Talent pipeline – Director magazine

How warm is your talent pipeline?

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Photo of diverse group of people sat on a row of chairs showing each other things on computer, phone and tablet screens to illustrate the talent pipeline

A full talent pipeline will ensure you know where to look when you need to recruit – and keep you a step ahead of your competitors. Adam Gordon, chief executive of Social Media Search and co-founder of Candidate.ID, offers his top tips

The world is becoming progressively more transparent. Social media means you can find out much more about people – specifically, people you might want to hire now or in the future – than ever before.

You can find out their skills, their experiences, their contact details. You can connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter and more.

At the same time, potential candidates can find out much more about you as an employer than ever before. They can review your employees’ comments about you at Glassdoor and other sites which act as windows into employers.

The organisations making the most of this are those that are mapping their total addressable market (everyone they want to hire now or in the future). They are proactively connecting with them on social media.

They are creating and sharing content through social media, their website and other online channels. They are hosting meet-ups, knowledge-exchange sessions and other on and offline events which enable their hiring managers to socialise with people they might want to hire.

The net result? When you can create a warm bench of potential hires, often also known as a talent pipeline, you can reduce your time-to-shortlist and reduce your cost per hire while simultaneously driving up the quality of hire.

Creating your talent pipeline

Specifically, these are some of the tactics the world’s best talent scouts are using:

  • Ensuring your company’s recruitment website and social media careers pages are rich with information potential candidates will need to inspire them to apply
  • Working with line managers to make sure they are both compelling and magnetic to talent online; as a minimum, their LinkedIn profiles should explain why they joined your business and why candidates should consider joining them
  • Proactively mapping your competitors’ teams. Most of them will be on social media and as long as you know your way around efficiently, even as an amateur, you can do a pretty good job of profiling them
  • Creating that all-important acknowledgement with each potential candidate in advance of needing to talk to them about a job opportunity, ideally with your line managers via social media
  • Consolidating all potential candidates into one ‘talent pool’ but most importantly, creating and distributing content to them to inspire them at all times, even when you aren’t recruiting. Those doing this best are segmenting their talent pool into job families
  • Making use of talent pipeline technology to automate this candidate nurturing, drive candidates through the pipe and importantly, to measure engagement so you know exactly which people are warm to working for your organisation and which aren’t

There are of course traditional alternatives to this. You could use recruitment agencies for all your vacancies and advertise to attract a shortlist for each position. There are indeed benefits to this approach but a complete reliance on it is, as far as I’m concerned, a form of dependency.

For the world’s best in-house talent acquisition pros, building a warm bench for all regular-hire positions is a big priority. Happy pipelining.

Adam Gordon is a member of the IoD.

About author

Adam Gordon

Adam Gordon

Adam Gordon is CEO of Social Media Search and co-founder of Candidate.ID, the world's first talent pipeline software platform. He has worked in marketing at Havas and in HR at PwC. @Adam_W_Gordon

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