Proactive talent pipelining, also known as relationship recruiting, is a key strategy to stay ahead in today’s increasingly competitive talent war. Engaging top prospects, even when there is not a current opening for them, will shorten your recruitment cycle when a position does open.
Why Build a Pipeline
It is absolutely critical to implement long-term sourcing plans to optimize your recruitment outcomes. Your deep talent pool will help you:
- Shorten your time to hire: Studies have shown that a robust pipeline can reduce time-to-hire by up to 50 percent. It saves you time in narrowing down your ideal candidate profile, as you already know the talent and what matters to them, in order to consider making a career move.
- Cut your cost per hire: You’ll spend less time interviewing, as you won’t have to schedule as many candidates. In the long run, talent pipelines show a 10-to-15 percent higher return on recruitment investment.
- Eliminate disruptions to operations and customer service: When a position is open for an extended period of time, other team members have to pick up the slack. This tends to result in a downward spiral of eroded morale, compromised quality and ultimately, lower levels of customer service and profitability.
- Achieve more success in interviews: Pre-established connections with candidates are seven times more successful than those that result from “cold calling” tactics. In addition, building an interpersonal relationship before there’s a vacancy alleviates the risk of a competitor salary war.
- Open a steady flow of quality referrals: If you develop relationships with people in your industry, they will feel increasingly comfortable referring talent your way. Your pipeline becomes a source of trusted referrals and warm introductions.
- Measure cultural fit even before the first interview: By getting to know prospective candidates, you gain deeper insight into their personalities. Then, you can confidently detect how well they will fit the environment and culture of your organization.
How to be Proactive
The foundation of a good talent pipeline is based on getting to know the right players. By establishing relationships with them, you can readily make the right match at the right time. Key steps to success include:
- Always be recruiting. Never put yourself in a position where you have to hire in a panic. Event-driven recruiting is dangerous for your business. It costs companies an average of 250 percent of annual salary per exited employee.
- Take advantage of social media. Utilize LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs, as well as targeted social platforms. Join relevant groups and participate in conversations. Rather than taking a hard sell approach, consider passing along an interesting article or asking a question that spurs discussion. Then, you can lead into corresponding about opportunities at your organization.
- Leverage your networks: Alumni and professional affiliations can be great venues for prospective candidates. Don’t limit this only to your individual network. Be sure to have your team scout within theirs, as well.
- Set up an employee referral program. Your current employees are your best tool for talent attraction. They live and breathe your culture. One recent study shows that 69 percent of employers have a formal employee referral program, and 26 percent of their external hires are products of it.