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Recruiting for Tomorrow Today: 4 Key Reasons You Need a Talent Pipeline

grow your talent pipelineAs any good employer knows, the key to running a successful business is people.  People are what got your business where it is today, and they are the determinant of your future success.  As you begin to think about how you plan to rebuild and grow your organization following this time of economic uncertainty, the people you bring in to your organization will inevitably play a crucial role in that strategy

What you have to keep in mind, however, is that today’s market has drastically changed – thanks in part to things like advances in technology and changing job seeker demographics. The harsh truth is that if you want to remain competitive in this market, you can no longer rely on “business as usual” when it comes to your recruitment efforts.  What you need is a more proactive approach to recruitment. You need a strategy that not only brings in qualified applicants, but keeps them engaged and interested in opportunities with your organization. You need a strategy that keeps you top of mind with top talent. In short, you need talent pipelining.

A talent pipeline is a community of qualified, interested candidates with the skills and experience that meet your organization’s unique needs. With a talent pipeline in place, you get to take control of the recruitment process.  You don’t have to go back to square one and wait for applicants to come in every time you have a hiring need – you already have an existing database of relevant applicants at your fingertips.

Why Talent Pipelining? Why Now?
Historically, when people had hiring needs, they would put an ad in the local newspaper, post a job on the internet, visit a career fair or ask for employee referrals, then simply wait for the candidates to flow in. This reactive approach, however, is no longer sufficient. Here are four reasons why you need to start building a talent pipeline today.

  1. Recruitment is – and always has been – an ongoing effort. Even if you are not hiring right now, you should constantly be on the lookout for ways to attract and engage top talent. Consider how much time, money and frustration you would save if you already had a pool of qualified, relevant and interested applicants on hand once a hiring need does open up. This is one of the major benefits to building a talent pipeline. The effort you put in now to recruit for the future will lead to fewer hiring mistakes and a greater return for all involved in the hiring process.
  2. The way candidates search for jobs has changed. Today’s job seekers are more resourceful than ever. They know what they want in an employer – great benefits, flexible work options, career development opportunities – and they know how to get it. In addition to job boards and personal referrals, job seekers use social and professional networking sites, online referral programs and talent communities to research prospective employers. They also want to be wanted: They crave constant engagement and interaction with prospective employers. This is where you as an employer have to be resourceful and proactive in your recruiting efforts, utilizing every tool at your disposal to connect with job seekers – from your company careers site and employee referrals to social media and mobile marketing .
  3. The competition for top talent will only get more intense as the job market opens up. Research shows that employees tend to leave organizations following times of economic or organizational change, and employers are already seeing signs of this phenomenon today: A recent CareerBuilder survey showed that 40 percent of employers worry about losing workers as the economy improves. Think about it: If you’re competing for candidates against a company that has already built a relationship with those candidates, who do you think has the advantage when it comes to getting those candidates in the door? Building a talent pipeline helps you stay front of mind when you find yourself with a need to hire, keeping valuable candidates from slipping through the cracks, and giving you an edge over competitors who do not put forth the same effort to engage candidates.
  4. Recruitment resources are still lean. Talent pipelining enables employers to save overall time and costs associated with hiring. Think about it: How often has an immediate and frantic need to hire led to a regrettable hiring mistake? How much money goes down the drain in lost productivity when hard-to-fill positions remain open? Even if you have staffing agencies to help sort through irrelevant applications and screen candidates, consider how much you could save if you simply didn’t need to rely on them at all? You don’t – not if you already had a pool of qualified, interested candidates at your fingertips, sourced from your talent pipeline.  Fortunately, new technologies and social media tools, as well as the increasing popularity of mobile, provide employers more opportunities than ever to get in front of job seekers and keep them engaged at very little cost.

Engagement: The Crucial Next Step
It’s important to note that building a talent pipeline is not just about getting candidates interested in opportunities with your organization, but about keeping them interested for when future opportunities open up.  This next step – engagement – is often where employers run into trouble.  It’s not enough to simply build a pipeline, but to keep candidate engaged so that a month, six months or even a year down the road, when you are ready to hire, you know you’re hiring the right people.

The strategies by which you go about building that your talent pipeline will vary based on your organization’s unique needs, but the engagement factor must always be there. Not only will you save time and money overall, but you will end up with a better quality of people, turning out a better quality of product and service.  Simply put, building a talent pipeline is one of the best investments your organization will ever make.

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. Or go here to see a full list of clients using the Talent Network solution, including Sonic Automotive, Morgan StanleySNI Technology and Kelly-Moore Paints.

Catch the recast of CareerBuilder Senior Vice President John Smith and Chief Development Officer Hope Gurion present 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.

John Smith is a Senior Vice President at CareerBuilder, LLC, where he is charged with developing recruitment strategies for CareerBuilder’s Fortune 500 clients.

John Smith

About John Smith

John Smith is a Senior Vice President of CareerBuilder, the nation’s largest online job site and the global leader in human capital solutions. In this position, Smith is charged with developing recruitment strategies for CareerBuilder’s Fortune 500 clients as well as internal sales strategies and programs to drive the company’s profitability and maximize market share. Smith’s leadership is one of the key contributors to a company that continually outpaces its industry in revenue growth. Smith joined CareerBuilder in 2002 and held a variety of positions prior to becoming Senior Vice President, including national account sales, Area Sales Manager and VP of Recruiters business unit. Smith holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business and an undergraduate degree from West Virginia University.
Bill McCabe
Bill McCabe

While finding time to recruit ahead of need is always a challenge, Recruitment leaders (and their staffs) need to set aside 15 mins per day for workforce planning and building talent pipelines.


  1. [...] Posts: Recruiting for Tomorrow Today by John Smith Doing More With Less Through Talent Pipelining by Hope [...]

  2. [...] Posts: Recruiting for Tomorrow Today by John Smith Doing More With Less Through Talent Pipelining by Hope [...]

  3. [...] Posts: Recruiting for Tomorrow Today by John Smith Doing More With Less Through Talent Pipelining by Hope [...]

  4. [...] Pipelining: We’ve spoken at length about the importance of building a talent pipeline (and here and here), as it helps employers get more return out of their recruitment efforts using the fewest [...]

  5. [...] Posts: Recruiting for Tomorrow Today by John Smith Doing More With Less Through Talent Pipelining by Hope [...]

  6. [...] Posts: Recruiting for Tomorrow Today by John Smith Doing More With Less Through Talent Pipelining by Hope [...]

  7. [...] The recent survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers nationwide found that two-in-five U.S. employers continuously recruit where they might not have an open position today, but still market to candidates in case a position opens up down the line. (Which seems impressive, until you realize that less than half of you get to enjoy the benefits talent pipelines offer.) [...]

  8. [...] – Recruiting for Tomorrow Today: 4 Key Reasons You Need a Talent Pipeline Published March 17, 2011 by John Smith, SVP of sales at [...]

  9. [...] to foster relationships with candidates who will be very hireable after a set period of time. By building your talent pipeline now, you’re more likely to attract military workers who are seeking a civilian job and will be [...]

  10. […] What does this mean for you? First, if your company doesn’t already have a talent pipeline in place, you may want to dedicate some of your time and resources into doing so this year. If you’re at a point where you’re thinking “why do I need one?” we’ve got four key reasons, so you may want to check this out. […]

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