After recently spending a few days recently engaged with hundreds of buyers at our sixth annual CWS Summit Europe in Amsterdam, we at Staffing Industry Analysts are energized. Of the numerous topics discussed, that of total talent management (TTM) drew significant interest. Questions ranged from how will this integrated workforce management solution evolve, to what steps does one take to get started on a productive TTM solution path?

But one consistent question raised was how to get HR leadership interested in integrating acquisition management of permanent and contingent workforce (CW) talent. For some professionals focused on sourcing traditionally employed talent, the value of contingent workforce talent is buried under current priorities, workload and traditional biases.

In a recent Contingent Workforce Strategies 3.0 article, I stressed the initial step to create a TTM strategy presentation that can be used to evangelize integration benefits and cost-effective leverage aspects of TTM. This should be similar to the steps taken to evangelize the formal development of CW program management. For many, today is currently a period of evangelizing the competitive advantage and cost-effectiveness of an integrated management of the entire talent pool engaged with and across the organization.

Another productive step at this emerging phase of TTM solution development is automating a practice conducted by savvy CW program management professionals when dealing with class “A”, vetted talent. In any pool of talent, whether it is contingent or permanent, the class “A” quality talent performances are noticed and remembered. Savvy professionals in the talent resourcing business use multiple, manual techniques to keep an institutional memory of these creditable, valued talent assets. Sometimes it’s as simple as keeping a special folder of resumes or engaging a sophisticated proactive pipeline initiative to keep in touch with top flight “passive talent.” Or, as it might be called today, going social.

A key part of one’s future talent cloud will not only be the capability of keeping a visible pool of great vetted talent but also the engagement strategies used to keep passives interested in your organization’s employment/engagement brand. This is referred to as passive recruiting.

This is where a CRM platform (which your organization might already use) can be a tool to engage a passive talent sourcing strategy for either permanent or contingent requirements. Passive recruiting is a marketing strategy aimed at top-flight talent that could fulfill future talent resource requirements. At present, the engagement opportunity may not be the right fit for multiple reasons, but if the opportunity arises, being connected enhances the potential for a successful hire or engagement sourcing transaction.

Most permanent talent acquisition processes today have some level of proactive, “passive talent” recruiting initiatives — at least for the hard-to-find skill sets. At a minimum, someone’s got a folder on the impressive talent that has been involved in an engagement or past search initiatives. Passive recruiting strategies are winning the day in today’s marketplace and growing war for talent. A CRM tool enables the formation and execution of that “passive recruiting” strategy.

Of course, you should consult your staffing partners and explore what “passive recruiting” efforts they are taking for your staffing program. How are they enhancing your brand proactively to get passive, quality talent to want to take on engagements with your organization versus competitors? Also, consider exploring what CRM tools are used in your permanent hiring process and what kind of leverage might be available to create ongoing, proactive relationships with CW talent stakeholders via your organization’s deployed CRM platforms.

Creating ongoing relationships with the best talent in the marketplace can be a critical competitive differentiator for a CW program moving forward. Leveraging current passive talent relationship management practices and technology can help establish this key TTM program element.