Conceptual image of businessteam working cohesivelyIn part one of this article, we referenced ManpowerGroup’s Survey, which revealed that talent shortages affect more than one in three businesses globally. And more than one in three of the 36,000+ employers from around the world who were polled for the survey cited difficulty filling positions due to a lack of suitable candidates.

Yet, how can employers improve their talent shortages? By creating more effective talent pipelines.

We used the advice of Oracle from its “Building Critical Talent Pipeline: Creating a Plan for Staffing Critical Job Roles” whitepaper, which explains how employers can build critical-talent pipelines to define, attract, and develop the right mix of critical talent to support and grow their businesses.

The whitepaper laid out a 12-step methodology for talent management professionals, or key activities that will help businesses construct the necessary components of a critical-talent pipeline. The first six steps included:

  • Determine Current and Future Needs
  • Assess the Talent Inventory
  • Determine the Mix for Filling Gaps
  • Define the Pool of Internal Candidates
  • Assess and Develop the Pool
  • Track Development Progress

Let’s examine the final six steps to successfully constructing a critical-talent pipeline:

Step 7—Track Promotion and Turnover Rates

Step 6 explained that organizations should use assessments to verify whether the assigned activities are having the expected impact on skills and competence development. And this following step says, in addition to tracking development progress, be sure to monitor promotion and turnover rates within the pool of internal candidates.

Why? The paper explains that lower-than-expected promotion rates may show that development programs need to be revisited and refined. On the other hand, higher-than-expected turnover rates ought to drive changes in how the organization approaches building pipelines for critical positions. For example, the paper says that higher turnover could drive specific retention initiatives or a strategy shift toward more external hiring.

Step 8— Define the Pool of Existing External Candidates

Never forget to comb over your existing candidate pool to see whether or not any job seekers have the skills and qualifications needed for your current role. A candidate may not have been a good fit for a previous role, but you should always reexamine “rejected” talent for current needs.

Bearing in mind needed skills, competencies, and talent profiles, you can mine information on past candidates in the organization’s candidate database to identify matches and assess the potential of external hires to fill critical roles.

Step 9— Define and Execute Campaigns to Engage Candidates

The paper notes that many critical roles are often industry-or skill-specific, which means they will need candidate relationship management activities. It advises employers to research conferences, industry associations, and social networks that match the critical role profile. And don’t forget to work with hiring managers and employees for relationship-building.

Step 10— Assess and Refine Current Sourcing Strategies

The way recruiters source candidates is changing—especially with the current digital era we all live and work in. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should reflect on past tactics to determine what worked and what did not.

Analyze sources that have been successful in the past to develop a targeted sourcing strategy for external candidates based on ideal-candidate profiles, needs, and historical trends, the paper suggests.

For insight, correlate source data with actual employee performance and retention data. Do not rely on “post and pray” sourcing; be proactive and find the sources that deliver the best employees

Step 11— Implement and Monitor Sourcing Strategies

Once you’ve completed step 10, you’ll need to move right into this step by not only putting your sourcing strategy into practice but regularly monitoring its effectiveness. The paper suggests locating talent that can fill critical roles, and capturing information about those candidates’ knowledge, skills, and experience in addition to contact information for ongoing communications.

Use data on the efficacy of sources for ongoing refinement and improvement.

Step 12— Track the Overall Size and Quality of Internal and External Pools

Like the halfway mark, our final step also deals with tracking. The whitepaper says employers should use the talent pool database to track both internal and external critical role candidates. Track development progress, and regularly assess and compare candidates to establish readiness and ensure adequate bench strength.

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