Tap Into These 5 Hidden Recruiting Talent Pools

diversity, diversity talent, diversity recruiting, diversity hiring

For the first time in 15 years we are experiencing unemployment numbers which will dip below 5%.  Talent pools are tapped. It’s a job seeker’s market one where employers woo employees to their organizations with promises of higher salaries, better training and increased perks and benefits like Netflix’s recent announcement offering unlimited parental leave.

Tap Into These 5 Hidden Recruiting Talent Pools

Military and Veterans

In 2014, 21.2 million men and women, or 9 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population age 18 and over, were veterans.  Thirty-one percent of veterans (6.5 million) served during Gulf War era I (August 1990 to August 2001) or Gulf War era II (September 2001 forward). Another quarter (5.3 million) served outside the designated wartime periods.  Active duty and national guard military members who are transitioning to the civilian world are an underutilized talent pool and an opportunity for you in 2016.

Disability (visible and invisible)

Those with disabilities whether visible or invisible are some of the most amazing human beings I know. They are loyal. They work hard, and they are a great hidden talent pool you should be tapping into for many different reasons. In my experience, retention is higher and turnover is lower. The reality for this talent pool, is it is just harder to find a job so why mess with a good thing. Whether you are working with your local one stop offices, an agency or other community, this is a hidden talent pool that represents 19% of the U.S. Census data as of 2010. The average cost of an accommodation once you’ve made a new hire is just $500.

Criminal Record

A reported 65 million people have a criminal record in the U.S. Depending on your environment, industry and tolerance, hiring employees with felony and misdemeanor convictions opens your company up to a large and untapped pool of workers which in this competitive economy is a really good thing. Since 9/11 the background check industry is booming and this very large segment of the population is left fighting for their lives taking blue collar and contract work. The site, www.exoffenders.net displays a list of more than 200 companies who hire employees with a criminal record.

Stay at Home Dads and Moms

For me, being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding job I know I will ever have. It involves serious multi-tasking and the constant evaluation of my own priorities for the well-being of my child. At this very moment, my daughter is practicing spelling words at the breakfast table while I write.

Companies can take advantage of this often highly organized, eager and qualified talent pool. This community is often looking for part-time work, flexible hours or remote work.

Your Alumni Employees

Companies can tap into their alumni by encouraging them to boomerang back. A simple email newsletter or LinkedIn for past employees can be enough to engage past employees to return or boomerang back for a new job opportunity. Alumni employee networks are simple and take little effort. Talent acquisition leaders have the relationships and connect that lead to the former and boomerang employees returning to your company.

What other talent pools are you successfully tapping into that are worth sharing? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell is the founder of Workology, a digital resource that reaches more than a half million HR and workplace leaders each month and host of the Workology Podcast. Jessica lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of furry family members.

Reader Interactions


  1. Billy says

    Thanks for sharing. I’m also looking for a job for some friends who have criminal records. Luckily met your sharing and it introduced me a very useful reference. Based on that, my friends will definitely be able to find a job.


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