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October 24, 2018 5:52 AM

Why Recruitment and Staffing Agencies Need More Talent Pool Focus

Whether it’s an in-house recruiter or one that works for a recruitment agency or staffing company, it’s all the same work, right? Well, actually, no it’s not. While they all have the same ultimate goal of filling vacant positions, they often go about their jobs in a very different way.

The in-house recruiter will focus on strengthening their pipeline and filling their talent pool while the agency recruiter is often pushed to fill reqs as fast as possible. However, this speedy approach to recruitment often leads to one hugely important aspect of hiring being left to one side and sometimes ignored completely. Yes, today we’re talking about talent pools and why recruitment agencies and staffing companies should spend more time on them.


In-house vs. Agency recruitment

Many of you will understand the contrast between the work carried out by both types of recruiter but for those who don’t, here’s a quick explanation of the two most notable differences:


Precision vs. speed

For the in-house recruiter, the quality of the hire is everything and so if it takes three months to find the perfect candidate for the role then so be it.

Agency recruiters, on the other hand, are often tasked with filling a role as fast as possible. Through no fault of their own, the agency recruiter has punishing deadlines to meet and sometimes a higher volume of positions to fill. This pressure often leads to a drop in candidate quality which again is no fault of the recruiter.

People focused vs. sales focused

The in-house recruiter will usually spend more time cultivating relationships and building a rapport between themselves and the passive candidates in their pipeline. With less pressure to constantly fill positions, they are lucky enough to have time to nurture their potential candidates in this way.

The nature of agency work, however, pushes recruiters to focus more on the sales aspect of their job. As each req counts towards their monthly commission, the tendency is to play the numbers game as opposed to the people game.



There are of course many more differences, but these two have the most impact on how both types of recruiter handle their work and ultimately achieve their goals. 

So what does all this have to do with talent pools?

We all understand the value of a large talent pool filled with a variety of candidates boasting skills that could see them fill multiple roles should they arise. Yet strangely enough, it is the recruiters that could most benefit from the talent pool that often don’t have the time nor the inclination to build one much less engage the talent within it. And yes, you guessed it, we’re talking about those pressed-for-time agency recruiters.

Let’s take the average high volume recruitment drive for example.

A company hires a recruitment agency or staffing company to handle their latest recruitment drive. They want 100 employees hired and on the job within the next two months or maybe even less.

The agency recruiter pulls out all the stops to start bringing candidates in for interviews as soon as possible. They make use of every channel available to them and perhaps even draw from the few active candidates who have registered with the agency in recent months.

In many cases, it’s a 24/7 job to hit that client-set target of two months.

Now, we’re not suggesting that this recruiter won’t have a talent pool to draw from, but it’s likely that the pool they have is filled mostly with active candidates. And while this is not necessarily a bad thing, the truth is that the most valuable candidates are often the passive ones.

You can see where we’re heading with this, right?


More talent pool focus means better quality

Or to put it another way, more engagement with your talent pool means more ‘warm’ passive candidates who may be open to the possibility of changing careers.

Agency recruiters and staffers barely have a moment to draw breath (see our 24/7 example above), so it’s easy to see why they are reluctant to allocate too much time to building a talent pool or keeping their candidates engaged. But with just a little more focus in this area, they could find themselves not only filling roles faster but also improving the quality of their hires all the while enhancing their reputation as a rockstar recruiter.

And this means adopting an in-house approach to candidate engagement.


Passive is the new active

With 73% of jobseekers classifying themselves as passive jobseekers, creating a talent pool of candidates already in employment makes absolute sense. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply create one. Passive candidates need to feel engaged and connected in some way with the recruiter or brand in question.

While in-house recruiters can promote the company brand, share company news, and create discussions on social media channels about their industry, agency recruiters may find themselves limited to recruitment and job-related news. Nevertheless, engagement is crucial to keep those passive candidates warm and open to opportunities.


There’s no doubt that talent pools work, but as we mentioned earlier, agency recruiters and staffers have yet to make full use of them. As seasoned recruiters, they will, of course, understand the value of a large pool of mostly passive candidates, but with so little time and so much work to do, they could find themselves stuck in a recruitment rut that they can’t get out of.

Are you an agency recruiter struggling to find those high-quality hires that your client deserves? Or do you work for a staffing company where high-volume recruiting often leads to a drop in candidate quality? Whatever your troubles are, we can help. With vsource on your team, you can devote your time to filling those reqs while we help you create a talent pool brimming with potential superstars. Book a demo today, and together, we’ll take your recruitment game to the next level.

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