Common talent pipeline problems and how to fix them

interviewer shaking hands

The talent pipeline is a recruiter’s greatest asset. Somewhere within this pipeline lies your next great new hire. Problems with your talent pipeline can offer you an early warning sign that something’s wrong with your recruitment process.

Your pipeline consists of all the potential new hires who have applied for a role with your company. It runs from the very first application to the point where a candidate is rejected, you make them an offer, or the candidate withdraws from the process (more on that later).

Your pipeline is the key to your recruitment success, but that doesn’t mean it always runs smoothly. Understanding the root cause of pipeline problems can help you rectify them quickly and improve the quality of your recruitment efforts in the process.

We’re going to take a quick look at some of the most common pipeline problems and the steps you need to take to address them once and for all.

Talent pipeline issues you might be facing

Your pipeline isn’t diverse enough

Your pipeline represents your entire pool of candidates. Your next hire is already within your pipeline. Promoting diversity can be an uphill battle, and without a sufficiently diverse pipeline, the challenge can become overwhelming.

There’s no shortcut to making sure that your pipeline is sufficiently diverse. A diverse pipeline relies on carefully considering your outreach opportunities and focusing your recruitment efforts on diverse communities. Try forming relationships with traditionally diverse schools and universities or participating in events in underrepresented communities.

Candidates are dropping out of your pipeline

There will always be some candidates who drop out of your pipeline for reasons of their own. They might have been offered another position, or their career priorities might have changed. However, if you’re losing more than a few candidates, there might be a problem with your process.

Possible issues that might lead candidates to drop out of your pipeline include:

Your application is too complicated

If your application process is too complicated, candidates might not even finish submitting their details. Try to streamline your process. Only ask for information you actually need. 

It’s often helpful to experience the application process from the perspective of a potential new hire. Check for any duplication in the information you’re requesting. Consider how easy it would be to complete your application in a busy, noisy environment. Is it easy to pause and come back later? 

The more straightforward you can make your application process, the better.

You’re not communicating well enough with your candidates

The application process isn’t just about us evaluating candidates. They’re forming an opinion about you as well. If your communication isn’t up to scratch, candidates can easily decide that they’d rather work for someone who keeps them informed.

The most important rule for communicating with candidates in your application pipeline is to always make sure they know the next step. And keep them informed about when they’ll hear from you again. Applying for jobs is stressful, but it’s much worse if candidates don’t know what’s going on.

Your interviewing technique could use improvement

If candidates are dropping out of your pipeline after the interview stage, it’s time to ask some serious questions about what might be going wrong.

Often, interviewers don’t understand the importance of their role. They’re ready to find outstanding candidates, but they might not realise that they have to attract them as much as the other way around.

A great interview process leaves candidates excited about working for you. The best interviewers are enthusiastic about the role they’re filling and show prospective new hires how they’d benefit from taking the position.

Training staff on how to give candidates a great interview experience and arranging for them to meet their potential new team can help keep candidates in your pipeline.

Your pipeline management strategy hasn’t been updated in a while

It’s essential to regularly check on your pipeline management strategy to make sure that it’s still performing for you in the way you want.

Recruitment patterns are changing rapidly at the moment, as we’ve discussed in our blog posts on the logistics industry, education, and digital marketing. In fact, the changes are global and are impacting almost every sector. 

Many candidates will be looking for home working or flexible and hybrid arrangements. Before COVID, few employers used their pipelines to assess a candidate’s ability to work from home. Has your pipeline strategy evolved to keep up? If not, you may run into problems in the long run.

You’re not attracting the right candidates, including qualified candidates in similar positions

A typical pipeline problem occurs when your pipeline is mainly populated with unsuitable candidates. You’re attracting plenty of applicants, but not the ones you’re really looking for.

The very best candidates may well be those already doing a similar role, often working for a competitor or in a related industry. These candidates can fit seamlessly into your available role and become productive remarkably quickly. The difficulty is knowing how to attract them.

One solution is to use crooton’s employer fencing service, which gives you the precision and flexibility to target specific potential new hires.

Your employer brand isn’t drawing people in

If your pipeline looks sparse, your employer brand might be at fault. Your “employer brand” is how you present yourself to potential employees and should communicate your company’s values and culture. Companies are used to using branding to attract customers, but your employer branding is key to attracting top talent.

Creating and delivering employer branding that attracts the kind of candidates you want doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out our helpful guide to making the most of your employer branding.

Your talent pipeline can act as a general health check on your overall recruitment strategy. If you’re not sure what your pipeline is trying to tell you, why not get in touch with one of our experts? We can help you understand where you might be missing out on great talent and help to fill that pipeline for you. And to keep an eye on the latest recruitment trends, stay tuned to the crooton blog.