Talent Communities Could Solve the Stresses of the Supply Chain

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Since March 2020, the topic of supply chains has been hot, and one supply chain that’s crucial to the world of HR is people. And the people that make up a company’s talent pipeline are their supply chain! With an increase in people retiring , the prioritization of work-life balance, and surges in COVID-19 variants over the last two years, top talent is hard to find in the job market.

But maybe that comes down to the fact that there hasn’t been enough focus on the supply chain for talent, aka talent communities, as there should have been. And that’s not anyone’s fault, but we can fix it in the future. With supply chains, you plan, and you know how many rolls of paper towels to produce years ahead of time—so when everyone starts demanding them, there’s no way to stop on a dime and start producing more. That happened when the Great Resignation took hold and companies needed to source talent immediately—it wasn’t part of the plan! But a talent community could solve the stresses of the supply chain.

Regardless of your immediate hiring needs, a talent community extensively invests in your organization’s future. You can decrease your hiring time, reduce sourcing costs, and cultivate relationships with talent interested in learning more about your company. Three out of four job seekerswant to give companies their resumes—even if they don’t have any job openings

Let’s face it, an ad hoc solution to hire talent will not meet your long-term recruitment goals. The heavy lift that happens every time you need to hire will no longer exist with a talent community. Half the work is already done when you have candidate resumes (a talent supply chain) coming in consistently. 89% of job seekers said they’d be more inclined to apply to a company that allowed them to engage with the company and learn about their organization before the recruitment process.

Why It’s So Challenging to Hire at The Moment

With job seekers looking out for themselves now, more than ever—they’re making decisions about how they work based on what works best for them. After so many experienced the world of work where there’s no commute, no small talk, and in some cases, no pants (although I hope I’m wrong on that), candidates are calling the shots, and as a result, the ability to staff up has become more challenging. 

Accordingly, wages are up, hiring takes longer, and remaining employees take on more responsibilities that can lead to burnout, contributing to a smaller supply of talent. Additionally, more than a million people didn’t anticipate retiring in 2020, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than two million people left the workforce between March 2020 and March 2021. 

Furthermore, the available workers may not be trained for the type of careers that you need to hire. This dilemma is causing companies to reevaluate their priorities. Those nice-to-haves listed in job descriptions are no longer valued as heavily as they once were, and dropping those nice-to-have requirements allows employers to expand their talent pools. For more skilled roles, corporations create training and certification programs, putting new and existing hires through these programs to ensure their staff can serve clients. By having people coming through a talent pipeline, companies can know well in advance the base level of talent they can expect. Programs like paid training and certifications are a great way to market an organization’s brand and corporate culture.  

Actively developing the skills of existing and potential candidates is something companies need to get better at. According to a report from Gallup, it can cost up to one and a half to two times an employee’s annual salary to replace them. Upskilling is a smaller investment, and at the same time, employees become more well-rounded and effective. The upskilling story alone will play a crucial role in recruiting. 

Lastly, start where talent is being developed—schools. Partnering with training programs and colleges to share what your organization is looking for from specific graduates and hiring these students as interns and entry-level employees is a great way to drive talent into your supply chain. Sure, this is a longer-term solution than simply reevaluating your must-haves from current members of the labor force, but all of the tactics working together—reevaluating your priorities, upskilling employees, and partnering with schools—will help round out your supply chain, aka your talent pipeline.


Julie Shenkman is an experienced marketing and communications manager atNexxt.com.


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By Julie Shenkman