You want talented employees in your business, but finding and attracting these employees can be challenging. Creating a talent pipeline is a great tactic, but where do you start? This article covers everything you need to know.
Let’s set the scene. You work as a recruiter, and have recently been given a new job posting seeking an electrician with a highly specific skill set.
You scour through your existing database of candidates, but can’t identify any with the experience required. This leads you to hastily search through LinkedIn, bombarding potential candidates, rushing the hiring process, and ultimately taking a lot longer to source anyone appropriate.
Eventually, you make a hire for the position, only for them to end up costing you and the hiring company hundreds, ruining your reputation as a recruiter.
If only you’d sourced a better pool of candidates in advance, perhaps this whole mess could have been avoided. This is where a talent pipeline can help.
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Introducing the talent pipeline
Businesses always need a fresh supply of talent. Whether it’s because they’re expanding, need to replace a departing employee, or have recently established a range of new goals, businesses only ever look for the best of the best.
This puts a burden on modern-day recruiters to have a steady stream of talent ready and waiting.
Unfortunately, this burden, coupled with the fast-paced and increasingly competitive hiring landscape, has led to many recruitment companies developing a more proactive approach to their hiring processes, trying to attract the best talent even before there are positions available to fill.
This approach is what is known as creating a talent pipeline, which is what we are here to discuss in this article.
Join us as we highlight what exactly a talent pipeline is, and run through what you need to do to develop one within in your own company.
What is a talent pipeline?
A talent pipeline is a group of candidates pre-determined as viable candidates that companies may want to hire in either an existing or future position.
Setting this up in advance prevents recruiters from needing to start their talent searches from scratch each time they need to fill a position, ultimately making the whole hiring process a lot more efficient.
However, as we’ve mentioned already, filling a talent pipeline can take a lot of hard work and will require a proactive approach. To do this effectively, recruiters need to constantly amend and establish strategies that nurture long-term relationships with potential candidates.
The key benefits of a talent pipeline
Creating a talent pipeline strategy offers a huge range of benefits. From the obvious advantages to the more unexpected, these are a few reasons why you may want a talent pipeline for your business.
Better candidate quality
When it comes to trying to fill an open position, it can be all too easy to rush in and make hasty decisions that won’t tend to work out too well. Making the wrong hire can lead to a lot of negative outcomes, from impacting business performance to distractions for other employees.
However, a talent pipeline strategy provides recruiters with the freedom to plan in advance. It means they can think more strategically about who they put forward as potential candidates, and why.
This has a knock-on effect on the overall quality of the candidate who fills the position, reducing the likelihood of suffering the high cost associated with making a bad hire.
According to LinkedIn, 70% of companies take between one and four months to process a new hire.
Talent pipeline strategies help reduce this timeframe significantly, enabling recruiters to streamline the process and fill their open positions in a much more timely manner.
This then gives recruiters more time to work on other areas of their role, sourcing even more talent, and making the process a lot more efficient.
Improve the candidate experience
The days of posting a job listing and waiting for applications to flood in are gone.
Thanks to the emergence of talent pipeline strategies, recruiters can identify talent, engage with candidates on their own terms, and provide them with a much more positive experience.
Having a good experience of your employer brand means candidates are much more likely to be excited at the prospect of being considered for potential roles. This in turn helps establish a more nurturing hiring journey.
How to create a talent pipeline strategy
If you’re looking to establish a talent pipeline framework for your company, look no further. Here are the key steps you’ll need to follow:
Step 1: Determine your business’s long-term goals.
Arguably the most important step, you will need to run some brainstorming and discussion sessions with your fellow staff to work out what you’re looking to achieve, who you’re looking to attract and how you’re going to go about it.
This is also a good time to identify any potential blockers to these goals, and prepare for multiple outcomes.
You’d be surprised how many businesses jump straight in without discussing this.
Step 2: Create an attractive employer brand
One of the most effective times to build a positive reputation as an employer is during the recruitment process.
Some simple ways to do this include ensuring you give each and every candidate a positive experience – yes, this includes those you don’t end up hiring. 80% of candidates who have a bad experience will tell other potential employees and customers about it.
You can also share what it’s like to work at your company on social media. Showcase your company culture, highlight exemplary employees, and introduce new workers on your platforms.
Make sure that you’re being honest about what it’s like to work for you in these posts however – you want to avoid sharing how amazing it is if your current employees constantly express their dissatisfaction with the working conditions.
Step 3: Create a candidate sourcing strategy
Now that you have identified your company’s needs, you can start filling your talent pipeline with quality candidates.
There are a variety of methods you can use to do this effectively.
- Social media sourcing: Using a social media platform like LinkedIn for example is a great way to find the kind of talent you need. Simply search for keywords related to your roles or business, as user profiles will contain this information. You can also follow relevant hashtags on Twitter, Facebook groups, or forums online.
- Referral programs: Setting up an employee referral program means your current employees can refer you to potential candidates for a reward if it results in a hire.
- Search your applicant tracking system (ATS): If you use an ATS, look for candidates who reached the final stages of your hiring process previously. Some systems allow you to tag certain candidates, or enter them into your own database for future use.
- Meet candidates in-person: Meeting potential candidates in-person at networking events for example is a great way to build a connection in a more natural way. You can even host your own events to both build your employer brand and attract talented people.
- Partnering with a data provider: If you don’t have your own candidate database to pull information from, you can partner with various data providers to gain access to quality candidates.
Step 4: Reach out to candidates
Once you have identified the candidates you’d like to work with, it’s time to establish contact with them.
Start by asking them informed questions about their experience, and plans for the future. This helps you develop a connection and trust early on, rather than outright asking them to apply for a certain role with no background information.
Having this information will also help you identify the roles the candidate would be best suited for more easily.
Step 5: Keep nurturing your candidates
Once you have filled your talent pipeline with high-quality candidates, your work doesn’t stop there. Now is the time to take the effort to nurture every one of them.
This means continuing to build the relationship with them, without it reaching a point where you’re irritating them by bombarding them with job listings.
You want to provide them with valuable, relevant content that they will be genuinely interested in. This may include industry information, or how to get the most out of the products or services your company offers.
It’s also important to let candidates determine how they want to stay in touch. Ask whether they’d prefer regular check-ins, invitations to events, or simply want to receive useful content from you.
Leave the door open for them to reach out to you whenever they like – just ensure that they are connected with you in a way they are comfortable with.
Step 6: Continuously assess your talent pool
Once you have your established pool of talent, it’s important to assess how they actually align with the needs of either your specific company or the companies you are working on behalf of.
You can do this by asking questions surrounding cultural fit, their skillset, and the company’s diversity initiatives. Their responses will help you identify if the candidates are worth investing more time in or not.
Creating a strong talent pipeline strategy can aid the recruitment process significantly. It’s also just one of many ways to ensure you have a steady stream of talent consistently available.
If you want to create a reliable candidate sourcing strategy, our 5 Step Guide is here to help. Simply download for free!