Why You Should Focus on Building a Pipeline of Candidates

Rushing to fill talent gaps at your organization can increase the risk of poor hiring decisions. Because you must consider cultural fit in addition to skill and experience, you will find better results if you take a methodical approach to hiring.

What is a candidate pipeline?

Any company considering a shift toward proactive hiring needs a strong talent pipeline. This concept requires recruiters to develop a pool of qualified candidates who can step into key positions as they open. Candidates in the pipeline may be internal employees who are up for promotion as well as external candidates sourced from job listings, recruitment agencies, and referrals.

Benefits of a talent pipeline include: 

  • Faster time-to-fill: In a proactive recruitment process, candidates are ready and waiting to fill open positions. This means you can limit the impact that turnover has on company productivity. 
  • Higher quality candidates: When your recruitment function is in reactive mode, you often have to settle for the best available candidates at that point in time. In a proactive approach, you can strategically find qualified candidates who possess the skills and experience you need. 
  • Better cultural fit: By building relationships with candidates before they’re hired, you can reduce the risk of turnover and build a strong culture of dedicated professionals. 
  • Lower recruitment costs: Firing up the engines of your recruitment process every time a position becomes available will inevitably lead to cost creep. From writing and posting job listings to holding a series of interviews, the resources required to find candidates can be substantial.  

A candidate pipeline not only offers operational benefits, but it also supports a strong employer brand. This approach to hiring can help your company stand out as a top place to work.

How do you build a candidate pipeline?

The process of building a talent pipeline begins with identifying which roles in your organization will benefit the most from this strategic approach.  

These roles are often difficult to fill and require a unique set of skills. Once you’ve identified those positions, you can develop candidate personas that align with the job descriptions.  

Not every position within your organization needs a pipeline, so focus on those that are crucial to your company’s success. For example, a technology company may want to focus on developers who are versed in a specific coding language, or a building company may need a pool of commercial architects. 

The next step is to improve your employer brand by developing a strong, engaging online presence. Candidates should be able to get a feel for your company culture before they apply for a position. A strategic approach to employer branding will help candidates filter themselves, enabling a more perfect cultural fit. 

Developing a strong online presence involves making people aware of your business, communicating what you do, and what benefits you can provide. Your brand awareness is essential because it can make your brand more widely known and grow your audience, increase traffic, conversion, and engagement, and help you communicate your message and brand identification.   

Using social media is key to marketing your brand and increasing awareness of your organization. Potential candidates often research organizations through social media sites. Additionally, building your brand on social media increases your presence on Google, especially if you use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) within your online presence, including on your website, social media, and online advertising. You should also build out your company’s presence on job sites like Glassdoor and Comparably.  

With a strong digital presence, your recruitment function can target and engage candidates in your pipeline. This includes efforts to build candidate interest, identify qualified candidates and develop strong relationships.  

A proactive recruitment strategy will shift your organization away from a reactive into a proactive approach that strengthens your organization. It changes the recruitment process from hiring the best available candidate into hiring the ideal candidate.  

An outsourced recruitment function can provide strategic guidance to help you find the candidates you need as efficiently as possible. Investing in pipeline development adds immediate and long-term value to your organization, enabling you to focus on what you do best — serving your customers. 

If you need help creating a proactive recruitment plan for your organization, we can help. Learn more here or contact us.