Get Out of the Kiddie Pool! Tips for Building a Food & Beverage Talent Community
Want to hire quicker and more cost-effectively?
Then you can’t rely on the tepid waters of a talent pool – they dry up too quickly!
Don’t get us wrong:
- An applicant tracking system is great tool for building a pool of potential candidates. Communication with a talent pool, however, is one-way – and generally provides only a one-dimensional view of candidates (i.e., through their resumes).
- Talent networks are valuable to your recruiting efforts, too. The “opt-in” nature of this type of database ensures that potential candidates want to hear about your company and its employment opportunities. But like an ATS, communication with a talent network is one-directional – lacking the candidate insight and engagement a true community offers.
So what IS a talent community?
It’s more than just a database, pool, pipeline or network. But while the concept itself is difficult to concisely define, here’s what makes a talent community unique:
- Communication is two-way. Individuals with particular skill sets and interests can opt-in to interact in personal, meaningful ways with your organization.
- Information shared is not limited to job opportunities. Members of a talent community exchange ideas, solve problems and share information about a variety of topics – from your employment brand and company culture, to career advice and industry-specific topics.
- A talent community offers a wider range of potential recruiting advantages, including: higher quality applicants, attracting passive candidates, better candidate fit (facilitated by two-way conversations) and opportunities to build your employment brand (even when you’re not hiring).
And how can you build yours?
If you’re ready to wade into deeper talent “waters,” here’s how to graduate from the kiddie pool and build a real food & beverage talent community:
Analyze your talent inventory in terms of future needs. As accurately as possible, estimate the volume and types of food & beverage talent your organization will need over the next two- to three-year period. Only by understanding your strategic growth needs can you create a tactical plan for building a community.
Develop a profile of professionals with whom you’re already interacting. If you’re already using social media like LinkedIn or Facebook, you probably already have a wide range of people who know you and interact with your organization. And if you’re new to social channels, start by profiling your current employees to develop an understanding of what potential community members might want.
Choose the right platform. Build your community where potential members already find themselves! Determine which platform is most highly trafficked by the types of professionals you want to engage. Then, if you don’t have the expertise on-staff, consider consulting with an experienced contact relationship manager (CRM) to develop a platform that:
- captures the potential candidate information you need;
- is geared to the needs of your target talent segments, so they’re likely to engage in meaningful conversations (e.g., if you’re targeting Gen Y candidates, a mobile platform might work better than email-based communications).
Get involved in key food & beverage membership organizations. Membership isn’t enough to build the strong relationships characteristic of a true talent community. You need to get involved, both online and in person! Here are a few of the ways Kinsa connects with food & beverage talent:
- Members of Institute of Food Technologists (national IFT and local chapters like WI IFT and CSIFT)
- Partner of Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF)
- Members of FaB Wisconsin
- Exhibitors at and participators in National Restaurant Association (NRA)
- Sponsor at food industry, discipline-specific educational events provided by Global Food Forums and Next Level Summits
- Partner and participators in iHobnob – an online Food & Beverage community
- Provider of Kinsa’s Group on Linkedin, as well as other food & beverage and discipline-specific groups on Linkedin.
- Participation in furthering our Recruiting skills and keeping current on Recruiting knowledge and trends through ROW [Recruiters of Wisconsin] (formerly www.waps.org and Next Level Exchange).
In a future post, we’ll share more ideas for building a food & beverage talent community that’s a self-sustaining source of inspiration and great professional talent.
Want to connect with better talent – faster?
Kinsa continually employs a wide range of social and direct recruiting strategies to maintain strong relationships with top food & beverage professionals. Partner with us to make your executive food & beverage recruiting simpler and more successful.