4 Tips to Build and Maintain a Talent Pipeline
A talent pipeline is a massive asset for any hiring team. Imagine a world where if an employee leaves unexpectedly, you are ready and waiting with two or three perfectly qualified candidates to jump start you hiring process. Building and maintaining a talent pipeline is a great strategy. It works particularly well for larger teams with the time and budget to nurture candidates while they wait for a position to open up.
It can be a bit more challenging for smaller teams, however. Keeping your recruiting channels open 24/7 requires a decent amount of time and dedication from your staff. However, it’s certainly worth the effort. A 2016 ERE Media survey of employers who continuously recruit found that 66% of respondents say that their pipeline strategy shortens time-to-hire and 54% report that it lowers cost-per-hire.
How do YOU get in on this action?
That’s right, Always Be Hiring. That’s a strong sentiment, and don’t get too overwhelmed by the implications. We don’t expect you to maintain postings on job search sites (although if you can, that would be great!). Instead, include an evergreen section on your careers site or page for lower-level or high-demand positions. Similarly, add a section to your Linkedin bio that you’re “always accepting resumes for self-starting salespeople and developers.”
When you receive a resume, be clear about whether or not you’re expecting to bring on new staff in the next quarter. The key to continual hiring is consistent communication. The last thing you want is for your pipeline to grow cold. Let the applicant know that you’ll check in every few weeks to update them on any developments or openings, and stick to your touchpoints.
2. Stay active on LinkedIn
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said. If a candidate visits your team’s point-of-contact’s LinkedIn page and it’s covered in cobwebs, they might be less inclined to enter a long-term relationship with you. Make sure that your point-of-contact has the time and bandwidth to post or share content a few times a week, and they are following up with social touches to potential candidates.
Your point-of-contact will be an extension of your employer brand, so make sure they understand your team’s branding goals. Check out this handy guide to creating employer brand advocates for more tips.
3. Maintain lasting relationships
Recruiters, employment agencies, local universities: You’ve probably worked with at least one of these assets in the past. Maintain good relationships with your contacts and ask them to send any good prospects your way.
Recruiters especially have vast networks of qualified candidates that they may choose to share with you depending on how they handle pipeline transparency. Our model, for example, includes a fully transparent pipeline of candidates from the start of the search that you can refer back to at any time for future hiring (with no contingency fees or commissions).
Similarly, maintain good relationships with outgoing employees and ask them for candidate referrals from their new networks when it’s appropriate.
4. Network offline
Industry events are a great place to meet interested candidates, and we’re not just talking about job fairs. Next time you’re going to be represented at a trade show or conference, send a member of the hiring team along with marketing. They can rub elbows with other professionals, keep up relationships with current contacts, and get a better idea of the local talent pool.
Similarly, make an effort to maintain a company presence in your local community’s college and recent-graduate scene to network with entry-level employees. They’d be happy to send over a resume and update you with recent work in exchange for info on employment opportunities after graduation. They might be one of your most underutilized assets.
Building and maintaining a talent pipeline when you’re not actively hiring can be an afterthought for many hiring teams, but it’s definitely a strategy worth your time!
Need somewhere to start? ERE Media has some great resources for getting started.