Building a talent pipeline is a proactive rather than a reactive hiring strategy. It encompasses sourcing and engaging a group of passive candidates for the fulfillment of future roles in the company.
Finding talented candidates in advance to fill the hard to hire position not only saves the time spent sourcing candidates when the need actually arises, but it also creates a sustainable model of the recruitment process within the organization.
Here is a step-by-step detailed guide on the strategies you can swear by for building an effective talent pipeline for your organization.
1. Use Branding to your Advantage
The hiring market is hugely competitive and the reputation of your organization gives you a head start when sourcing candidates for establishing your talent pipeline. These are the steps that would give you a headstart while engaging employer branding.
- Carefully curate the content: Employer branding is all about demonstrating to the candidates what working for your organization is all about, so make sure it leaves a positive impact. Your organization’s website needs to have a curated career’s page that is candidate friendly.
- Keep track of the employer branding: Know what turns up if a potential employee searches you up on any search engine- customer and employee reviews and take charge of them. Social media can also be a great platform for giving a behind the scenes insight into the organizational culture.
- Invest in employee development: Word of mouth communication can be a great tool for positive employer branding. Encourage employees to share their experiences via various social media platforms.
2. Setting up the Talent Pipeline
- Identify areas where employee turnover is high: Certain roles within the organization have high turnover rates. Identifying these critical areas and having suitable talent in the pipeline for the roles with a high attrition rate can significantly reduce the time-to-hire for these positions.
- Source for hard-to-fill roles: A succession plan in place by having qualified candidates for hard to fill roles that require a high-level skill set like those at the senior executive level saves significant time and money for your company.
- Plan for future needs: Keep the company’s growth and expansion plans in mind when planning for the talent pipeline. Knowledge regarding the upcoming projects within the company can help anticipate future needs.
3. Sourcing the candidates
With the talent pool limited and a lot of competing organizations targeting the same candidates, attracting and hiring the right candidates for your organization can become a tricky task. Here are the sourcing strategies, based on the current recruiting trends, you need to follow to set up an effective talent pipeline for your organization.
- Define the talent you are sourcing: Candidate profiling is the first step in building a talent pipeline. The profiling can be based upon a number of criteria, skill sets, academic background, fit within the company culture, etc.
- Utilize internal as well as external resources: Sourcing talent from within the company can not only result in the faster filling of the roles, it also results in retaining existing talent and greater employee satisfaction. Keep track of the employees who have the requisite talent and have expressed interest in career progression to fully utilize the existing talent.
- Know when and how to source externally: Sourcing candidates externally can help fill the gaps in the existing skill sets within the organization. The following sourcing techniques can be utilized to source talented candidates from the external sources.
- Applicant tracking systems: The employees which make their way to the final stages of the previous hiring processes but for some reason could not make it in the final round can be a good starting point for sourcing the candidates.
- Boolean search strings: Combining relevant keywords specifying the exact skill sets targeted helps in generating more relevant leads than traditional searches and producing more refined results.
- Candidate referrals: Candidate referral programs are a great way of organically reaching talented candidates for your pipeline. Communicate with your employees to drive even more candidate referrals and expand the talent pool.
- Networking events: Professional networking at events offers vital opportunities for building your pipeline. Hosting networking events has twofold benefits; it enhances the employer branding and attracts talented resources as well.
- Social media outreach: The traditional professional platforms such as LinkedIn are a great tool to connect with potential employees. Additionally, on the basis of the target audience, specific platforms can be utilized, for example, if you are looking to hire developers, Github can be a potential source for attracting great talent.
- Perfect the outreach message: Engaging with the potential candidates for the talent pipeline can be a tricky business. Since the position you are sourcing the talent for isn’t open yet, the outreach message, which would be the first point of contact of the candidate with the organization, has to be drafted in an excellent manner. From the subject line to the message contents, everything should be compelling to make a lasting impression on the potential candidate. The message needs to be a personalized one with the emphasis on the candidate, the responsibilities that the position would entail and information on how they can be a valuable addition to the organization.
- Follow up with the candidate: A follow-up email is a great way to re-engage with the candidate. The goal of the polite persistence is to ensure that you stay on top of the candidate’s mind and build a passive relationship which comes to play when the candidate is ready to make the move and/or the position you are sourcing for opens up within the organization.
- Engage and be genuine: Be upfront in all your communications and make it clear that you are sourcing for a position that isn’t open at the current time but would be available in the future. Emphasize that your company is always on the lookout for talented people and you are looking for shortlisting the candidate for the future hiring within the organization. Show genuine interest in the candidate and encourage questions from the candidate in regards to the company.
- Let the candidate drive the conversation: Ask the candidates to pick a channel of communication they are comfortable with. Irrespective of the communication channel chosen, don’t let the talent pipeline become stagnant. Keep the communication flowing and generate enough interest so that the candidates you have sourced for your talent pipeline, become eager to join the workforce as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
About the author: Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea. Rahul has been featured as a technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.