What is a Talent Collective (and Should You Start One)?

December 13, 2021
Alessandro Russo

Pallet’s Talent Collectives represent a new age advent infor the world of digital recruiting. Existing platforms tend toward the impersonal, offering limited opportunities to make legitimate, high-stakes recommendations. Our collectives allow creators and professionals to leverage their personal connections with (and among) their audiences, turning them into groups of high-quality, hand-selected talent.

Talent Collectives occupy an interesting niche. They supplement existing platforms in that they do not require you to direct your community members away from your platform, and they don’t ask you to add to your tech stack. Because they’re new, people don’t always know what to make of them. Pallet gets lots of inquiries from DAOs, Twitter marketers, Substack authors, and other community leaders about whether it makes sense to start a Talent Collective of their own.

The answer is almost always yes. Just about any online community leader can take advantage of Talent Collectives, and each of them will do it slightly differently. Here, we give you a guide to Talent Collective basics, answering a few of the most common questions we get.

1. What is a Talent Collective?

A Talent Collective is a collection of professionals curated by a specific person, group, or entity.

Each Talent Collective comprises a select group of professionals along a spectrum of current job status. There are many different types of Talent Collective members:

  • Job seekers: People who are actively looking for new work.
  • Networkers: People not actively looking for new work, but who are open to networking/exploratory conversations.
  • Advisors: Members who advise others and make positive contributions to the community.
  • Administrators: Members who help the Collective run smoothly.

Each member identifies their level of availability for new work. Demarcating yourself as on the job hunt sends a signal to businesses a part of the collective. Rather than cold-messaging people who may or may not be open to new work, recruiters and businesses have a clearer sense of who they should reach out to first.

Within this structure, there is customizability around how people become members. You can make it invite-only, use an application process, or throw the doors open to all. It all depends on your ethos, your audience, and your strategy. (Pallet works directly with curators to help develop the right strategies for them.)

2. What is a “Drop”?

A Drop is a shortlist of candidates, sourced from the Collective, who are most open to work.

A Drop is the key recruiting product that Talent Collectives offer. When businesses need to fill open roles, they approach a Collective, purchase access to its unique Drop, and gain insider access to qualified leads. Each drop contains only people who have marked themselves open to new work.

This allows businesses to streamline what would otherwise be a laborious, unreliable process. As of now, hirers reach out to people based on unreliable metrics — whether a person has worked somewhere longer than a year, for example. But there is no guarantee that those people are actually looking for new work. That means a lot of no-yield messages.

3. Should You Start a Talent Collective?

If you are a credible creator with an engaged community, there is no downside to starting a Talent Collective. Though it will involve some upfront work, it will inevitably give you a chance to engage with your audience, get to know them on a deeper level, and connect them with career-changing opportunities. What could be better than that for proponents of Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans?

Starting a Talent Collective changes nothing about your community; it puts their profiles in front of people who can change their lives. It’s important to emphasize that while Talent Collectives are collections of people, they don’t require you to move your community away from the main platform. If your people are on Discord, they can stay there — Pallet just collects their professional profiles and bundles them in Drops.

We at Pallet are currently working on ways to make Talent Collectives as customizable as possible — building in revenue share and multiplayer functionalities, for example, that curators can use to incentivize engagement. Our vision is for Talent Collectives to be a key piece of the future of digital recruiting: a network of cells, spread across the globe, that save recruiters time, companies’ money, and help grow individuals’ careers.

If you'd like to run a talent collective, apply here.