In It for the Long Haul: Creating a Talent Pipeline That Drives Success

April 5, 2022

In today’s fast-paced recruitment environment, you don’t need to wait until workers leave to start the hiring process.

With a well-crafted talent pipeline in your toolbox, you can expedite the hiring process by attracting top talent to your organization.

At its core, a talent pipeline is a pool of qualified candidates who can fill new positions at various levels of your organization—from transportation and trucking to shipping and logistics. Ideally, your talent pool should be filled with candidates whose skills are suited to the organization. This way, you can proactively cultivate top talent without scrambling to fill open positions.

A strong talent pipeline is the tool you need to drive your business forward, so what are you waiting for? Here’s the strategy you need to win first place in the race for talent.



Why Do You Need a Talent Pipeline?

Before we dive into the logistics of building a talent pipeline, let’s take a step back. A talent pipeline isn’t just a nice-to-have commodity for your business—it’s your road to hiring success.

Basically, your talent pipeline does the heavy lifting for you so you don’t have to deal with lengthy hiring times, unqualified applicants, or lost productivity.

A strong talent pipeline can combat the talent shortage by:

  • Engaging passive candidates. Sometimes, you’ll meet potential candidates that check all the boxes. These candidates might not be actively searching for a job, but you can build relationships with candidates who might be recruitable down the line. 
  • Cutting hiring costs. Instead of draining your recruitment budget on ads, your pipeline gives you the tools to proactively recruit quality candidates. Most importantly, it can eliminate the initial screening process, since you’ve already completed screening when candidates enter your talent pool. The best part? This reduces your risk of a bad hire, saving you even more time and money.
  • Improving the candidate experience. Say goodbye to the days of posting open positions and waiting for applications to come rolling in. A talent pipeline creates an engaging experience for potential candidates—all while cultivating a positive perception of your organization.



How to Build a Sustainable Talent Pipeline

Struggling to fill open positions? Losing productivity to lengthy hiring cycles? It’s time to adapt your talent strategy to start driving success. By building a strong, sustainable talent pipeline that actively sources qualified candidates, you can fill skills gaps in your organization without draining resources on unqualified hires.

Here’s how to kick your business into high gear with an effective talent pipeline.


1. Assess Your Organizational Needs

When recruiters talk about the skills “shortage” or “gap,” they mean different things. Sometimes, they’re talking about the inability of companies to hire people with the right skills to fill vacancies. Other times, they’re talking about the “competence gap” that exists among workers who lack the hard or soft skills to stay current as their work evolves.

No matter how you define it, the talent shortage can take a serious toll on your productivity. Over time, bad hires cost your organization valuable time, money, and resources—from impacts on team performance to high employee turnover.

So, how can you fill the gap? Take a look at your existing team members to consider whether there are any existing skill gaps or talent needs in the organization. You can do this by creating an organization chart and assessing the skills required by each position. Then, you can create a skills inventory to identify what skills are needed for different positions.

Why should I waste my time reviewing positions that are already filled?, you’re thinking. It’s simple: Before you start reaching out to qualified candidates, you need to know exactly what skills are valuable to your company.


2. Identify Internal and External Talent Sources

Once you’ve identified skills gaps in your organization, it’s time to look at your internal and external talent sources. Whether you’re hiring CDL drivers, logistics managers, or transportation inspectors, consider where your candidates learn about your open positions. Then, start leveraging those platforms to build relationships with top talent.

If you’re struggling to source qualified candidates, don’t be afraid to get creative and cast your net wide.

Some winning strategies for sourcing talent include:

  • Referrals: According to a 2017 LinkedIn report, 48 percent of businesses source their highest quality hires from employee referrals. To boost your referral rates, focus on building an employee-centric company culture and incentivize team members to refer potential candidates.
  • Social media: Hiring managers are increasingly sourcing talent from social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great places to approach (and build meaningful relationships with) qualified candidates. Here, curiosity-provoking content, a positive employer brand, and employee testimonials can go a long way in capturing candidates’ attention and promoting your company.
  • Networking events: By being in the right place at the right time, your talent pool can be dramatically expanded. Networking events are one of the best ways to meet qualified candidates in your industry and maintain ongoing communication.
  • Job boards: Love them or hate them, career sites and job boards are a surefire way to captivate skilled candidates. Make sure you choose the right sites for your business to drive skilled talent, and prime your job descriptions for applications.


3. Connect with Potential Candidates

Now that you know where your recruits are coming from, you can start reaching out to prospective applicants to fill your pipeline with top talent. 

Ultimately, the secret to hiring success is a proactive approach to recruitment. Building a talent pipeline is a long-term strategy, and you should consistently reach out to new candidates—even if you’re not trying to fill open positions.

To connect with potential candidates, take the time to assess candidates you’ve identified from your talent sources.

Before you start building relationships, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the candidate have the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience for a particular position?
  • Will the candidate fit in with the company culture?
  • What skills will the candidate be able to acquire if hired?
  • Will the candidate have training/development opportunities within the organization?

When you find candidates that check all the boxes, reach out. Let them know about potential opportunities in your organization, and keep them in the loop with current job openings, company developments, and other relevant information. 

Remember: Most of the candidates in your talent pool will be passive candidates who aren’t ready to make the jump just yet. To showcase the value of your organization, you need to maintain a delicate tightrope balance of meaningful interactions without being irritating.


4. Prioritize Training and Development

Building and maintaining a strong talent pipeline can drive real results for your organization, but your strategy shouldn’t end there. After hiring candidates from your pipeline, you’ll need to continuously nurture them with appropriate training and development opportunities.

Whether you’re hiring truck drivers or shipping managers, or another industry, training and development programs teach new hires exactly what skills the company needs to fill talent gaps, from technical knowledge to complex problem-solving skills. They also increase productivity, engagement, and employee satisfaction—all while boosting your bottom line.

Not only that, but training programs can contribute to employee retention by promoting a worker-friendly company culture. According to the 2020 Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker Survey, new skills and advancement opportunities are among the top reasons employees stay with their current employer.



Take a Proactive Approach to Recruitment

Building a strong talent pipeline requires hard work, but it can be one of the most important assets in your recruitment process. With the right strategy, a talent pipeline can help you reduce the time taken to hire new employees while selecting top-quality candidates for your organization.

Ready to streamline your recruitment process? Schedule a discovery call with our team to identify your talent gaps, review your talent sources, and improve your talent strategy.

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