Build the Talent Pipeline for nonprofits

Building Candidate Pipelines the Dilemma and Some Solutions, an article by David Szary on outlines common problems recruiters and hiring managers encounter in building candidate pipelines for prospective employees. The candidate pipeline, intended to make hiring a more effective, faster process, sometimes turns into a massive headache that is arguably more work than it is worth.

One issue seems to be unrealistic expectations. When HR reps are asked to develop a candidate pipeline, their supervisors often believe a pipeline is essentially an employment line leading into the office’s front door. Expecting an active list of multiple candidates waiting to be hired just isn’t realistic, given that people lose interest, find other employment, or encounter other factors that make keeping an ongoing interest in a job impractical. “This concept proposed by managers would be comparable to a grocer acquiring perishable food, only to lose 50% of it before they can sell it,” Szary writes.

Another common problem is undefined expectations regarding the time it takes to properly create and maintain a relationship with prospective employees. “Most of those so-called ‘ready in the wings’ applicants would be active seekers,” Szary writes. “The probability that they would remain interested and available for an opportunity with your organization (before taking another) is very low.”

To solve this “pipeline dilemma” and develop an effective pipeline that can serve as a good tool for your company, Szary recommends taking five steps:

  • Educate hiring managers on what a pipeline is and is not, and come to an agreed-upon definition;
  • Educate hiring managers on tempering expectations;
  • Make sure hiring managers and employees are part of the process;
  • Do a “pure time” study to determine how much time it takes to indentify and applicant, verify skills, and maintain a relationship with them; and
  • Develop a strategy, backed up by hard data, to develop a demand-based candidate pipeline.

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