Onboarding, Applicant Tracking, Recruiting

How to Build a Talent Pipeline: Developing a Strategy

October 26, 2023

What is a talent pipeline? It's a tool that ensures you always have quality talent within your reach. Sourcing and nurturing talent isn't a one-time engagement like getting a window fixed.

Think of building a talent pipeline like building a house. No one just arrives at an empty land parcel with some materials and expects to have a move-in ready house immediately. Devising a blueprint gives you a more accurate estimate of the materials and headcount needed. 

Your talent pipeline strategy is your blueprint for ensuring continuous talent pool development so candidates are already lined up for positions before opening. Even when the pendulum of the job market swings back in employers' favor, you won't always attract the right talent with well-written job listings alone.

Here's how you can develop a talent pipeline strategy that keeps an influx of qualified candidates nearby.

1. Identify the Roles Requiring a Talent Pipeline

Returning to our home-building analogy, we have our land and blueprint. But when it comes to materials and home design extras, some require special orders, while the big-box store version will work for others.

It's similar to jobs in a talent pipeline. Not all roles require skill sets that are difficult to find. Roles that aren't critical to operations and don't require specialized experience likely don't need a talent pipeline.

A talent pipeline strategy needs to be executed when it comes to crucial managerial positions, incredibly specialized roles, and "purple squirrel" roles that need both rare and diverse skills.

Identify which roles necessitate a talent pipeline, as this will shape your overall talent acquisition strategy.

2. Establish and Fine-Tune Your Employer Brand

For roles outside the talent pipeline, simply offering a job is enough. When it comes to attracting top talent and fostering talent pipeline sustainability, the importance of the employer brand cannot be emphasized enough. Establishing an employer brand can be a challenge for small and growing companies. Nonetheless, raising your profile as an employer of choice is direly important.

Polishing your employer brand is about proving that your company is an excellent workplace. The salaries and benefits are obviously major attractors, but brand voice, corporate culture, and talent-focused brand awareness are integral parts of employer branding.

It can be challenging to create tonal shifts when appealing to potential employees versus your clients. Work on your messaging and get input from your current staff and former employees who left on good terms.

3. Outreach Plus Internal Consideration

Think back to when you were a job seeker. Filling out applications and checking out job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Toptal, plus industry-specific work sites, may have comprised much of the search. But so did reaching out to people you knew at past jobs and external networking events. Internal opportunities for advancement are the first place employed job seekers tend to look.

It isn't that dissimilar as an employer, although the order may differ depending on the roles and how many positions need to be filled. Start with the staff you already have. Some employees desire advancement, and slow seasons and hiring freezes are the perfect time to invest in training them for new positions.

Returnships for former employees may also be an option if they departed on good terms. Past rejected applicants may also be pleasantly surprised that you'd like to consider them for a job now.

External efforts to expand your talent pool come next. Professional organizations and LinkedIn groups can attract more professionals who want to engage your brand, and it can translate to suitable talent. Local colleges' recruitment offices and career fairs can effectively gather entry-level talent and prime them for skill-building tailored to your organization.

Online job applications are also an extremely effective way to add to your talent bank once an applicant tracking system (ATS) weeds out unqualified candidates, later refined by an HR manager.

4. Keep an Eye on Key Talent

Did you see an insightful post on LinkedIn or meet someone impressive at a conference? Stay on top of their professional development, even if they're young and inexperienced.

Be transparent that you may not be hiring them right now but that you'd like to stay in touch because you see their potential. Offer an informational interview to teach them about possible roles and start a long-term relationship.

 Future-Proofing with Payday Payroll

An efficient talent pipeline ensures that top talent always comes your way for their next opportunity. Continuous talent pool development is the goal of a talent pipeline strategy, rather than simply filling positions that sit open too long.

Future-proofing your workplace doesn't have to be an unattainable pipe dream. Talk to us at Payday Payroll today to discuss our tailored HR pipeline planning solutions and form the talent acquisition strategy that best fits your firm's sourcing needs.

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