Building a Strong Talent Pipeline: Proactive Strategies for Anticipating Hiring Needs

Building a Strong Talent Pipeline: Proactive Strategies for Anticipating Hiring Needs

What’s the one thing all fast-growing companies have in common? They have mastered recruiting and talent management regardless of industry or location.

That’s according to HR expert Josh Bersin. In his 2022 survey of 7,300 HR professionals, Bersin found that companies with solid talent pipelines are far more likely to achieve success in all areas of business. Proactive talent pipelining can also help anticipate future hiring needs. It starts with building a network of potential candidates before positions even open up. By nurturing relationships, you ensure a steady stream of qualified talent.

But how do you change your recruiting practices from reactive to proactive? Here are some strategies you can adopt right now to get started.

Identify Key Skill Gaps and Succession Planning

Understanding your organization’s future skill requirements is the first step toward building a talent pipeline. If you have internal succession plans in place, some roles within your organization may not require recruiting at all. Building a talent pipeline starts with knowing where you will need outside talent.

Start by conducting a thorough skills gap analysis. Identify and compare the skills your current workforce possesses to those needed to achieve your long-term business goals.

At the same time, begin drafting a formal succession planning process. Identify high-potential employees who are likely to transition to leadership roles. This will further help you identify the roles that most need a talent pipeline, ready to step in when needed.

Network at Industry Events and Conferences

As a recruiting professional, you already know networking is important. Even so, it may surprise you that 80% of jobs worldwide are filled through personal or professional contacts. Robust networking is also crucial to building a talent pipeline.

Attend industry events and conferences to give yourself more networking opportunities. While there, engage in meaningful conversations with potential talent. Don’t just collect business cards. Ask insightful questions, share your company’s vision, and leave a lasting impression.

After the events, follow up. Connect on LinkedIn, send personalized emails referencing your conversation, and invite promising candidates for informational interviews.

Leverage Employee Referrals and Alumni Networks

Your employees can also use their networks to help your company source top talent, so you just need to set up an employee referral program to tap into these resources. However, recruiting studies show many companies don’t take this step.

Don’t miss this opportunity to build your talent pipeline. Create a structured employee referral program that incentivizes your team to recommend qualified candidates. You might even consider creating an alumni network for former employees. Since they already understand your company culture and values, former employees can also be an excellent source of referrals.

Implement an Applicant Tracking System for Pipeline Management

A robust applicant tracking system (ATS) can streamline talent pipeline management. An ATS allows you to:

  • Centralize candidate data: Keep track of resumes, applications, and interview notes in one place.
  • Automate communication: Send personalized emails to candidates at different pipeline stages.
  • Track metrics: Measure the effectiveness of your sourcing and recruiting efforts.

Develop Long-Term Relationships with Potential Candidates

The talent pipeline is a marathon, not a sprint. Nurturing relationships with potential candidates is critical to attracting them when the time is right.

Stay in touch by:

  • Sharing industry news and company updates: Keep your brand top-of-mind.
  • Inviting them to webinars or workshops: Provide valuable content demonstrating your commitment to their professional development.
  • Checking in periodically: A simple email or phone call can go a long way in building rapport.

The Benefit of a Talent Pipeline

Embracing proactive strategies for building and nurturing a talent pipeline today will give your company a leg up in the competitive talent marketplace. It can save money, as a waiting talent pipeline helps reduce time-to-fill and cost-per-hire metrics.

Mastering the art of recruiting with a talent pipeline can even be the key to your company’s future success. To learn more about recruitment trends, hiring, and other industry topics, follow MRINetwork.