A healthy talent pipeline makes nearly every talent sourcing process easier to manage. It eliminates one of the most inefficient processes known to HR and recruiters, which is starting from scratch each time there’s a job opening. The average new-hire costs organizations $4,129 — and that’s before the new employees’ first payroll is even processed! However, there are numerous ways to cut costs without reducing strategy. One of the primary ones is to have a talent pipeline of vetted, ready-to-hire people for all of your open positions — particularly ones that are critical to the business or experience a higher rate of turnover for any reason.
This article breaks apart the talent pipeline and discusses why it’s so important (especially for larger companies), how to improve or build a new one, and explains how both the human element and technology are vital for keeping the pipeline stocked at all times.
What is a Talent Pipeline?
Simply put, a talent pipeline is defined as a streamlined recruiting approach for sourcing qualified talent for open positions. Creating a talent pipeline can be labor intensive and takes careful planning on the front end, but can save you countless productivity hours since you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” each time you need to fill an open position — especially in low-skill, repeatable, or entry-level roles. Robust talent pipelines shorten your time-to-hire and your cost-per-hire KPIs and allow recruiters to focus on finding the best people.
The best talent pipelines rely on a well-stocked talent pool. This means having an active database where you can access the kind of candidates you can hire in the new-term and the future.
Now that we’ve defined the talent pool and its purpose in recruiting, let’s talk about the best ways you can use your talent pool to reap the most benefit from your recruiting budget. Here are four ways you can use your talent pipeline to maximize the ROI of your resources.
1. Opening Up Candidate Referrals
Even with the influx of new technology, data-driven solutions, and automation, employee referrals remain one of the best ways to build a talent pipeline and have more surety of candidate qualification. According to the experts at SourceCon, finding new ways to grow referral pipelines can minimize the amount of cold-calling and emailing you’re tasked with and allows you to maximize the cache of your employment brand instead.
2. Shortening Your Time-to-Fill
Creating a talent pipeline means never having to scramble to find candidates and always having at least one (preferably more) qualified individuals at the ready to fill a particular role. Instead of wasting time to track down the right individual every time a position opens up, you can instead dedicate your workday to developing strategies that allow you make better-informed hiring decisions for your business and even deputizing hiring managers to help you with recruiting efforts. This will reduce the amount of time you spend cycling through the talent pool and instead allow you to source right from your ready-made talent pipeline.
3. Reducing Hiring Mistakes by Pre-Assessing Qualifications and Cultural Fit
Hiring the wrong person for a job is an expensive and avoidable mistake that can cost companies millions of dollars. For example, an article in Forbes states that poor-performers and bad hires have cost shoe-selling giant, Zappos upwards of $100 million USD over the years.
Building a pipeline allows you to start assessing a candidate’s qualifications and cultural fit with your organization before you even get them in the door for a first interview. Having a talent pipeline in place allows you to get to know the person behind the application before they start interviewing and have an idea of where they fall on the continuum of necessary skills and cultural fit. Keep in mind that while particular skills can be taught, cultural fit is something that is harder to identify and needs to be assessed by a person.
The Role of Job Board Advertising in Improving Your Talent Pipeline
Now that we’ve discussed the financial benefits of building a powerful talent pipeline for recruiters and hiring managers, let’s talk about how you can use employee advertising to create a steady stream of candidates. Job boards are the second most popular means of recruiting besides employee referrals. The job board software with which you choose to partner will be a defining driver of your pipeline-building success. While job boards used to be the sole domain of print publishers, recruiters now can use the entirety of the internet to promote open roles and source exceptional talent.
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