Your Secret to Scale – Building A Talent Pipeline

September 7th, 2020 | 5 minute read

We often get asked about the secret to successfully scaling a growing business when recruitment can so often be a huge challenge. This is especially common in scaling businesses, where often the pace of growth takes over the speed of the recruitment process. Our answer? Build a talent pipeline. 

The scenario is common: you need more people, and quickly. However, in an increasingly competitive market, good people are hard to come by.

Instinctively, the outcome is to hire the first person you find, but hiring the wrong person can be disastrous for your culture. Most companies have no idea of the impact a single bad hire has on their business. Data shows that the average cost of a bad hire is up to five times that persons’ annual salary.

It is second nature to think “someone is better than no one.”

In reality:

  • It normally takes on average six months to truly figure out that the person doesn’t fit.
  • Three months is then often spent on some type of formal process to manage that person out.
  • Finally you get rid of the person and start the process of replacing them, which typically takes another three months.
  • Before you know it a whole year has gone by.

Throughout the recruitment process, you may have also misspent valuable resources and time to coach and manage someone who has had at best, no impact on your business.

At worst, the bad hire may have more serious impacts on your business, on your culture, within your team, and have driven down engagement of your best people, compromising them and their work.

Talent Pipelines for Growth

The recruitment process you employ is one of the most important factors in a growing business. If you want to grow successfully, its essential to align your recruitment activities with your growth strategy. One way to do this is to proactively build a robust talent pipeline. This is a particularly useful solution when you hit a certain level of growth – some of our clients do this proactively even if they aren’t recruiting much, but most businesses employ this strategy once they are recruiting more than about 10 heads a year. 

When working with clients on their recruitment process, we often see companies outsourcing to recruitment agencies because “it’s easier”. On face value it may look that way, but in reality, taking control and bringing the recruitment process in-house will not only save you a significant amount of money in recruitment fees, but also give you full visibility to align your efforts with the growth areas of your business.

Below are some tips for success:

  1. Create realistic projections of where you will have future vacancies in your business. Are there some key roles that will experience the most growth?
  2. Start building talent pipelines for those specific roles. You can use a tool like Linked In Recruiter, or invest in an Applicant Tracking System. Having worked with a range of systems, our recommendations are Crelate or Workable, depending on your volume and budget.
  3. Proactively build relationships with the people in your pipeline. Understand they may not be actively looking but seek to add value in the relationship and not just simply get them into the recruitment process. Could you send them any useful resources? Or invite them to an event you’re hosting?
  4. Make time each week to do reach outs, and use quarterly touch points to stay engaged with your whole pipeline.

With the people you attract into your business being such a huge part of your culture, and ultimately your business success, it’s important to choose the right recruitment process. For more insight around this topic check out Internal Recruitment Methods: Cut Your Recruitment Spend By Over 50%

As part of our monthly subscription service for HR Leaders – The Pulse, we have created a module all based around how to build your own inbound recruitment strategy complete with proven message templates, advanced search terms and a step by step implementation process – you can see more information here. 



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