Why Engaging Talent During The Pandemic Is Critical For Future Hiring

The global pandemic has completely disrupted talent workforce strategies and priorities worldwide. How leaders lean into these challenges will have long-term implications on the business, the workforce and reputation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate global economies, businesses across every industry and every size have been making the difficult decision to furlough or lay off workers. As of early July, nearly 50 million people have filed for first-time unemployment benefits over the previous 16 weeks.

Almost one-quarter of all small businesses in the U.S. have already laid off or furloughed their workers due to the pandemic. The majority of the June job gains were not newly created roles, but roles that hired back laid off or furloughed workers.

As time moves forward and the possibility of additional layoffs and furloughs remain likely, maintaining contact with that population becomes increasingly complex and more critical to the future success of your organization.

There is a clear business case for investment -- to improve retention, boost employee morale, and because your brand reputation depends on how you handle this extraordinary situation.

Direct Sourcing with Talent Pools

The pandemic has companies rethinking their talent strategies. Many are finding direct sourcing through talent pools is one way that organizations can engage, manage, support and re-engage talent that has either worked for them before or expressed interest in doing so previously.

This not only saves time and money for companies (a must given the global economy), but it protects and benefits your most important competitive asset -- your talent.

Direct sourcing is an excellent resource for finding highly skilled candidates who have expressed interest in your organization and are available, both now and after the pandemic. As Harver CEO Barend Raaff told HR Technologist, “Keep former employees close because tens of thousands of companies will re-open overnight, resulting in an unprecedented recruitment storm.”

Until recently, what was a talent shortage in our country is now (because of the pandemic) a talent surplus. As such, organizations are finding the need to create different strategies for in-demand versus low-demand skill sets, understanding the fluidity of both.

Having an optimized, integrated, AI-driven platform allows companies to disperse sharp, enticing messaging to in-demand talent. It also enables companies to vet, assess, target, and track active and passive candidates for critical roles.

As shifts continue throughout organizations and ramping in one area slows as another rises, having a platform that processes, rates and filters the sheer number of candidates that will be available with certain skill sets is also important. This will save time, minimize cost and let hiring managers see top talent quickly and efficiently.

>>On-Demand Webinar: Minimize COVID’s Impact On Your Workforce Using Direct Sourcing<<

Direct Sourcing is a Cost-Effective Solution

As cost savings continues to be of utmost importance to organizations, direct sourcing also provides a cost-effective solution over traditional staffing methods. They save budget on traditional advertising for roles and a reduction in costly margins (upwards of 20% per hire) charged by conventional staffing agencies and headhunting firms. Talent pools have also been shown to reduce time-to-fill, which further lowers hiring costs.

Finally, talent pools allow for transparency of information to be shared bilaterally. Talent pool platforms allow workers to make immediate changes to their employment status.They also let organizations communicate important updates, hiring initiatives and changes to policies happening internally, providing consistent candidate experience and transparency to job seekers.

We know the future of work will continue to evolve, not just because of the impact this pandemic has had on the economy but because people are demanding to work in a different, more flexible way. Companies need talent strategies that are more intuitive than standard staffing methods of the past.

They need partners who can flex with their unique demands and be able to vet, curate, and provide qualified talent quickly and cost-effectively. Talent pools are just one way that organizations are taking advantage of a more forward-thinking solution.


The global pandemic has completely disrupted talent workforce strategies and priorities worldwide. How leaders lean into these challenges will have long-term implications on the business, the workforce and reputation. Watch the on-demand webinar to learn first-hand how to overcome these challenges. 

Kevin Poll, Head of partnerships, WillHire

Kevin Poll is a strategic leader and head of partnerships for WillHire.  Kevin’s passion is innovative HR technology that can empower organizations workforce strategies while providing an amazing candidate experience.  With over 25 years of experience, Kevin has worked for some of the world’s leading brands like ADP where he lead the innovation hub delivering new innovation to ADP's most strategic customers, and SAP Fieldglass where he built the leading HR technology ecosystem bringing high value to partners, customers, and the talented individuals hired by SAP customers.