What is a Talent Network?

By Dustin Talley | April 6, 2022

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Key Points

A talent network is a vetted and qualified on-demand pool of independent professional talent that managers can quickly tap to obtain skills needed for their projects.

Having an established talent network can help you quickly find and engage talent and save money.

Build a talent network by tapping into talent you already know and then adding other talent you identify with the skills you are looking for.

A talent network is a vetted and qualified on-demand pool of independent professional talent that managers can quickly tap to obtain skills needed for their projects. This group of talent has some level of relationship with your company—they may have previously worked with the company or have been invited to join—and they meet a certain set of criteria such as having specific experience, a certain set of skills, or operating out of a particular location.

A talent network is an excellent way of shortlisting talent to work with on future projects. To think of it another way, our family uses an app to grocery shop. Our weekly routine usually involves scanning the fridge to identify what we need. For items we don’t have, we place an order through the app so we don’t have to make a run to the store. In the same way, hiring managers can use their talent network to source available skills rather than having to go through a third party such as a staffing agency or consulting firm.

Benefits of a Talent Network

The biggest benefit of a talent network is the ability to quickly find and engage talent. Talent networks save managers time by providing access to talent who are ready to be deployed on projects. If your chosen independent contractor has been previously on-boarded, you can realize even greater time savings.

Cost savings is another benefit. Managers working to stretch a budget throughout an entire year win big with a talent network. By bypassing third-party firms and engaging talent through their own network, managers can avoid paying those third-party markup costs—and that means more money left in their budget.

5 Steps to Building a Talent Network

Always start with the end in mind.

  1. Ask yourself what type of projects will you have in the next quarter? In the next year? Knowing this will help you target the right type of talent. When it comes to the individuals in your network, think about the type of talent you’ll need to support your projects. By nature, you should be looking for independent professionals (individuals with no third-party affiliation) so you will be able to work with them directly.
  2. Consider the various channels where you can find the types of talent you need. A redeployment solution, engaging workers who have previously worked on projects with your company or as a traditional employee with your company, is a great place to start. Since onboarding times can be lengthy, using talent who are already familiar with your company can be very helpful.
  3. Get creative about accessing the talent you need in your network. Here are some ideas: Tap into your retiree population, create a manager referral program, and find ways to leverage your company brand to attract talent.
  4. Access a talent-friendly platform such as MBO’s platform to ensure easy access to talent. MBO’s marketplace allows organizations to engage skilled independent contractors for consulting jobs.
  5. Nurture the talent in your network so that they stay connected with your brand.

Should you have any questions about MBO’s marketplace or building your own talent network, we’re always here for you.

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