The importance of a Talent Pipeline

by Brian Weidner on August 22, 2013

Talent Pool vs. Talent Pipeline.  I’m not sure which buzz word I prefer.  Pipeline has a slick corporate, industrial feel where Pool reminds me of summer.  I picture a swimming pool where a group of engaged candidates can play with beach balls until a position opens at your organization.

In this blog post I wanted to spend a couple of minutes explaining the concept of a Talent Pool / Pipeline and then take it a step further to discuss why it’s important.

Let’s start at the beginning.  There are two types of hiring needs.  Current Open positions vs. Future Open positions.  As a recruiter, you currently have open positions where you are actively looking for candidates.  It might be a single position or many positions across various locations of your organization.  There will also be positions open down the road.  This involves some forward thinking to consider what positions might be opening up in the future.  These future positions could open due to maternity leaves, turnover, patient population growth, business expansion, etc.

90% of recruiters focus 90% of their time on current open positions.  These are the fires that need to be extinguished.  These are the calls from the hiring manager inquiring about the number of candidates.  This is the largest pain that you have as a recruiter.  When a position is open the clock begins and it’s your job to find a candidate to fill the opening.

Within the therapy disciplines, candidates are scarce.  It’s common to have an open position that generates zero interest.  Zero applications.  Zero candidates.  When a candidate does finally come forward, either through Career Tree Network or another source, they are quickly moved through the hiring process and usually an offer is extended ASAP.  Another (more costly) route is engaging a headhunter or staffing agency.  Either way, it’s a huge relief when the position is finally filled.  I’ve been in your shoes, it’s hard to describe the feeling of pure joy when that offer letter is signed.

Building a proactive talent pipeline is about a continual process of candidate engagement.  Recruitment marketing initiatives are performed on a regular basis to build an active community of candidates who are interested in your organization.  Job postings describe current job openings, they do not help build your talent pipeline.  The goal here is to continually sell your organization as a great place to work.  Promoting your employer brand within the community and looking for ways to generate a stream of candidate referrals / inquires within critical areas.  With those candidate referrals, a talented proactive recruiter will make a follow-up contact with the candidate.  The recruiter will understand candidate preferences and interest areas.  Candidate information will be retained so that follow-up contact(s) can be made down the road.

The primary goal is to build a community of candidates to help eliminate future fires.  Within this context, when a position opens, you will already have a group of people who may be interested.  You have a solid foundation as your starting point.  It requires a proactive mindset but the benefits can be significant.

There are many ways to start building your talent pool…looking for an example?
How about our Business Card Booklet?

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