How to build an effective talent pipeline

Having a strong talent pipeline brings a host of benefits to your business. By building a pool of high quality potential candidates who are interested, qualified and have an existing knowledge of you and your business, you could benefit from a shorter recruitment process, higher quality candidates, and higher employee retention rates.

However, reaping the full benefits of a talent pipeline requires proactivity and consistent work to strengthen and improve your network and recruitment model. Here are the best steps you can take to ensure your talent pipeline is strong and effective:


  1. Ensure your recruitment strategy is in line with your business strategy

Recruiting candidates who can contribute to driving your business towards its goals is essential for business success. To ensure your recruitment strategy and talent pipeline can fulfil your business needs, it’s important to analyse your current employed talent and assess this against the skills and experience you anticipate your business needing moving forward.

Where is the business going and what roles are critical for getting there? What future projects or plans is the business gearing up for, and what roles will be instrumental in delivering them? Seeking out candidates who possess the right experience and qualities to fulfil these will mean that your business’s forward trajectory is not disrupted by loss of a team member or delays caused by a traditional passive form of recruitment.

Analyse your current situation and map out what would happen if members of your team were to leave. This can help you identify any gaps in your talent pipeline, and pinpoint the key skills you need to focus on when nurturing future candidates.


  1. Analyse your recruitment model

How successful have your recruitment initiatives been in the past? A full analysis of the good, bad and ugly of your current recruitment model is useful for identifying areas for improvement.

For instance, are you finding strong candidates, but your offer-to-acceptance rate is low? Look at the package your business is offering, and what makes your business attractive to both potential and current employees – does this stack up in terms of attracting the essential talent you anticipate your business needing? Is it enough to support the success of your talent pipeline strategy?

If not, reassessing either the candidates you’re targeting in your talent pipeline, or the package and experience you’re able to offer candidates will identify areas in which your recruitment strategy can be improved.

Is one particular department suffering from high staff turnover? Investigate why talent doesn’t stay long in that department. If the issue is a disparity between the expectation of a role and the reality, re-evaluate how your business presents the role to candidates, and what sort of candidates you’re targeting for those positions.


  1. Build your employer brand

A successful recruitment strategy hinges on the best candidates perceiving your business as an attractive place to work. Being able to pull candidates towards your business as opposed to pushing a position towards them means a better likelihood of a successful cultural fit. To do this it’s important to build your business’s external employer brand, providing a truthful but persuasive account of your business’s values, culture and experience to help potential candidates understand what you have to offer, and to attract the people who you know will thrive in your company culture.

First, understand your company’s unique value proposition – what does your brand offer potential employees that competitors can’t? Once you understand your brand’s unique strengths and selling points, compare your employer brand against your talent pipeline – are you nurturing the candidates whose career aspirations match your company’s offering?

If your employer brand is well-defined and provides an accurate reflection of your company’s culture, you’ll naturally begin to attract candidates who are a better fit for your business.


  1. Find the right candidates

The previous steps should provide you with a clear recruitment strategy that is in line with your business strategy, a strong recruitment model and offering to potential employees, and a clearly-defined employer brand. Knowing how to use these assets to find and nurture suitable candidates is the next step.

A strong talent pipeline includes both internal and external candidates. Start by analysing the talent you already have in your business, and identify candidates who have the potential to fill key roles should the need arise. Look at gaps in skillsets and key competencies that would need to be nurtured to ensure they’re ready for the next step. Internal candidates are valuable as they already know your business, the recruitment process is shorter as you already know them as an employee, and offering career progression opportunities also further improves your employer brand.

Building a pipeline of quality external candidates requires a consistent approach to seeking out as well as pulling in talent, and often means going beyond the job boards to meet new candidates on their own terms.

Networking events are ideal ground for establishing a dialogue with known or previously unknown candidates, and conversations can be driven towards assessing the suitability of talent for any future roles within your business.

LinkedIn is a great place for keeping relationships with members of your talent pipeline current and active. It’s also a great place to keep up to date with industry news and find out when any passive talent may be ready to enter the job market.

But when we talk of connecting with candidates on their own terms, the likes of Facebook and Twitter are ideal channels to draw candidates to your business, engaging, nurturing and building your talent pipeline. Promote your employer brand and show how fantastic it is to work for your company by sharing photographs and videos of social activities, CSR initiatives, team building and general company culture. Involve your current employees and create brand ambassador stories that are a true reflection of what it’s like to work for you.

Maintaining a strong talent pipeline requires consistent proactivity, but the quality of candidates, cost and time-saving benefits far outweigh the effort of nurturing your talent pipeline.

Build your business to be an employer of choice and you will have candidates just waiting for opportunities to join you.


greenbean by NRG can help you strengthen your talent pipeline

At greenbean by NRG, our recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) strategies take a proactive approach to building and maintaining a strong talent pipeline, and can help you to achieve high quality hires, quick recruitment turnarounds and reduced costs. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.