Talentry Explainer: What is Tag Management?

What does tag management have to do with HR? How do you find the right keywords? Why is the database structure a decisive factor in successful recruitment? And what is the difference between tags and talent pools? We have the answers.

Tag management is ...

... a term used in HR management for the systematic use of keywords in records in an HR database and, therefore, a structured way of developing and managing your own talent pipeline. 

In the internet, marketing tags are labels used to categorise website content and topics so that web pages can be found more quickly. In HR management, they have basically the same job and act as search criteria for search and filter functions within the HR database. Combining various tags makes it possible to refine searches and segment target markets more precisely. 

In digital marketing, the term tag management describes a procedure by which tags can be automatically edited or exchanged. Tracking codes are integrated into websites and mobile apps without changing the source code. This makes tracking users on the website easier with minimal IT effort, for example by using google analytics.  


What does a structured HR database provide?

In times of skill shortages and a lack of applicants, valid candidate data is like gold to recruiters. This naturally includes not only classic contact details, but also information about personal careers, previous touchpoints, contact history, individual interests, skills and career plans. The more information that a company collects about candidates and applicants, the more necessary it becomes to structure this large amount of data to really tailor recruitment measures - to support internal talent sourcing, a shorter time to hire and successful talent relationship management in the long term. 

Find suitable candidates

A well-structured database opens up new talent sourcing possibilities within your own talent pipeline. You can act as an internal headhunter without paying extra for an external service provider. Talent sourcing within one’s own talent pipeline pays off particularly in the case of specialist appointments, for which a critical target audience needs to be approached individually. This usually involves professionals who are difficult to find and attract, such as engineers, programmers and experienced managers. To successfully recruit them you need to know your exact target audience, find suitable candidates in your talent pipeline and convince them with the right arguments. The systematic use of keywords in all candidate data records makes it easier to accurately search for the right candidate.

Faster hiring

The length of time a position remains vacant is one of the most important KPIs in recruitment. After all, time is money. Developing your own HR database can help you find suitable candidates faster and thus significantly reduce the time to hire. However, a prerequisite for this is having structured data that can be searched and filtered using keywords. 

Long-term relationship management

Linear recruitment, which starts with a job advertisement and ends with an appointment, no longer corresponds to the realities of the job market. Companies need to invest in long-term candidate relationship management and keep in touch with candidates - sometimes for years - before the time is right and a suitable vacancy arises. Potential candidates can only be kept interested this long with relevant content that offers individual added value. Tag management ensures a target market-specific candidate approach through the detailed segmentation of your talent pipeline.

What is the difference between tags and pools?

CRM platforms generally offer two options for sensibly structuring data collection: using keywords with the help of tags, and setting up talent pools. Pools have the advantage that they can be put together as required based on specific criteria and then later removed without changing, duplicating or deleting a single dataset. A talent pool is therefore a grouping of selected talent profiles, which can be individually assigned to several talent pools at the same time, without having to create multiple entries in the database. At the same time, each talent profile can be provided with any number of tags or keywords that are created at a higher level and available for each data record. 


💡Examples of tag management systems

Tags are easy to create. Which keywords you wish to assign depends on your individual recruitment needs. In order to create a sensible data architecture, you need to decide what type of information you wish to map using talent pools and which using tags. There are various possible tags for structuring candidate data:

  • Tags for potential departmental affiliations (e.g., Marketing, Sales, Finance)

  • Tags for hard skills (e.g., programming experience, languages, studies, school or vocational qualifications)

  • Tags for soft skills (e.g., communication skills, creativity, analytical thinking, organisational skills)

  • Tags to identify the source (e.g., career website, social media, business network, recruitment fairs, employee referral)

  • Tags for seniority (e.g., professional experience, leadership experience)

  • Tags for candidate ranking (A-candidate, B-candidate, etc.)

  • Tags for internal or external candidates

  • Tags for interests and hobbies (sport, arts, literature, travel, etc)

Tag management & talent pools in combination

With tags and talent pools, you have two data layers at your disposal in your database, which you can easily combine to get even more accurate search results. For example, if using keywords in data records is more related to personal characteristics, talent pools can represent another dimension. Recipients of a career newsletter, for example, can form their own pool - as can participants from recruitment events who need to be provided with additional follow-up information. Temporary staff who need to be contacted more frequently regarding seasonal vacancies can be grouped together in one pool and then filtered, for example, according to region or availability based on keywords. The various filter combinations of tags and pools, as well as profile fields (e.g., place, current job, salary expectations) in the respective data record make your database a very effective recruitment instrument.

Tips for tag management

Set the rules of the game in advance!

Even though tags can be assigned quickly and easily, make sure this does not happen in an uncontrolled fashion. More keywords do not necessarily lead to better search results. It becomes particularly problematic when several people work in one and the same system. If everyone has the possibility to create tags, it quickly becomes confusing. Especially if in the end there are different keywords for the same thing to choose from. It is better to establish a basic tag management system (tms) from the start, including agreement on terminology and naming conventions.   


Consider different views!

Determine collectively what tags can be assigned. Ideally, this should be decided by employees who work regularly with the database. These are usually recruiters, talent sourcing staff or HR marketers, but also hiring managers who have a better overview, for example, regarding skillsets. If the “tag management” project team takes different perspectives into account, the result will be a viable system for structuring your talent profile data.


Define your target audiences!

A precise target market-analysis is necessary to create a set of tags by which these target audiences can be delineated and filtered within the database. Creating candidate personas can be useful here. They can often be used to identify key terms by which suitable candidates can be found via search and filter functions, and then individually approached. Looking at current and archived job postings can also help you get ideas for tags.


Assign permissions!

Carefully determine the team members responsible for future tag management and, therefore, who are authorised to create new tags or streamline those already set up. Talent relationship platforms, such as the one from Talentry, offer the possibility to define a fixed set of tags in advance, to manage these tags centrally and to assign permissions for creating new tags to individual team members. This way, you can keep track of any tags that have been assigned, make changes centrally and continually optimise the structure and searchability of your database. This is the basis for deriving real added value from your CRM system.


Pay attention to data hygiene and data privacy!

Request your candidates to complete their profiles at regular intervals via email or newsletters. This can happen automatically, for example, if the profile has not been updated within a set period. This way, you ensure good quality data and avoid dead wood in your talent pipeline. You can combine this automation with renewing GDPR consent and when updating the profile, also obtain an extension of consent to data processing.


A comprehensive talent pipeline can only be an effective recruitment tool if it is set up and structured so that recruiters can easily work with the data it contains. A well thought out tag management system is the basis for accurate segmentation according to target market and a prerequisite for approaching specific target audiences. Tag management also increases opportunities for talent sourcing within one’s own HR database because a systematic use of keywords in data records forms the basis for search and filter functions. In the search for candidates, it leads to accurate results in the shortest time.  

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