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Fact: Having a talent network builds your talent pipeline. Surprisingly enough, only 27% of the 2015 Fortune 500 use a talent network form to capture leads who aren’t ready to apply. And only 9% use a talent network form in the apply flow, where companies lose on average 74% of interested leads who started the application! In the fierce competition for talent today, talent acquisition can’t just focus on the active candidates – they must also strategize on how to build relationships with skilled talent earlier, before they are ready to apply immediately.

This is how you build a talent pipeline:


1. Know How Talent Links to Strategy

The first and most critical step to developing pipelines of meaningful talent is understanding how talent impacts your organization’s ability to drive business strategy. Critical talent doesn’t just sit at the top of an organization – it includes everything from high volume roles that keeps your organization running all the way to hard-fill roles that are pivotal for the development and improvement of future products. What are the job families and skillsets that your organization needs to constantly hire for?


2. Implement a Talent Network

Most organizations have one call-to-action: Apply. If candidates actually complete the full application, they then filter into the ATS, and unless hired, are usually never heard from again. If they don’t complete the application (and we found that 74% drop off for one reason or another), then your organization never knows who they are. A talent network allows you to capture interested leads who aren’t yet ready to apply today in order to nurture them with email about your company, project, employees, news, resources and jobs based on their skills and actions.


3. Target Different Audiences

Think outside the box when it comes to generating more leads in your talent network. SmashFly has found that the majority of talent network opt-ins come from the apply flow. But with a Recruitment Marketing Platform, you’re able to access all the applicants sitting in your ATS and move them to your CRM for communication. This way, you can ask all these silver medalists and previously interested applicants to opt in to communication with you for new opportunities. You can also include a talent network CTA on your social profiles like Facebook or LinkedIn, on your career site landing pages and at events.


4. Internal Mobility Matters

For many organizations, the focus of talent pipelines is on external hiring. Talent pipelines should include ALL flows of viable talent to fill roles. This should be an activity beyond just succession planning for management and other leadership roles. Ask yourself: Which skills can be developed seamlessly into other skills? Which skills need to be phased out and developed into something entirely new?  Which skills can or should be cross-trained?  Which talent gaps can be addressed with development?

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