Building a Strong Talent Pipeline

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One of the exciting things about recruiting is that it’s constantly changing. New technology and evolving best practices mean each job posting is a new challenge for HR teams and hiring managers. This can be a challenge, and devoting your efforts to finding the right fit for each job is time-consuming and ineffective.

For example, when a valuable employee suddenly resigns, most companies would have to scramble to fill the position with the first qualified candidate to come along, not necessarily the best candidate. This is known as reactive hiring, and it can be expensive and detrimental to your company’s productivity. The answer to one-off, reactive hiring is to build a pipeline of talented and qualified people who will be there when you need them.

Building and maintaining a talent pipeline isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. If you work in recruiting and don’t have a talent pool in mind for all your key positions, read on for what you need to know. It can make the difference for that next critical job opening.

What is a Talent Pipeline?

A talent pipeline is a collection of job candidates that you build and nurture, even when you don’t have specific job openings for them. Each potential candidate in the pipeline is someone you consider worthy of employment at your organization. When an opportunity arises, you can then select from this self-maintained talent pool, quickly filling key positions.

Building and maintaining a talent pipeline is so important today because of the time it takes to recruit and fill key positions. Studies place the average time to replace any given employee at 41 days. That’s around six weeks, and that’s just the average time.

You can easily imagine that the more difficult positions to fill—healthcare professionals, tech workers, high-level managers—will likely take considerably longer than the average. Now consider that the best job candidates are only on the market for ten days. Reactive hiring takes too long and just doesn’t work in today’s competitive market.

A robust and well-maintained talent pipeline is the solution to these problems. But how do you build a talent pipeline? Below are five easy steps to curate a robust talent pipeline for your organization.

Step 1: Develop Relationships with Passive Candidates

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The easiest way to get a job is to have one already.” The statement has some truth in that the best talent is often already employed. They may not be looking for a job right now but would be open to better offers someday. These are what are known as passive candidates. Developing relationships with passive candidates is the first step toward building a strong talent pipeline. Whether through conferences, professional organizations, social media, or community involvement, get to know the best in your field for future needs.

Step 2: Utilize Talent Communities and CRM Systems

Many people are familiar with customer relationship management (CRM) software these days. CRM apps are essential tools for sales and marketing groups, as they provide a central location for customer data. These same CRM systems can also help you build a talent community of passive candidates.

Connecting your company’s CRM to your recruiting site or other inbound channels allows you to collect valuable information on a talent pool. You can also use CRM features to stay in touch with these potential candidates. With most CRMs, these tasks can be automated, helping you nurture relationships for possible recruiting in the future.

Step 3: Engage With Industry-Specific Events and Forums

Much of building a talent pipeline comes down to old-fashioned networking. Industry-specific events like conferences and job fairs are excellent networking opportunities. They’re also a chance to market your company to both active and passive candidates while you’re building up a talent pool.

Online forums can serve this same function in the virtual world. Nearly every market sector and industry has some form of online forum where like-minded people gather to discuss their interests. Join these groups and continue your networking efforts online.

Step 4: Implement Targeted Email Campaigns

Email is still the primary forum for business communication, and it works well for various purposes. Your sales and marketing teams regularly use targeted email campaigns, and you can do the same to nurture relationships in your talent pipeline further. Whether it’s regular newsletters or announcing an important job posting, email is an effective way to keep your company’s name fresh in passive candidates’ minds.

Step 5: Maintain Regular Communication with Potential Candidates Again, borrow a page from the sales and marketing playbook and maintain regular communication with potential candidates in your pipeline. Just as a salesperson must nurture a qualified lead into a buying customer, you should check in on passive candidates. You can reach out for a general reason, to check in to see how they’re doing, or to let them know about a specific opportunity they might be interested in. They might even tell you about their colleagues who you can add to your pipeline.

MRINetwork Builds Strong Talent Pipelines

As a global talent search firm, MRINetwork understands the importance of strong talent pipelines. We help companies in all industries find the top talent when needed. From the executive suite down, we help fill every position with various search capabilities. To learn more, find an MRINetwork office near you today.