Sometimes during a recruitment effort, an employer has the good fortune of receiving a bounty of stellar resumes. Unfortunately, the hiring situation at a small business may be such that only one person can join the team at the present time. Discarding the rest of the applications, however, could be a huge mistake. Instead, these candidates can form the basis of a valuable talent pipeline.
A talent pipeline (sometimes referred to as a talent network) consists of qualified people who have shown interest in your company and might make great future additions to your staff. Keeping them on your radar can save your small business time, money, and probably sanity in a variety of ways:
You won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Who wants to go back to square one when a hiring need arises? Writing a job description, posting an ad, waiting for applications to come in, and sorting through resumes wastes precious hours a small business owner could spend on other critical activities. Developing a pool of worthy talent to turn to can be much more efficient.
You can forgo recruiters (and their cost). Staffing agencies sort through applications to bring promising candidates to your attention. Holding on to the information for job seekers who already made it through the prequalification stage serves this same purpose. If your business uses an applicant tracking system (ATS) for initial screening, take full advantage of this technology to keep track of candidates you didn’t hire now but might want to in the future.
You’ll be ready in a pinch. Few things throw a small business for a loop as much as when a team member leaves unexpectedly. Every hand counts on a small staff, so pressure mounts to fill the vacancy quickly and restore productivity. This urgency can lead to hiring mistakes. Having a talent pipeline from which to immediately draw qualified candidates reduces this risk.
You’ll position yourself to grow. Lastly, smart leaders always think about the future, and workforce planning ranks among the top considerations. Regularly communicate with members of your talent pipeline through email, social media, and other outlets to keep your small business and its activities top of mind. Then, when the time comes for expansion, you’ll be connected with people who already have expressed interest in being a part of your company. While some may have found job satisfaction elsewhere since the initial application, others still may be actively or passively looking for new employment. Either way, you’ll increase brand recognition, and your efforts may pay off with an easy, excellent hire.