Building a talent pipeline is a key component of inbound hiring, which combines the strategies of inbound marketing and recruitment. It’s a concept which leads talent through the awareness, consideration and interest stages of the candidate experience. Because they are seeking you out, your hiring is in a continuous flow. That means that hiring for a new role doesn’t have to mean starting a new process.
Much as your sales team will collate warm leads, building a talent pipeline means your recruitment team are collating a lead list of engaged potential candidates.
How to build a talent pipeline
Nothing exasperates a candidate more than poor communication. Once a candidate becomes an applicant it’s important to keep them informed about the progress of their application. Even if they’re unsuitable for the role, be sure to let them know as soon as possible that they won’t be brought forward. Make this communication as personalised as you can and offer context to the decision. Perhaps the role required better technical knowledge or another candidate had a greater depth of practical experience. Be sure to thank them for their interest in the company and the role. Again, try to be specific to their experience by referencing their actual application or interview.
To build a successful employer brand you need to clearly establish your mission and culture. Identify what makes you unique as a company and an employer: consider your core values, what perks or benefits you offer talent, how you celebrate success, what kind of people thrive in your working environment, etc.
Once you have determined the different elements of your employer brand you can begin to build a strategy around how you communicate those elements. Create employer branding content that celebrates your current employees and will attract candidates who are excited to be part of your business and culture. Your company culture is what makes differentiates you from other employers and it’s ultimately what keeps people in your team.
Encourage previous applicants or potential candidates to sign up for company updates. This can be through a specific email newsletter detailing company news such as the launch of a new product feature or an upcoming event or it can be through your social channels celebrating any team milestones or successes. This is a great way to keep your pipeline engaged and invested in what’s going on in the company. Urge your employees to share updates and shout about you on their social accounts. Prospective talent want to know what kind of team they could be joining so get your team front and centre. They are the best advocates of your company culture.
Events are another excellent means of fostering relationships with potential talent. You want to build awareness of your employer brand so think about what events you can run, sponsor, speak at, network at or exhibit at. Consider the required skills of your future roles and align your events strategy accordingly. For example, if you know you will need more developers in the next year, think about developer specific meetups or conferences you could have a presence at.
4 key benefits of building a talent pipeline
Shorter onboarding process
Building a talent pipeline allows you to target a group of people who already have a good sense of who you are and what you do. As such, they will need less hand holding when it comes to getting to know the company and product, and be able to hit the ground running.
Lower cost per hire
While talent pipelining will require initial investment into your employer brand, it will cut your hiring costs through reduced employee turnover and better retention rates.
Given the current talent shortage, competition for the best skilled professionals is fierce. Talent need to be sold on more than just a salary. By building connections with candidates early on and educating them on your company’s values and culture, you’re creating buy in and decreasing the likelihood of losing them to a competitor.
Minimal business disruption
Some roles will need to be filled more urgently than others. If you’re faced with a sudden departure of an employee it can mean extra work for their team and lower morale among the wider business. Having an up-to-date talent pool means you can minimise the disruption to employees as vacancies can be filled at a quicker rate.