Setting Up Your Talent Pipeline

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One of the major goals of a thriving business is to outfit a team with top-tier talent at every level to establish a strong core that continually promotes growth and success. Securing the right prospects to round out a team — whether in a specialized role, a high-turnover position, or in a competitive market, like financial services — requires being proactive in recruitment. This means being ten steps ahead, rather than waiting to start a search once a role opens up. One proactive approach with value is to set up a talent pipeline for recruiting.

A talent pipeline is a pool of potential candidates with the qualifications and talents to fill roles that do not have immediate openings, but who are willing and interested to learn about future openings as soon as they become available. Creating a passive network of recruits provides a crucial edge for recruiters, as it provides a pre-vetted list of employable talent that is ready to be tapped immediately when need arises. Having someone readily available to step into a role — that the company already knows is a good fit — reduces time to hire, and lowers the cost spent while waiting to fill a crucial spot on the team. This, in turn, frees up resources to be allocated more resourcefully, optimizes productivity, and strengthens overall employee confidence in the company.

Of course, a talent pipeline is only helpful if it is maximized efficiently. While setting up a talent pipeline, make sure to keep these considerations in mind:

Branding for Talent

In every relationship, first impressions matter, and presenting the right first impression to potential prospects will yield stronger talent that’s precisely suited for a business. Before jumping in headfirst, it’s important that a business thinks about who they are, and establishes a strong employer brand. Consider how the company culture is reflected, how current employees talk about where they work, and ways in which the company brand stands out from the rest of the crowd.

These are the pieces that will shape the company’s voice, lending authenticity to a company when communicating with their pipeline, and potentially being the factor that drives the right people to say “yes” when presented with an opportunity to join the team.

Engagement Builds Interest

It’s not only important how a business communicates with their pipeline, but also where. The point of pipelining is building relationships now for candidates to join in the future. Thus, a candidate needs to stay engaged with the brand to keep their interest high and maintain the buy-in that they want to be a part of what the company is building.

Cultivating active social media accounts — especially on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook — will allow the company to share pertinent content and news, and also provides a direct channel to interact with the talent pipeline. In-person industry events are a classic for establishing face-to-face connections that show real interest, and provide in-roads for reaching out via other media in the future. Striking a balance of conversation without being overbearing is key to keeping the pipeline interested without coming across as a hard-sell.

Know What the Company Needs

The success of a pipeline is dependent on which role it is being applied to since it is a long-term strategy which requires resources. Make sure the talent pipeline is directed at the right types of roles, and that the language used in job descriptions maintains the company brand voice, as well as being consistent. If a job description appears in multiple places with slightly different language, it can be confusing for potential applicants, and makes it seem like the company doesn’t know who or what they’re searching for.

Establishing a talent pipeline is an involved process, and it requires deep levels of consideration about the company, the brand, current employees, and future business needs. It is not an overnight undertaking, and questions will arise throughout the process.