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Talent Before Market

December 13, 2021
Alessandro Russo

How Recruiters Can Use Talent Collectives to Find Talent Before it Hits the Market

How can you tell if someone is open to new work?

The clearest indicator is whether they are actively browsing job listings. Some people “fantasy browse” — the job search equivalent of window shopping — but most people going through the arduous process of sifting through open roles are looking for the next step in their career.

However, especially for people in the middle of their careers, the desire for new work starts long before they visibly arrive “on the market.” Many people reach a stage where they consider other options without actively sending out their resume. For recruiters, this before-market talent is extremely valuable; reaching out to these individuals at the right moment, in the right way, can prevent them being courted by competitors.

To date, hirers have relied on correlative signals to identify before-market talent. That is, they know that some metrics correlate with being open to new work — occupying a role for more than a year, or a higher than usual level of LinkedIn activity. That said, the data scientist’s axiom rings true: correlation is not causality. Sometimes, these metrics point recruiters to the right people. Other times, they fail to and instead produce many dead-end leads.

Pallet’s Talent Collectives represent a much more definitive, concrete solution to this problem. Rather than the scattered signals of platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed, Talent Collective members explicitly identify and update their interest in new work. That way, when businesses recruiters purchase a Collective’s Drop (explained below), they receive a list of candidates who are open to discussions.

How Talent Collectives Work

Like all of Pallet’s offerings, Talent Collectives rely on strong, trusted relationships developed within digital communities. Talent Collectives are made up of collections of professionals sourced from individual communities, curated by community leaders. That can mean a Slack or Discord channel, a Substack author’s audience, a LinkedIn thought leader’s network, a DAO’s members, or any other gathering of like-minded people.

Membership criteria varies by Collective. Some curators take an invite-only approach, while others use an application system, and some take a radically open approach, accepting anyone who’s interested. But regardless of their intake criteria, all Collective members identify how open they are to new work.

To gain access to Collective members, businesses and recruiters pay a subscription fee. This gives them the ability to request introductions to any member of the collective who has marked themselves "open to work". Instead of rolling the dice on dubious LinkedIn metrics, this gives businesses a bona fide list of people who are at least willing to discuss new opportunities. Each collective is replenished bi-weekly or monthly with fresh candidates from the community of the collective runner. In many cases, the candidates you see in a collective will not have signaled their willingness to move anywhere else in their collection of online profiles.

For more on the ins and outs of Talent Collectives, click here.

Signaling System

At the moment, there’s no other way for currently employed people to publicly signal that they’re looking for new work. Freelancing platforms like Upwork have this feature, because having multiple clients is built into the freelance model. But on platforms like LinkedIn, where members are often fully employed or hoping to be, such a feature would mean bad optics.

Plus, because Talent Collectives consist of people from like-minded communities, they tend to be more invested in each other’s success than isolated members of mega-job boards. If they see a role that’s perfect for a fellow member they know, trust, and can tell is open to new work, it facilitates a recommendation that would otherwise be impossible.

Talent Collectives represent an important next step in the evolution of digital recruiting. Click here to start your own.