Coca-Cola doesn’t do it. Neither does McDonald’s, for that matter. Or AT&T. In fact, none of today’s most recognizable – and successful – brands wait until their sales are down to increase their marketing efforts. They know that the key to creating long-term customer loyalty – through good times and not-so-good times – is staying top-of-mind with consumers and standing out among the competition.
This concept is no different from recruiting.
Smart companies do not wait until they have a need to hire to begin recruiting talent. For them, building a talent pipeline – a database of qualified candidates upon whom they can quickly and easily call upon when hiring needs do arise – is a constant, high priority effort.
Today, human resources departments and staffing organizations are faced with the unenviable challenge to deliver high quality candidates with fewer resources at their fingertips to assist them. The need to “do more with less” has become today’s business mantra.
Fortunately, talent pipelining provides the perfect opportunity for companies that want to get more return out of their recruitment efforts using the fewest resources. Talent pipelining is a more proactive approach to recruiting, requiring companies to think about their future hiring needs and create a plan to recruit candidates based on those needs.
While the time and effort required up front may seem daunting, building a talent pipeline pays off huge dividends in the end, ultimately saving you time and costs associated with time-to-hire. Consider, for instance, how much time you would save if, instead of starting from scratch any time a position opens up, you already have a pool of relevant, qualified candidates from which to pull. Or – and perhaps more importantly – consider the hiring mistakes you could avoid by eliminating the pressure to make a hasty hiring decision.
Unfortunately, most companies either do not have a talent pipelining system in place or, for lack of time and resources, fail to utilize their current systems in a way that delivers the most benefit. Below, I’ve outlined four steps for creating a talent pipelining system that will truly help you do more with less.
Four Steps to Creating an Effective Talent Pipeline
- Make the commitment: Creating an effective talent pipeline begins with making a commitment. Employers need to get buy-in from everyone involved in the hiring process. It’s important that everyone sees the value in being proactive and cultivating relationships with candidates that could be valuable in the future.
- Assess your current process: It is crucial that you objectively evaluate what about your current process is working and what is not, in order to ensure you are getting the most value. This is where data intelligence comes in. Data intelligence, such as talent surveys, provide valuable insight into all kinds of candidate behavior, from how they search for jobs to what they value in an employer to what motivates them to apply –or not apply – for certain jobs over others. This intelligence informs employers as to where to allocate their recruitment dollars most effectively.
- Practice constant engagement: It is not enough to simply collect resumes and connect with candidates, but you must keep them engaged. With the rise of social media, the opportunities for engagement are limitless. For example, post content such as photos and video on your company’s career site or social networking pages that keeps them informed about the culture of your company, and encourage them to ask questions about the same. Or provide links that let them opt-in to receive information about upcoming career fairs or available opportunities that arise via e-mail. And don’t forget to recruit your current employees to refer candidates and act as brand ambassadors. Whatever means you use, the goal here is to keep candidates interested, informed and excited about opportunities with your company.
- Create a measurement system: The only way you’ll know for sure if your pipelining system is working is by constantly measuring your results. Some questions to consider: How often do candidates apply to our opportunities? How many candidates turn into successful hires? Where did these candidates come from? Understanding where your talent is coming from will help you focus your recruiting efforts and build the most effective talent pipeline.
In a recent CareerBuilder survey, employers named finding the right talent to fill open positions as one of the greatest hiring challenges they face today. As the economy recovers, the job market opens up, and hiring needs increase, this challenge will only grow. The time to start building your talent pipeline is now. Waiting until you have a hiring need is simply waiting too long.
For more information about how CareerBuilder can help you fill your pipeline with the best and brightest candidates from around the Web, visit the Talent Network page. Go here to see a full list of clients using the Talent Network solution, including WellPoint, Sunrise, IHG and Midas.
Catch the recast of CareerBuilder’s Chief Development Officer Hope Gurion and Senior Vice President John Smith presenting Your Company in 2020: Capturing Talent to Fuel Future Growth, an exclusive webcast about adapting to the ever-changing recruitment landscape. Click here to view the recast.