Like almost everything else right now, talent acquisition is feeling the impact of the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak. Potential candidates are self-isolating, there’s widespread anxiety around travel, companies are hesitant about conducting interviews, and hiring processes are generally being prolonged.

However, the outbreak should not undermine your talent strategy. Quite the opposite, in fact. With a high percentage of people currently working from home and with more availability, now is the time to get a step ahead of your competitors by building a talent pipeline.

By building your pipeline now, you’ll have a coordinated supply of quality candidates in the right locations, with the right skill sets and in the areas where you need them most - ready to join your organisation when hiring hits full motion again.

Global sectors where we build talent pipelines:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Power & Utilities
  • Financial Services
  • Engineering & Manufacturing
  • Infrastructure & Transportation
  • Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences
  • Retail & FMCG
  • Digital
  • Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Let's start at the end

Ultimately, the end goal of a talent pipeline is to have a coordinated supply of quality candidates in the right locations, with the right skill sets and across the areas of the business where you need them most. A talent pipeline will grant you a strong awareness of your key talent markets and ensure that time to hire is kept to an absolute minimum.

To deliver a robust and high-grade talent pipeline, we typically spend about six weeks identifying, engaging and assessing potential candidates in accordance with our client's desired candidate profiles.

The project culminates in a talent pipeline report - example below - which is delivered to the client.

Talent Pipeline Report page 1
Talent Pipeline Report page 2
Talent Pipeline Report page 3
Talent Pipeline Report page 4
Talent Pipeline Report page 5
Talent Pipeline Report Candidates

What your pipeline should tell you

The report above is a base example of what we would deliver to our clients at the end of a project. However, each pipeline is unique and how candidate data is collated and presented should be treated as such. Different organisations have different drivers for creating a talent pipeline. Some want to build resilience into their human capital, some want to empower gender diversity, and some use it for location feasibility purposes.

At their most basic level, 6 Group's talent pipelines detail:

  • A summary of total talent identified: Detailed waterfall statistics representing the process all potential candidates have been through and the reasoning for their inclusion on the pipeline.
  • Geography of pipelined talent: We illustrate where the target talent communities of the pipeline are located to offer a balance across desired geographical areas. This is particularly important if you are looking to support resourcing activities around your company's key locations.
  • Pipeline gender split: Many organisations engage in talent pipelining for motivations around diversity & inclusion. Illustrating the gender balance across the pipeline is useful to gauge the availability of diverse talent in certain disciplines.
  • Competitive analysis: Building awareness of which organisations hold the market share of your target talent will aid you in interpreting why they are drawn to these companies - e.g. employee value proposition (EVP) and employer brand. 
  • Employer brand perception: Pipelines are powerful tools to gauge how your target talent markets actually think of you as an employer. We ask employer brand focused questions of all identified candidates which illustrate the client organisation's reputation as an employer. These are first-hand accounts and present an unvarnished reality which, in turn, help them to make improvements. 
  • Pipelined talent availability: One of the core purposes of a talent pipeline is longevity in its ability to supply pre-engaged and pre-qualified candidates when required by the organisation. Achieving a balanced spread of candidate availability (typically over a 12-month period) will ensure that you future-proof your hiring activities.
  • Pipelined candidate details: Informative data of those who have been preliminarily assessed and deemed appropriate for the pipeline are captured. Individual profiles of each pipeline member are built and CVs are also collected for reference.

Key steps in building a talent pipeline

Below are three key steps we take in building talent pipelines for our clients.


1. Create the profiles

You need to first understand which talent communities you are seeking to engage with - i.e. demographics, locations, skillsets, and education. Before commencing any talent pipelining project, we first meet with the client organisation's key stakeholders to build a profile of the 'ideal candidate'. Perhaps you're looking to create pipelines for multiple disciplines which, naturally, would mean the creation of multiple profiles. The talent which we frequently get asked to build pipelines for are typically niche, technically skilled professionals as these people are considered hard-to-find and the company is heavily reliant on them for operational purposes.

It's often a good starting point to identify a cohort of top-performing talent currently in your organisation and within the disciplines you want to build a pipeline for. Their attributes will be that of your ideal candidate. Make clear which technical or functional abilities they hold which makes them excel in their role. Another consideration should be their behavioural traits as this can form part of a later stage assessment for pipelined candidates.

2. Define the approach

Once you understand the talent markets you're seeking to explore and engage with, you can begin to consider which approach will work best in building a strong talent pipeline.

How you develop your approach can be split into two segments:

1 | Identification: The more channels you utilise for your approach, the wider your access to the desired talent communities will be. We adopt a multitude of tailored sourcing channels during a talent pipelining project. These include:

  • Company target lists
  • Social media
  • Contact networks
  • Candidate databases
  • Referrals
  • Networking
  • Academic alumni sites

2 | Engagement: Building an awareness of your target talent markets is just one half of the battle. How you subsequently entice this identified cohort into potentially joining your organisation - whether that's immediately or at some point in the future - is a test of your attraction capability. Constructing a well-considered and engaging narrative about your organisation to ensure the candidate experience is exceedingly positive is key. 

As a global executive search & talent intelligence firm, our clients trust us to act on their behalf. We uphold a highly professional approach which is built around the client organisation's EVP and employer brand. We ensure that the delivery team is well-versed in all aspects of the client's company and we develop first-class, client-branded marketing materials to distribute to all identified candidates.


3. Build the pipeline

Now that you've developed an approach into your desired talent market and a means to engage them, you can begin qualifying their suitability for their inclusion in the pipeline.

For each talent pipeline project, we work with the client to build a high-level technical assessment which covers the essential skills required in order to perform well in the specific discipline. We then take all potential candidates through this assessment and capture key details to build individual profiles. The data for each candidate we capture includes:

  • Full name
  • Employment details
  • Job title
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Current and expected salary
  • Availability
  • Contact information

Ultimately, you're left with a wide-scale awareness of your desired talent market and a pipeline to support your hiring activities for the foreseeable future. 

To keep the pipeline both fresh and relevant over the long term, it's necessary to periodically update it. Members of the pipeline may become unavailable as time goes by. To ensure it maintains longevity and usefulness to the client, we keep the pipeline active over an agreed period of time and continuously supplement it with additional suitable members.

Need help building your pipeline?

6 Group's talent pipelines offer you wide-scale awareness and access to your desired candidate markets.

To discuss your talent pipeline requirements with us, get in touch.

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Head of Business Risk:

"The process and quality of research provided by 6 Group was of the highest quality I have ever experienced as a hiring manager, and with an exceptionally challenging mandate in a time zone of +8 hours difference, yet they managed to successfully reach the majority of strong candidates in the market. I was hugely impressed with the approach, the process, the consistency, updates, service, and the outcomes."


VP Connected Vehicles:

"6 Group was very thoughtful when assessing our needs. They spent the necessary time to understand which skills are critical for us. They acted as a business partner and not just a recruitment company. They found the right people and avoided non-appropriate profiles. We put a lot of pressure to quickly hire critical positions and they acted accordingly. The entire experience was positive and I will definitively renew the collaboration with you."


HR Director:

"Expectations were quite high and met well. Project managed very professionally. Selling us as an employer has succeeded very well and we got a good pipeline of relevant candidates."