No More Vacancies: Why Building a Talent Pipeline Is Valuable for Employers

As companies struggle to find and keep talent, recruitment is a key component to filling positions and a major need. However, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, only 38% of employers continuously recruit throughout the year for positions that may open up down the line.

Among HR managers who don’t continuously recruit, the primary challenge cited is time (46%), followed by cost (29%).

Kelly Kudola, Americas recruiting manager for Kelly Services, which provides workforce solutions, told CareerBuilder that lack of time shouldn’t hinder efforts for continuous recruitment. “Pipeline management and proactive recruiting will only save time in the back end,” she said. “There are so many more resources used in the reactive interviewing and screening process that our recruiters don’t have the time not to continuously recruit.”

The numbers support this notion, since, according to survey findings, 65% of a subset of human resources managers who continuously recruit say the tactic shortened their time to hire and 54% said it lowered their cost per hire.

Eighty-three percent of employers who currently have unfilled slots say vacancies remain open for two months or longer on average. “Extended vacancies hurt companies’ ability to grow, maintain productivity and keep existing employees engaged. One solution is to anticipate turnover in high-skilled positions and compile a network of able candidates waiting in the wings,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “While it takes an investment, companies that continuously recruit and build a pipeline of talent are able to significantly reduce their cost and time to hire.”

Josie Huber, director of recruiting business solutions at Kelly Services, advises employers to adopt a pipelining strategy that best utilizes the organization’s resources.

“Start small. You can’t pipeline for every position so focus on areas where you have a regular need for talent,” she said, noting that staffing organizations like Kelly are often an ideal access-point to relevant talent networks. “Do you staff up the whole HR organization internally or do you outsource to an organization whose core competency is to build and maintain pipelines?”

Kudola also notes that recruiters and hiring managers should be candid with job seekers about networking for positions that aren’t yet open.

“We want to be respectful of the fact that job seekers are likely in need of a position as soon as possible. So if we are interviewing a candidate for a pipeline, it’s important that we are very clear about the process and what they can expect. There may not be an immediate placement, but as part of our network, we want to position them as the person who gets the next opportunity.”

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