Nothing makes life difficult for HR professionals and recruiters like a lack of a strong talent pipeline. It’s hard to recruit when there is no talent pool to recruit from.

Employers can’t blame the talent for this state of affairs. Rather, they should blame the stale pipeline strategies that have been used over and over again. Companies have to adapt their strategies to follow the ever-changing trends of the workforce. The best way to start is by examining current pipelining efforts from the inside out.

Take Advantage of Your Internal Pipeline

Passing up opportunities to develop current employees is a mistake for a number of reasons:

1. Employees Want Career Development

Sometimes, that means finding a new job – whether it’s with their current employer or elsewhere. In the 2015 Global Job Seeker Trends Study conducted by LinkedIn, 45 percent of respondents said they had quit their jobs because they were concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement.

Even if an employee is not a perfect candidate for a new job in the organization, employers should consider whether they can give the employee training and support that will make the employee a perfect candidate. Similarly, it greatly benefits organizations to be proactively engaged in performance management. That way, they can groom current employees for future roles in the company.

2. New Hires Cost Companies Thousands of Dollars

Brining new employees on board is costly. What’s more, candidates have the upper hand in today’s job market – which means that external candidates can be even more demanding when it comes to compensation and benefits than their internal counterparts. Hiring internally can save employers the time and money required for recruiting, training, and paying new employees.

3. Limited Advancement Opportunities Damage the Company Culture

GrassRepeatedly passing employees over for opportunities within the company can damage morale and, consequently, the company culture – two things that are extremely important to both recruiting and retaining employees in today’s economy.

Boost Your Branding

It isn’t enough anymore for companies to merely be connected. Companies must have unique presences if they are to attract new hires and high-quality talent. An organization’s message has to be tailored in such a way that job seekers feel the company is looking for them, rather than the other way around.

In other words: Employer branding messages should be about the job seekers. Two important things to keep in mind here:

1. It can’t be stressed enough that employers have to understand the needs and trends of the talent pool. Rather than focus branding content on what the company’s immediate needs are, employers should emphasize aspects of the company that will attract worthy candidates (e.g., success stories, company culture, industry articles about employment trends, interview advice, etc.). This shows potential candidates that the employer values them as professionals, even if they aren’t currently seeking jobs with the company. If job seekers begin to feel a strong connection with the employer, they may seek out a position in the future or refer people from their networks.

2. Networking is one of the most powerful tools in recruiting. Companies that fail to adapt to social media trends will be left in the dust by their competitors. If employers aren’t proactive on their social media accounts daily, they miss valuable opportunities to connect on different levels with potential candidates. Posting engaging content on social media accounts daily will give employers more reach and influence. Engaging content can be fun and creative, giving employers a chance to show candidates another side of their organizations.

Recycle the Talent Pool

SunsetMany companies will tell candidates who they do not hire that “if any positions open up matching your qualifications, we will contact you.” This has unfortunately become an automated response, and companies rarely follow through on it.

Rather than dismissing candidates from previous job openings, employers should remain in contact with them in case any future openings arise that they may be better qualified for. This provides employers with great networking opportunities and shows candidates that even, if they were not hired for a job in the past, the organization is still interested in them.

Pipelining talent is a job that requires active engagement if companies want to reach quality candidates. Modifying the internal pipelining strategy should be the first and most important step when seeking top-quality talent pools. The right applicant tracking system can help employers streamline their talent acquisition efforts from attraction to a new hire’s first day. All employers should follow up their recruiting initiatives with hiring processes that provide memorable candidate experiences.

A version of this article originally appeared on Christine Marino’s LinkedIn page.

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