What is Talent Pipeline Management?

When a new position (or positions) open up at your company, don’t you wish there were droves of qualified candidates waiting in the wings? No this isn’t a pipedream, it’s your talent pipeline. Developing and maintaining a talent pool of potential candidates is a sure way to find the right person for your next openings, every time. Here we’ll discover what it takes to build an effective pipeline for executive or volume hiring and unlock some key strategies.

Contact Us Today


Understanding Talent Pipelines

A talent pipeline is a database that improves an organization’s recruitment process. It’s a pool of passive candidates you’ve engaged with (i.e. had initial conversations, know their resume) who could fill upcoming roles at your company. 

A talent pipeline should be in place before a new position is opened and needs to be paired with a predictable sequence of steps that moves candidates from being sourced to hired. Analytics plays a key role in helping you uncover potential employees who are eligible to fill open positions. With an effective talent pipeline management strategy your organization’s recruitment process is improved and you’re more likely to find qualified candidates.

Stages of a Talent Pipeline

An effective pipeline means an effective journey for your leads and a strategy for your HR professionals. Here are the five stages of an optimized pipeline.

  • Identify prospective candidates. There are many creative ways you can go about finding perspectives. You need a sizable pool to make the next four stages successful, but the size depends on your unique situation. As always, relying on data to determine how many candidates are needed will be your key to success. 
  • Make initial contact. Developing an effective pipeline means developing effective relationships. So once you’ve organized your pool, it’s time to reach out and tell them you’re interested in a conversation. It’s important to make it clear you’re not immediately asking them to apply—just that you want to talk about the company and hear if they’re interested. 
  • Pre-screen your prospective candidates. This is similar to the standard screening process prospective candidates are put through. The key difference, though, is this is done before they’re sent through the pipeline ensuring only qualified candidates are available to your organization. 
  • Nurture your prospects. This phase helps to keep your talent pool well-stocked. Like keeping in touch with a friend, you’ll want to reach out with emails, phone calls, and maybe some in-person conversations to keep your company top of mind until an ideal position opens up.
  • Set the interview. Once a position opens up, it’s time to look at your talent pool and see who are the qualified candidates and who are looking to make a career jump. You’ll discern these details based on your numerous nurture conversations. 

How Talent Pipelines Differ From Traditional Recruitment Methods

Traditional methods follow a “take what you get” approach where you simply keep your fingers crossed hoping the ideal candidate applies. Having a talent pipeline negates that and you’re able to leverage the relationships you’ve established as well as the information you’ve collected to actively pursue the candidates you believe would be best for your organization.

A talent pipeline requires a hands-on approach since candidates must be developed and nurtured before hiring. Compared to traditional methods where a candidate applies to a job posting and maybe never hears back, this approach is more candidate-friendly and offers a better candidate experience.

The Importance of Clear Engagement With Potential Candidates: Don’t Ghost!

Communicating and building strong relationships with candidates is crucial in developing an optimized talent pipeline. Doing so will boost their interest in your company and increase your chances of hiring top talent. You’ll also stand out—one-third of job seekers claim to have been ghosted. 

However, maintaining contact can be challenging because your talent team is already taxed. Unfortunately, just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you can leave your candidates on read. The good news is that you don’t have to be messaging them every day—just frequently enough to keep up a good relationship. We also recommend finding a recruitment process outsourcing partner who can do this lift for you while maintaining your company’s brand. An RPO partner will be able to keep lines of communication open for potential candidates and helping your company’s branding

Talent Pipeline Strategies

All of this is well and good if you have a strong talent pipeline. One strategy for an effective pipeline is to optimize it over time with talent analytics. This means leveraging all the talent analytics your platform offers, so you can more effectively tweak and optimize your talent pipeline over time. For example, the talent analytics PREDICTIVEHR provides can inform you what percentage of a workforce will be looking for a job after an acquisition.   

Another key strategy is to stop thinking about talent like a transactional process and make talent central to company strategy. Company strategy depends on talent—from the boardroom to the delicatessen—so it’s integral for talent strategy to become interwoven with company strategy. A way to do this is to tie together financial and people’s data to find the correlations that help them make smarter, more proactive choices.

For more information on talent pipeline strategies (and four tips on how to boost it), check out our corresponding blog.

Benefits of Strong Talent Pipeline Management

To see if talent pipelines are right for your organization (and they certainly are), here are some benefits to consider.

  • Reduced Time-to-Hire

When a position becomes available, you can immediately begin looking to your pipeline for potential new hires. While some might be happy in their current position, others will be interested in a career change and it’ll be fast to attract these people because they already have a relationship with the company, aka you. 

  • Reduced Recruitment Costs

Since you’re not starting from scratch with each new opening, you’ll avoid the high costs of recruiting. You can save recruiting and advertising costs by maintaining a talent pipeline of potential applicants.

  • Enhanced Quality of Hires

With a talent pipeline, you can identify and evaluate top talent early on, ensuring you have excellent people to fill roles. Also, a talent pipeline means you can be more selective in your recruiting. You can focus on finding someone who is the right match for the company, rather than hiring simply based on experience. 

  • Reduced Turnover Rates

Turnover, on average, costs a company 250% of employee salary plus benefits, so avoiding it has numerous benefits. Hiring people who are a good company fit—who align with your mission, vision, and values—helps to reduce turnover rates because they see themselves as a crucial part of your organization. Additionally, when your internal teams see clear development and enhancement opportunities via your pipeline they’re more likely to stay.

Pipeline Management with PREDICTIVEHR

Finding the right person for the job can be challenging. However, with a fully optimized pipeline, you can tap into a wealth of talent ready to take the next step with your organization. PREDICTIVEHR helps you gain access to these candidates that you might otherwise have overlooked. Contact us today and build your pipeline with the best in the industry.

Contact Us Today