February 28, 2024

A lot of people are revisiting their resumes this year—and heading out on the job hunt. A recent Gallup poll finds about half of US workers are looking for or open to a new role. But with one open job for every two seekers, the market is flooded. The job interview process is getting longer, more strenuous, and more demanding. Hiring in the US has slowed, and industries including tech and media have seen significant declines in job openings.

Frustrated by long, exhausting job searches, applicants throw their resumes into talent networks—those generic application forms on company career pages that read, “Join our talent community!”

Employers use these to collect applications from job seekers—usually a resume and some basic contact information—for no job in particular. Most are stamped with a promise to contact the searcher with new positions that match their skills.

But are they actually worth anything? There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. It’s rare to find workers who have landed a job this way, or even an interview, but those who feel burned by the experience are many—and eager to vent. One of them is Liane Paonessa, a senior communications professional who’s been interested in a new role for two years, and applying in earnest for the last six months. Paonessa estimates that she’s submitted her resume to 20 of these talent communities. “Every time there’s a company that I’m interested in, I sign up for the talent network. Has anything panned out? Absolutely not. I have not gotten a single call,” she says.

For Paonessa, every talent network application engenders a sense of accomplishment. “When you’re looking for work, it’s a full-time job, and when you haven’t had any interviews or networking calls that week, at least when you can apply for a role, you feel like, ‘I’m doing something, I’m being productive, I’m trying.’” But with so little to show for the effort, her optimism is short-lived. “The flip side of that is I’m never going to hear from these people.”

Some talent networks promise to share job openings with members before they’re posted to job boards, but Paonessa is skeptical. “I have found that some of the roles appear on LinkedIn or Indeed before I receive an email announcing the roles,” she adds.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are people who have landed jobs or projects from these, although they’re decidedly fewer in number than their frustrated peers. Freelance reporter Ryan Zickgraf says he won reporting assignments from the Washington Post’s talent network while living in southern Alabama; thanks to his location, the paper asked him to pick up a handful of local story assignments. But with other talent networks, Zickgraf has been unsuccessful.

How recruiters actually use talent networks

The general sentiment among job seekers is that talent networks or talent communities are a disingenuous attempt at recruiting. It doesn’t help that some companies have faked job openings to make it look like the company is growing, or to pack a pipeline of “irresistible” candidates—without telling applicants what makes an irresistible candidate.

But recruiters and hiring managers insist that they do pull from talent networks. Sarah Johnston, a former corporate recruiter and founder of small executive job search firm Briefcase Coach, says she has clients who have landed interviews through talent network applications. Smaller businesses or startups who get fewer applications, she says, are more likely to recruit from them. They’re also more likely to regularly monitor these pools—Johnston has plucked people from them herself.

Katie Breault, SVP of growth and impact at job placement firm YUPRO Placement, says pulling from a general talent pool is common practice among staffing firms. Her company fills positions through its general candidate application; it’s where they start their search when a client is looking for potential hires, she says.

On the back end of talent network applications, recruiters and hiring managers see an inbox or tracking system full of resumes, where they can search and filter by keywords (often skills for a role). The problem, Breault says, is that talent network applications seldom have enough information about the candidate, their skills, and what they’re looking for to make them easily discoverable. The best resumes, she adds, are well-tailored to a role the candidate has in mind.

“It’s definitely not a waste of time, and it’s truly how employers and staffing companies search for candidates,” Breault says. “But if a candidate is going to take a very broad resume that doesn’t have the keywords that are needed for the roles an employer is looking to fill, then…it’s going to go into a black hole.”

Still, Johnston recommends skipping the talent network. Instead, she offers age-old advice: find the person you hope would see your application, usually a hiring manager or recruiter, and contact them directly.

The black hole of job candidate pools

Sheilin Herrick who leads product marketing at talent management software firm SHL is wary about the effectiveness of these pools. “I think it’s well-intentioned to be able to access large numbers of potential candidates for a role just at your fingertips really quickly,” she says. “But only in the cases that there is someone monitoring and managing these communities do candidates get pulled from them. And to be very honest, it’s not often.”

Herrick, too, has sent her materials into these pools. Did she hear back? “No, of course not,” she says. The best she ever got was an automated email.

free coins
free coinsfree coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins
free coins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *