would you hire someone else’s liability?

As managers we are constantly hiring. It is the one task that every manager would like to avoid. Posting a job, digging through resumes, spending countless hours on the phone and in person asking questions of candidates, it becomes brutal after a while. All you want is for the perfect candidate to walk in the door.

I know that within minutes, no seconds of interviewing someone if I want to proceed or not. In fact, in my office’s lobby the candidate will be waiting for me on the other side of the room. When I walk in I perform a brief test. If the candidate allows me to get all the way across the floor before reaching out and shaking my hand then it’s already strike 1. However, if they stand up quickly the moment they see me and appear eager to shake my hand and introduce themselves then they win the “office lobby test.” I believe it says a lot about how they will interact with my customers and our current staff if hired.

But I digress, the point of this post is to define the talent pool and the necessity for it. In an ideal world you always have multiple candidates lined up and ready to be hired. Crafting your talent pool takes time but it is a necessity as a manager. You never know when your top employee is going to quit or when your going to have to quickly remove someone from your staff. Being prepared is what a good manger does.

Even though you may not be ready to hire you still need to have a minimum of three candidates ready. These people may be employed by a competitor or come from a different line of business. Sit down and craft a list of talent that you have on hand should you need a candidate immediately.

The importance of the talent pool shines through when you are sifting through dozens of resumes. My fear in the hiring process is always the same. We posted a job and received ten resumes. We then pick from those ten. What if ten of the ten are the wrong candidates but we made a decision only because we knew those ten. If the bar is set at B+ average candidates then you will hire a B+ candidate from this list.

This is why the talent pool becomes important. So when the time comes you can hire Grade A talent, not someone from the stack of mediocrity.

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