6 Ways to Build a Virtual Talent Pool

By MBO Partners |

Updated Thursday, March 23, 2017

consultant talking on headset

As recruitment and engagement methods shift to align with the needs of the ever-growing independent contractor workforce, competition for top talent is increasing. Independent contractors provide unique access to specialized, industry-specific skills, and are a valuable alternative to investing in a full-time resource.

Building a virtual talent pool is quickly becoming key to being a best-in-class organization. A virtual bench is a pool of independent contractor talent you’ve identified, vetted, and developed relationships with over time. Tap into your virtual bench for specific projects, or when you need to scale quickly. Here are 6 ways to build your virtual talent pool.

Secure Project Experts

Identify independent contractors with in-demand skills and expertise. Your virtual talent pool should include contractors who are experts in their field, and who have proven that they really are great at what they do. Utilize these contractors to execute key organizational objectives and goals. The skills of these contractors may even inspire you to develop a new line of business or invest in new markets because they can provide the specialized expertise needed to bring your vision to life.

Keep Lines of Communication Open

When contractors are in-between projects, look for ways to continually engage them. Keep lines of communication open to nurture relationships. This will help to position your organization as the first choice when a new project comes up.

Become a Client of Choice

As more organizations begin to develop ways to successfully source top independent professionals, the war for talent is becoming more competitive than ever. Becoming a Client of Choice starts with understanding what independent professionals are looking for in a client relationship, and then creating an engagement program that caters to these needs so your organization becomes the first choice for top talent.

Create a Performance Assessment Process

Having a defined internal performance assessment process for your independent contractors can help to provide a clear record you can reference. Have hiring managers or project stakeholders provide feedback on contractor work to create a review process that covers the elements most important to your organization. This may include the quality of the deliverable itself as well as communication, execution, or timeliness. By creating a flexible engagement process and contractor-friendly environment, you can position your company to attract the kind of talent you want.

Look for a Culture Fit

As you hire and work with independent contractors, keep an eye out for those who seem to fit your culture. Even if the work they are doing is off-site, contractors will likely work better with managers or internal project teams if they seem to be a natural fit for the culture of your organization. If the project does not require regular interaction with employees, this metric may not apply.

Consider Your Operating Needs

Take a step back and assess the efficiency of your process for engaging and retaining independent talent. If you see areas for improvement, consider using engagement solutions and technology to help identify and manage talent. An expert marketplace like MBO’s marketplace allow organizations to engage skilled independent contractors for consulting jobs with their company. These solutions can help reduce time-to-fill, ensure compliant engagements, and save costs by re-engaging talent.

By curating a virtual bench of trustworthy, qualified talent, you can more easily retain, track, and re-engage these resources. Need help building your virtual talent pool? Contact us today for more information.