Recruiter selecting from network of candidates

What Is a Talent Pipeline (And How Do You Join One)?

If you’re like most job seekers, you’ve probably never heard of a talent pipeline. However, joining an employer’s talent pipeline could be the answer to landing your dream job – or, at the very least, it could make your job search easier.

Being in a talent pipeline is great for those of you who are passively job searching or don’t mind waiting for the perfect position to come along. If this sounds like you, here’s what you need to know.


Recruiter searching for a candidate in their talent pipeline


What is a talent pipeline?

A talent pipeline is a group of qualified candidates that an employer would potentially like to hire in the future. Employers keep in touch with their “pipelined” candidates and invite them to apply once a job opens up that matches their skills.

There are a couple of reasons why employers use the talent pipelining strategy:

1. Companies can fill future positions faster since they already have a list of potential applicants.

2. Employers come across qualified people all the time, but they don’t always have the need or resources to hire them right away. Maintaining a relationship with these candidates (pipelining them) boosts the chances of making them an offer down the road.

If you’re passionate about a particular company or role or want to open yourself up to opportunities down the road, getting into a talent pipeline is a smart strategy for you.


Woman cheering after landing her dream job


How do I join a talent pipeline?

Here are five ways to increase your chances of getting into a potential employer’s talent pipeline (and landing your dream job):


1. Applying to jobs

This one’s easy, since you’re probably already on the hunt for a new job. Employers can only hire one person for a role, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t other great candidates that applied. Have you ever made it to the final round of interviews for a position, but ultimately didn’t get the job? While it’s disappointing, there is a silver lining: Many employers place top candidates in their pipeline in case a similar job opens up in the future. It is possible this will happen to you, so keep the applications coming!


Job seeker reaching out to a recruiter to learn more


2. Reaching out to a recruiter

Is there a company you’re super interested in, but they’re not hiring for any positions that suit you? Try reaching out to a recruiter or another employee on LinkedIn to express interest in learning more about the organization. Even better, if you know someone who works there, ask them to pass along your resume or connect you with a hiring manager – referrals are a huge source for talent pipelines (since they often make better hires).

On iHire, you can join a company’s talent network and reach out to a recruiter directly. If they’re interested in your qualifications, they can add you directly to their pipeline for job opportunities down the road. And, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job!


3. Uploading your resume to job boards

If you have an account with any online job boards or talent communities, make sure you upload an updated resume and make it searchable. Many employers use job boards to search resumes for current and future job openings, so this is an easy way to put yourself out there without having to do much legwork. You never know when an employer may reach out with an exciting job opportunity.


Professionals chatting at a networking event


4. Networking

Career fairs and networking events – including virtual events – are a great way to get yourself in front of employers and to learn about different companies. If you’re interested in a specific organization, share your contact information and reach out to the recruiter on LinkedIn after the event so you can keep in touch. They may contact you in the future if a job you’re suited for becomes available.


5. Talking to your boss

Is there a job in your department or company at large that you’d love to do? Tell your boss you’re interested in learning more about the position and ask how you can develop the skills and experience necessary to succeed. Often, managers will cross-train team members to learn the tasks of other positions in the department, especially if the job requires unique skills and experience. Promoting from within, instead of hiring someone outside of the organization, saves your company time and resources and helps them retain great team members – so don’t be afraid to ask!


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Now that you’re in the know about talent pipelines, you can start using them to your advantage. Reach out to recruiters, network with potential employers, and keep applying to jobs that interest you. Getting into a talent pipeline isn’t crucial to landing a job, but it’s a great strategy if you have your eye on a particular company or are willing to wait for the perfect opportunity.

by: Sarah Ballow
June 29, 2020

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