Talent pipelines are a valuable resource when the need arises to increase staff. Rather than reactive hiring whereby employers place job postings on an “as needed” basis, talent pipelines are cultivated channels comprised of candidates who have already been vetted via ongoing communication with managers, employees of the company and of course a strong Applicant Tracking System. The lack of a talent pipeline can be a significant detriment to growth as it can take several weeks to several months to find top talent.
Below we discuss a quick 3-step method to build “bench strength” and reduce the real and opportunity costs of employee turnover.
Step 1-Plan Hiring Needs
There are two critical success factors to consider when building a talent pipeline: ensuring management buy-in and aligning pipeline building with future staffing needs. Below are some bullets to consider in terms of creating staffing projections:
- Plans for company expansion: promotions, added divisions or product lines,
- Size of talent pool to be cultivated (this spans all levels of the organization)
- Understanding barriers to attracting talent (e.g. labor shortage)
- Brand awareness: name recognition, value perception by candidates, etc.
Employers may focus on current hiring without leveraging applicant info for the future needs of the business. While it’s important to fill current vacancies to ensure productivity does not decline, it’s also helpful to analyze projected hiring to ensure that the talent pipeline is sufficient to meet the demand..
Step 2 Mining for & Attracting Talent
Your employer brand highlights your firm’s value proposition as compared to competitors: (e.g. innovative; entrepreneurial, family-oriented, collaborative, cutting edge.) The purpose of brand building is to attract those candidates who align with the values and traits of the company, while enabling those who don’t to self-select out.
Focus on passive candidates
Job seekers who are unemployed or looking to escape their current employer are not necessarily the best candidates to fill your talent pipeline as they seek immediate work and may not be willing to wait for future opportunities to arise.
For this reason, better to focus on passive talent when cultivating a pipeline. Recent surveys suggest that as many and 2/3’s of the passive talent pool is would consider moving to a new role, although they are actively looking; it’s all about the timing.
One method to attract passive candidates includes reaching out to individual’s who have uploaded their resumes on databases such as Indeed, LinkedIn or Niche Industry associations. A proper strategy to introduce your company and opportunity can help generate interest. Linkedin also has many groups representing specific sectors and verticals. Begin by building a reputation as thought leader and share articles and information that will be of value to members.
Passive candidate recruiting is a time-consuming process which is why you want to begin sourcing before an actual need arise. members.
If a potential candidate shows interest but then does not hear from the company in 3 or 4 months, their interest will wane. Once you have established a dialog with candidates, keep the momentum going by sending the company newsletter or inviting them to company events or lunches. This provides each side the opportunity to further explore whether there is a true fit.
Do not take a one size fits all approach to either candidate attraction or engagement. In each case, tailor the messaging to different groups based on job goals, skills, interests and demographic. To attract a diverse workforce, ensure that the company literature, Web site, social media pages and recruiting strategy reflect this value.