Alison Ettridge Nov 8 8 min read

Expanding your talent pool

A Talent Pool Without Boundaries

'The great attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools?' This was a question posed by McKinsey in an article that looked to answer why, despite continued talent challenges, companies still try to attract and retain employees in the same ways. Given the mass upheaval we’ve experienced in the last two years, looking in the same pools won’t prepare your company for the future. An exponentially larger talent pool is out there, so long as you look in the right places.

This 'great resignation' is far from over, and the reasons for it keep shifting. The COVID pandemic saw many people reassess what was important to them in their work and what sort of organisation they wanted to work for. Now there are other pressures forcing people to consider a job move. Rising inflation is pushing up the cost of living, forcing individuals to seek new jobs with higher salaries. Salaries which have already been driven up by the competitive battle for talent. New forces at work mean traditional talent pooling just doesn’t work.

Where are the missing employees?

The McKinsey research showed that the number of open roles has increased significantly, and as companies looked to fill them, the voluntary quit rate was 25% higher than pre-pandemic levels. With the projected rate of resignations, hiring, and new job creation, openings aren't likely to stabilise for some time. This means there is still a significant gap in the talent supply and not enough of what they describe as 'traditional employees' to fill all the roles.

One interesting observation from the research is that mobility between industries is high and globally just 35% of those who quit in the past two years took a new job in the same industry. For example, in the finance sector, 65% of leavers changed industries or did not return to work. In the public and social sectors, the leave rate from the sector was 72%. Essentially, companies need to recognise that they can no longer assume a cookie-cutter approach to filling roles with someone like the employee that left.

Data on the external talent market can support exponentially better talent pooling and the identification of transferable skills.

The dangers of the existing talent pool

The article suggests, one way to tackle the talent crisis is for companies to hire from their existing employee pool. This can often be achieved by lowering or shifting the requirements for the role by changing the minimum education prerequisites, for instance.

While offering opportunities to existing employees will have benefits around boosting employee engagement and retention, is it the right approach when there are other, more progressive methods available? It’s certainly part of the solution as internal mobility is a huge part of career pathing, but it’s not the only solution.

Does hiring from within essentially create a gap elsewhere? Does it result in concerns around bias or support a company's DEI agenda in the same way an external hire would? Does it allow you access to emerging skills at the right time? We know from our work that sometimes external talent is the answer but that it’s hard to discover – our case study with Arqiva demonstrates why.

Creating a talent pool beyond boundaries

Business leaders are reading headlines daily that suggest that the talent pool in their industry is shrinking, competition for candidates is fierce, and wages are rising. Internal hiring is only one option but companies must be more creative if they are to fill their talent gaps now and in the future.

At Stratigens, the companies we work with use talent intelligence to identify new sources of talent to support their business. Stratigens offers decision intelligence data on skills availability, competition for skills and which organisations they are competing against for the same skills.

The 10 million + data points, gathered from thousands of sources, also offer other location-related data such as cost of living, transport, infrastructure, and the ease of doing business in a location. All the information is combined to help make recommendations around new talent pools for them to tap into.

Knowing the availability of specific job roles in a location, alongside the demand for that region and average salaries, allows companies to make informed decisions on where to focus their talent search. By looking in new places and with a new lens, companies can close their talent gaps if they are unrestricted by the size of their talent pool.

To learn more about how our clients are using Stratigens, browse our success stories at