Talent Acquisition

How to Reduce Cost Per Hire Through a Talent Pipeline

Talent pools have been all the rage recently in the in-house recruitment world. Recruitment leaders focus on developing a talent pool for two main reasons:

1. Data – the data from a talent pool provides insight into trends; such as availability of talent, industry salaries, and geographical hotspots for talent.

2. Future – a supply of candidates for future vacancies.

A talent pool is often just a fancy way of describing a database that has ATS or CRM software that a recruiter can use to receive and progress candidates through a recruitment process.

Unfortunately, there is often a massive amount of untapped value in a talent pool. Many organizations talk about the total number of people in their talent pool. The real impact is delivered through the total number of people who are engaged in their talent pool.

What’s the difference?

ATS systems are regularly described as a black hole by recruiters, TA leaders, and, worst of all, candidates. This means that once a candidate enters an ATS or recruitment process, then they tend not to be communicated with in the future unless they are hired. Even when people are hired, the engagement is minimal.

When a talent pool is engaged with, it stays warm. Through publishing engaging content, top TA teams are retaining the attention of their talent pool long after the first application or recruitment process. This has a profound effect on the future activities of a talent acquisition team.

The compounding effect

We have all heard of compound interest and the effect it has in either making borrowing money so expensive or investing wisely so powerful. The compounding effect of engaging talent pools has the same effect, but is a little simpler to understand:

A disengaged talent pool

Many ATS’s become black holes where candidates disappear, never to be found again, until they apply for another job. The challenge is that they are very unlikely to apply for a job through your website and so you need to attract them again and again. This all costs money:

1st application – job board – $

2nd application – job board – $

3rd application – paid social post – $

4th application – agency – $$$ – hired

The candidate may not have been suitable nor had the experience for applications 1 – 3, but it still costs money to attract the candidate and, eventually, when they were suitable, they were placed with an agency.

You might say “this doesn’t happen”…IT DOES…I am living proof, I applied to the same company four times and was eventually placed by an agency. Yes, I went on to have a good career at the business. I was promoted several times, but I was a very expensive hire!

An engaged talent pool

This takes effort, content, and the right systems. To make your talent pool useful, you need to start being able to segment it into useful skills/experience sets that are relevant to the roles you recruit; then, you need to communicate with these people over an indefinite period of time. Finally, you need to be able to select the right people out of your talent pool to hire into new positions in your company.

So, what impact would this have…

1st application or interaction with a recruiter – $

Engagement – automated – no cost

Selection for suitable role – in your talent pool – no cost

Clearly, the systems and recruiters are a cost, but most companies have these in place already. By removing all the future costs of attracting, you will be saving a lot of time/money and create a pipeline of engaged people.

Hold on, it was a pool and now it is a pipeline?

This is where it gets really interesting. I like to think of a talent pool as a pool of water; one that doesn’t have any flow towards your business. Fairly soon, the talent pool goes stagnant and has no value, and, in fact, it can cause some serious indigestion in the future!

A talent pipeline still has the same people as the pool, but you have a clearly defined way of feeding the pool (marketing channels) and a way of moving the pool closer to your business (pipeline). This is done by placing the right content, in front of the right person, at the right time, to influence them to view you as an employer of choice.

The great thing is that it has become possible to do all of this. To find out more, I have even put together a free video series showing you how easy it is to use your recruitment data to create a modern recruitment funnel, one that even marketers would be jealous of.

By Iain Hamilton

Iain is the founder of People Traction. Based in Aberdeen Iain works throughout the UK. People Traction provide recruitment strategy consultancy, in-house recruitment teams and recruitment project delivery. Connect with Iain on LinkedIn.