In an environment of constant change, HR professionals – and increasingly business leaders – are recognising that talent pipelining and pooling is vital as a means to stay ahead of the curve in skills attraction. But while many of us talk about it, this strategic method isn’t perhaps being successfully implemented in as many cases as we would like. So how can you develop effective talent pools and pipelining programmes?

Build a robust business case

To be frank, HR teams cannot create effective talent pools and pipelines alone. It is essential that the leaders and decision makers in an organisation not only understand the value of such an initiative, but also support it. To do this, there is a need to establish a robust and easy to grasp business case.

While this may sound simple, there is a history of difficulty in getting the board to recognise the true value of talent attraction processes. To move this forward, HR professionals will need to embrace the tools and language of commercial incentives as opposed to HR management. For example, use data to provide a defensible picture of the future and to point out how the business could be hampered if action is not taken. However, always resist the temptation to over-dramatise with ‘doomsday’ scenarios.

Also, be both specific and clear, steering away from any form of academic conceptualising, and above all, emphasising that achieving tangible results from pooling and pipelining does not need to be expensive if focused on critical skills.

Develop a marketing mindset

While there will always need to be an overall, fundamental EVP, target audiences need to be segmented and communicated with through tailored messages in the same way that a marketing department would approach potential customer groups. CRM technology can play a huge role in achieving this but, whether it is employed in-house or outsourced, remember it will only be as good as its user.

The quality of material that constitutes messaging is also paramount and must be put together by individuals with a real understanding of and credibility in the subject under discussion. However this does not always need to mean front-line technical personnel. Retired employees or those on parental leave could also be drafted in to provide assistance.

Show this is an essential, not a ‘nice to have’

Getting talent pipelining and pooling right is likely to provide one of the competitive advantages of the coming years. It will minimise risk to the business and equip it for the future, deliver all-important agility, foster innovation and enhance the brands value. This is simply not a choice, it is an imperative. And perhaps more importantly, it is not expensive or difficult to get started. So the conclusion is – just do it!