Karen has resigned! She’s been thinking about it for a while and finally, here’s the resignation letter. She can’t wait to retrain as a dolphin trainer and she’s managed to get herself on the course in a month’s time! Karen has checked out!
So now what? You’ve tried to keep her, you’ve even offered to double the salary but alas, the call from Flipper is too much and you have to accept the resignation and try your best to harness the panic. It’s never a good time, workloads are piling up and she has some great client relationships and is loved by everyone.
This should be when a well nurtured and considered Talent Pipeline comes into its own but alas, too many companies remain guilty of being completely reactive in this scenario….an approach which, at best, will mean the stars align and you fluke it with a successful next hire. But at worst, can have a huge negative impact on the business.
We have witnessed some shocking approaches to this panic over the years and I am always astounded by the lack of common sense and logic that will quickly emerge, even from the most knowledgeable and considered Director, which have included…
Spending a week trying to persuade Karen to stay but not putting into play the necessary sign off procedure for your new hire. This process can often take longer than you think and you can guarantee the FD is on holiday just when you need that precious signature.
Having a light bulb moment that you’d love Karen to have a crossover with the new hire and therefore only considering applicants who are immediately available. This will seriously reduce your talent pool with a strategy to find the best person available, rather than the best person for the job.
A temporary interim solution who can hit the ground running. A fine approach if you’re prepared to pay higher fees, don’t mind largely doing the hiring process twice and can show real flexibility on your required skill set.
Spreading Karen’s workload across an already busy team. An acceptable but dangerous strategy and hope to hell it doesn’t go on for too long as team cracks will most certainly start to show.
But there is a better way! Enter the Talent Pipeline!
A talent pipeline is, quite simply, a well nurtured and engaged pool of potential passive candidates. With the core focus on long term relationships, pipe-lining will see you shift your hiring approach from reactive to proactive and will have a direct impact on both business strategy and team well-being.
The benefits of effective pipe-lining really are enormous:
A more relaxed approach. Contacting potential future hires with a more open and relaxed approach with your core emphasis on getting to know them for future opportunities, you will undoubtedly get better engagement. Indeed this approach is often seen as far more complimentary to a potential hire and with the immediate pressure to fill a position removed from the process they will undoubtedly be far more open to listening.
True rapport. By engaging with your future talent in a more relaxed way over a period of time, you will inevitably get to know them far batter and therefore be sure to match their skills to the needs of both the business and their personal aspirations at the right time. This will undoubtedly improve the quality of your new hires.
Improved Quality. With a live pool to work from, you are engaging with people who are largely already pre-qualified for your business and therefore reducing the need to start this process when the pressure is really on. It’s often the pressure in the recruitment process which leads to the inevitable mistakes of hiring the wrong person.
The reduction of panic. By being able to demonstrate to hiring managers that you are already engaged within their sector and can identify potential candidate benchmarks, you will not only put them at ease, but will be able to highlight potential candidate examples which will ensure you receive a more objective and well considered briefing about their role in line with the wider market.
Save time. You will not be starting from scratch every time a position becomes live so will significantly reduce your time to hire and therefore pressure to the business.
Business Strategy. Pipe-lining allows you to tailor the needs of the business as it continues to evolve and ensures you can capitalise on growth areas more strategically and faster.
Market knowledge. By engaging with your market regularly, you will be far more knowledgeable about what your competitors are doing and glean insight to their structures as well as comparable remuneration packages to ensure you’re remaining competitive in the market.
Diversity and Inclusion. A well-tailored and monitored pipeline ensures you can focus on diverse talent pools more effectively and therefore reap the rewards that a more diverse workforce brings to a company.
Create hype and knowledge. Good people know good people, and better still….they talk! A well engaged potential candidate is more likely to talk about you to their peers and will often recommend they speak with you when searching for a new position.
Saving money. The contingency, fee based Recruitment Agency model often relies on and ultimately benefits from a company who is at panic stage when hiring. The result can see considerably high fees being paid with limited guarantees and often poorer standard applicants as the process hasn’t been considered effectively.
Full opt in. A basic Applicant Tracking System, which can often be completely free, will ensure that candidate data is stored in line with GDPR compliance with candidates voluntarily opting in to hear about potential positions as they arise.
Engaging with Passive Applicants. People who are not in the market for a new position will likely not even notice your job postings. With the bulk of the market made up of passive talent and not active job seekers, if you really want to compete for the best people it is vital that you engage with them effectively.
Include your internal employees. By including existing employees into your pipeline, you will be able to gauge their ability and progression against the wider market. Not only will this ensure that your own people progress through the organisation effectively, but it will also give you a more robust comparison for their development and lead to a lower turnover.
With such an endless list of benefits, we see absolutely no reason why a company wouldn’t adopt this approach when looking to improve their hiring methods. However, we are increasingly surprised to find that so few companies do actually adopt the approach. There is no doubt that it takes time, and we fully appreciate that it is a shift from the norm for many companies, but this investment of time really is the key to success. Too often we have seen good intentions fall apart because the time restraints of the old method get in the way of the new. Done properly, you will not see an immediate return and a shift in approach will inevitably have to see you manage both the old and the new model at the same time, but it is important that the new isn’t lost at the detriment of the old. After all, like it or not, Karen is still off to train those dolphins and how stressful that is to you personally, really does come down to your developing a better and more considered approach to your hiring.