Why Didn’t Anybody Come to My Party? Driving Engagement in Your Talent Community

January 4, 2016 in HR Best Practices



Is that talent community of yours humming like a hive of bees – or chirping like a field of crickets?

We hope it’s the latter. But if not, today’s post is for you! In our last talent community post, we covered the basics for how to begin building one, including:

  • Analyzing your talent inventory
  • Developing a profile of your target professionals
  • Choosing the right platform
  • Getting involved in key food & beverage membership organizations

Merely building a platform, however, will not provide the recruiting benefits (i.e., viable top candidates) your food & beverage organization needs. So once you’ve created a framework for your food & beverage talent community, make it one that candidates actually want to be a part of! Use these ideas from Kinsa Group for driving engagement in your talent community (and getting top professionals to “mingle at your party!”):

Commit to investing.

Not surprisingly, a robust, well-managed infrastructure that delivers highly relevant information and facilitates meaningful dialogue isn’t cheap to build or maintain. Make sure you have the time, money and know-how to create something that truly adds value for members. Do anything less, and candidates will view your “community” as a mere contact-list-gathering tool (and head straight for the digital exit).

Don’t just send jobs.

That’s what your job boards are for! A talent community provides opportunities to attract, nurture, inform, listen to and cultivate real relationships with members. If all you plan to do is send jobs, you’re wasting your (and your candidates’) time.

Invite members.

Instead of passively waiting for members to find you, develop formal mechanisms for attracting them. Start by inviting current job candidates, past applicants, current employees and members of your existing social networks. Consider using existing social media platforms to invite new members or place a link on your company’s home and/or career pages. Give potential candidates good reasons to opt-in, by externally promoting the value of your community.

Listen to your members.

How do you determine what content food & beverage professionals want to talk about? Ask them – and then listen! Drive engagement by paying attention to the needs, goals and interests of your members:

  • Pose questions to better understand your candidates.
  • Encourage them to contribute their ideas and start conversations.
  • Once you determine what’s important to them, use those ideas to build your community.

Encourage true two-way dialogue.

Answer members’ questions. Respond to their comments in a timely manner (think 24 hours or less). Share content that goes beyond vanilla “how to interview” topics and addresses the key issues members bring up.Share. Provide targeted, relevant content for your audience, using members’ input to continually hone your list of topics. Ideas include: food & beverage job market analyses, training or education required for advancement, industry trends / news / research, and career management tips. When possible, use slideshows, videos or even webinars to keep members interested.

Build your brand.

Pull the veil back and show members what it’s really like to work for your company. Use your community to showcase your authentic employment brand – what your office or plant looks like, who works there and how work is performed.

Have fun!

Fun, engaging content about your team, your company and your industry will act as a magnet. You don’t have to be low-brow or slapstick to have fun within your community. Just make a concerted effort to occasionally inject a little humor and show the human side of your business.

Nobody showing up to your recruiting party?

Trust your search to Kinsa. Our recruiters continually employ 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.