Any vacancy in your company can stretch employee resources thin and hurt productivity. Adopting proactive recruitment strategies can shorten those lean periods and attract candidates that fit your corporate culture and diversity goals. One key tool in this proactive recruitment process is the talent pipeline.

What is a Talent Pipeline?

A talent pipeline is a pool of candidates who you anticipate could fill future roles in your company. This could include  an internal succession plan for existing employees, as well as a collection of passive external candidates who would be a good fit for your company’s needs and goals.

Creating a talent pipeline is becoming increasingly necessary in competitive hiring environments and in-demand industries. It can be useful for filling high-turnover positions (i.e. sales) as well as high-impact vacancies. (i.e. executives)

Benefits of Building a Talent Pipeline

Taking a proactive approach to employee recruitment by building a talent pipeline:

  • Shortens the time-to-hire
  • Cultivates high-quality candidates
  • Enables strategic hiring based on a long-term plan
  • Improves diversity and inclusion
  • Builds a relationship so you know who you are hiring

Smart use of a talent pipeline strategy allows your HR department and recruiters to be more selective and consider candidates’ qualifications and development rather than just plug holes.

Do you need assistance in building your Pipeline


Contact David Stanislaw | Stanislaw Consulting

Steps to Creating Your Talent Pipeline

A talent pipeline isn’t something you can develop overnight. But with thoughtful application of these steps, your company can create a plan to take the pressure off finding the perfect candidate at just the right moment.

Step 1: Understand the Company’s Needs and Strategic Direction

Your HR department and recruiters need to know what spaces will be available well in advance. Look at your company’s current and anticipated needs up to 5 years out. Are you planning growth? Do you need to diversify your workforce? Could the company be acquired? Work with a business consultant to develop a strategic plan and create contingency plans that guide your hiring process going forward.

Step 2: Develop a Strong Employer Brand

Take an honest assessment of your corporate culture. Consider looking at websites like Glassdoor to see what your employees think of you. Then build on what you find there, developing a place where people want to work, and would invite their friends to join them.

Step 3: Build a Talent Pool of Internal and External Candidates

Next, you need to bring people into your pool of passive candidates. These are people who aren’t necessarily applying to a vacancy right now, but they may be well qualified for a future opening. Be sure to look both internally and externally.

Internal Advancement

Evaluate your existing employees’ strengths and challenges. Ask who has personal development goals and what you can do to help them achieve them. Commit to your employees’ careers to keep them satisfied in their current position, and available to step up when the time comes.

External Recruitment

There are many ways to find external candidates:

  • Social and online hiring platforms
  • Employee referral incentives
  • Networking events and job fairs
  • Recruiting databases

However, don’t ignore one fertile source for new employees: the runners up on your last round of interviews. You have already invested resources into getting to know these people. Maintain that relationship so they are available for future opportunities.

Step 4: Assess Candidates

Once you have begun to develop a pool of candidates, assess each member’s skills, traits, and challenges to see how they fit with your strategic plan. Be sure to consider:

  • Fit within the company culture
  • Past experiences
  • Challenges and training needs
  • Personal goals and ambitions
  • Diversity considerations

Remember, this is not a linear scale. Don’t think of this as rating, so much as matching the potential candidate to position they fit best.

Step 5: Train Up Teams into New Roles

The talent pipeline doesn’t end when you extend an offer to a candidate. Once they are on your payroll, you should be invested in keeping them there. Be sure to offer professional training and development opportunities to ensure their long-term retention and keep them in the talent pipeline for future promotions.

Hiring doesn’t have to mean scrambling to fill a vacancy and hoping you find the right person. By taking a proactive approach you can cultivate future employees and ensure an easier transition for all involved.


David Stanislaw is an organizational development specialist with over 30 years’ experience helping business prepare for transitions. Contact us to meet with David to begin creating your talent pipeline today.