8 Strategies for Building Talent Pipelines in a Changing Market

  By Terri Roeslmeier  |    Monday August 30, 2016

Category: Expert Advice, Recruiting, Technology


Where will you find your next great candidate? That’s a question that’s getting increasingly difficult to answer. Continued talent shortages and a staffing industry that is growing 2.5 times faster than the U.S. economy are changing the market for good. 

Keeping talent pools plentiful will require greater ingenuity from recruiters and even wider funnels to ensure consistent placements. But building talent pipelines for the changing world does not require firms to reinvent the wheel; it just requires them to recommit to these eight strategies.  

1.) Build Stronger Bonds with Candidates

An increase in staffing and recruiting professionals means exceptional candidates will be approached from every direction and recruiters will more likely have to share the cream of the crop. Strong relationship building skills will be a prerequisite for recruiters to even be heard. 

Recruiters that fail to keep candidates informed, make a personal connection, and sustain a relationship long after the placement is made will exhaust their talent pipeline faster than their more accessible competitors. Your staffing software can help make fostering those bonds less stressful. 

If you have the right staffing software, you can search candidates by when they were last contacted. Daily Planner features can regulate follow-ups to keep candidates from slipping through the cracks. Top applicants can be added to an automated “Favorites List” so that more frequent contact can be maintained with special lists. Easily created text messaging and email campaigns, built right into your staffing software platform, can maximize exposure and help build evergreen relationships. 

2.) Look Outside Your Region

Social media has expanded the range of recruiters building talent pipelines. In the past, a recruiter might have worked local networks or set out a lure on job boards. Now, they can connect with exceptional candidates nationwide through LinkedIn’s degrees of separation. 

Moreover, certain industries have growing numbers of candidates willing to move. At least 52 percent of tech workers are willing to move to another state or major city for work. Travel nurse opportunities have grown by 8 percent and the interest is rising as well. Connecting with out-of-town candidates expands nets and avoids the risk of double submitting a candidate. It’s a win-win for anyone building talent pipelines. 

Staffing software can contribute to managing candidates across regions once a recruiter has made first contact. Candidates can be tagged with various location designations to help target specific areas in searches. Radius searches can even narrow down a very specific area just by adding zip codes. And location designations can help quickly target search locations (and even handle marketing campaigns to automate some of the communication).

3.) Write LinkedIn Messages that Get Read

LinkedIn is one of the most widely used recruiting tools and to the most persuasive recruiters on the platform go the spoils. Top talent is regularly barraged with InMail messages. Writing better recruiting emails to attract them away from their jobs requires a targeted message, a sense of personality, and a strong call to action. Anything less will get requests to connect declined, or worse yet, candidates flagging you as spam.  

4.) Leverage Industry Organizations

Recruiters that are not a known commodity in the industry they serve will always have a hard time building talent pipelines. Attending industry events, hosting networking sessions, being an active member in LinkedIn groups are all ways that recruiters are on the ground building talent pipelines. Though it’s not a revolutionary tactic, that personal touch is an asset in any recruiter’s arsenal. 

Thankfully, mobile recruiting software is making the personal touch of personal appearances more and more possible. Mobile apps increasingly allow recruiters to update candidate notes in the field and forward opportunities with the click of a button. It speeds up the whole recruiting process and prevents other recruiters from poaching candidates that are yours. 

5.) Create a Referral Program

Most companies can expand their talent pool by 10 times when using their employees’ networks. For recruiters, however, the tactic is a little different. Staffing firms are already doing everything to harness their own networks, but what often goes unoptimized are the networks of their candidates. 

Trust is built in an instant when someone receives a referral from someone they trust, and in a saturated staffing market, trust is the only really effective currency. Candidates are 46 times more likely to open an InMail from someone who is connected to one of their contacts. Referral programs provide that for staffing and recruiting agencies. 

Referral programs that are actively building talent pipelines have these three components in common: they effectively pitch your business, they are easily communicated to candidates and prospects, and they have a clear incentive to both the referrer and the person referred. 

As recruiters gather referrals, staffing software can be a beneficial tool. Personal references can be collected through your web-based applicant self-entry. Names, titles of colleagues, emails, and phone number information can be inputted into your database and tied directly to the referrer. This process is even more powerful if your ATS has the ability to create applicant records and search on personal references that were provided on behalf of your candidate.

6.) Simplify Your Referral Requesting Process

Whether or not an official program is in place, asking for referrals is all in a day’s work for recruiters proactively building talent pipelines. Staffing firms and individual recruiters who find success while doing it have ritualized the requesting process. They include a request for referrals in their email signature, they know how to get quality referrals in conversation by asking who someone respects rather than who they know. 

What they don’t do is get in their own head and imagine they are heaping on too many requests. In a crowded market, recruiters who are afraid to ask for help building their talent pools will experience drought more often than abundance. 

7.) Learn How to Market to Candidates

Candidates are bombarded with messages from all corners of the industry. Social media posts, email marketing, blogs, videos, and other tactics are trying to get their attention for long enough to get them search for jobs or submit a resume. 

The volume of messages being sent makes targeted marketing built on accurate data all the more important. Staffing marketing tools, now more than ever, need to make customization and accurate delivery a priority. 

8.) Use the Right Staffing Software

Though all of the above strategies are essential, they can be complicated to regularly perform without the right tools. Jumping between platforms and tools can limit productivity. For staffing firms looking to stand out, the perfect staffing software tool can be what separates your ability to build strong talent pipelines from the competition. 


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