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4 essential tips for CEOs to build a talent pipeline

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You are a CEO, you have employees, you make profits, WOW! That′s it, huh? Are you just going to spend your days showing up to your office, kicking your feet up on your mahogany desk, and lighting up a Cuban cigar while sipping on a single-malt scotch?


No. Well, you could, but do you have a system in place to guarantee your company′s continued success?

Sipping a single-malt may be rewarding and indulgent, but it is not going to keep your company′s shares upwardly mobile. Single-malts are also expensive, by the way, and you will not be able to afford them if you are not turning enough profits. So, what means should you use to keep your office liquor cabinet stocked with the finest stuff?

Every business need to  grow  and  adapt  to keep turning profit. Keeping abreast with technological advances, market trends, and consumer preferences is more than a CEO can handle on their lonesome.

Building a  talent pipeline  is not only a savvy method for building the abilities of your staff to be better managed and productive, but also generates a culture of eagerness, and perpetually pertinent knowledge within your company for sustained growth and financial gains for all included.

Companies require that there be an appropriate balance of attracting, defining, and honing the essential talent that are necessary for fortifying and thus  growing  their business. To secure that the appropriate flow of talent is developing and expanding your company′s growth, and hence profitability (remember, your precious single-malts” ¦.), you need to take a handful of practices to ensure that your company is building a successful and productive  talent pipeline.

Companies need to ascertain, welcome, and build the appropriate mix of crucial talent to develop and maintain their businesses. To guarantee that talent is progressing in a positive direction year after year, it is smarter than smart to craft a crucial-talent pipeline within your company.

Methods that can be used for building a talent pipeline in a company are:

1. The ascertaination of internal and external talent resources

2. Acquiescence of the gaps between present and required talents

3. Studying and defining the most effective strategy for enhancing and maintaining a bridge between the gap

4. Implementing, supervising, and honing your company′s talent pipeline execution

So, what tools or procedures are being implemented by the most successful companies, in an effort to grow, maintain, and develop talent to enter future leadership positions in your organization? That is, in a nutshell, exactly what a talent pipeline  is.

While the entire work production of a company as a whole should be valued, there are key roles for some productivities, that have a direct impact on the execution of results in-line with the company′s goal. In the same breath, the company′s talent resources in this sector may be few and far between. A company can minimize risks by making sure that the presence of talented staff is always evolving in these sectors with the help of a talent pipeline.

Many companies with a talent pipeline strategy in place are observing precise, steadily monitored information and data on what their key talents are, in order to increase business.

If you are reading this article, you want to increase business, right? Life isn′t all vacations and fishing trips. Unless you are a fisherman.

Actually, picture that you  are  a fisherman, a greatly simplified business model, compared to that of a corporate setting, but applicable nonetheless: your operation is simply a dinghy and a fishing rod. You have been catching fish and selling them on the side of the road successfully to sustain yourself. Since business is good, you intend to expand.

But, how do you go about recruiting other fisherman to join you in your expeditions? Applicants and candidates need more than just ownership of a fishing rod. As business grows larger, you require more and more talented fishermen to staff your larger boat. Now, you need to develop a  talent pipeline  to stay competitive and successful in your fish-mongering market.

talent pipeline

As you can see above, according to a survey of executives, a talent pipeline is one of the top 3 long-lasting trends in recruiting for professional roles, and for good reason. The method is proven to fortify  development, growth,  and  innovation  in every professional industry.

As a CEO, it is your responsibility to find a  sustainable  method for promoting the above three components of your company, to increase profits and keep your shareholders happy. A happy shareholder is a good shareholder.

First, you should make sure that your company is developing a  unified approach  for gathering company intelligence concerning your talent data, when you are constructing a talent pipeline. Building a talent pipeline is highly akin to any construction effort, and the CEO is the foreman.

Having a through, comprehensive database of talent profiles of your staff, facilitates the sustainable implementation of your company′s talent pipeline. As CEO, you are the top leader, and you need to recruit and develop other competent leaders as your senior management staff in order to have a salient company that operates efficiently, as obviously efficiency saves on overall costs. So, how do you build a talent pipeline so you do not have to hire talented team members from the  outside?

There are instances when hiring from  outside  your company are necessary, say, if you are a startup, or, for example, if your company is going to start producing motorcycles in addition to your already existing line of four-wheeled vehicles. Yet, there are many cases where it is more cost-effective to promote staff from within your existing talent pool, instead of hiring an outside industry expert. According to research, professionals promoted from  inside  an organization have higher rates of success in their role than talent hired from  outside  the company.

Do you want your company to succeed? Consider these facts:

1. Executives hired from outside an organization have a  34% rate of failure, compared to a 22% rate of failure for executives internally promoted.

2. Companies that comprise more than  25% of their middle-management staff with externally hired recruits  have double the turnover rates than other companies that pursue internal promotion.

talent management

The figure of turnover rates doubling when hiring externally is staggering, and is compelling when you consider how costly turnover is for your company. Replacing a middle-level management member costs your company  approximately 150% of their annual salary. Frankly, who in their right mind would not seek a reduction of this risk?

When you are building your company′s sustainable internal talent pipeline, you need to focus on a system that fosters high-caliber leadership skills. It must be unified and cohesive, and also appropriate for the size of your team, and future plans for the organization. Absorb and integrate these four essentials for developing (or refining) your company′s talent pipeline:

1. Business Strategy

First, assess your business strategy before you do anything else. Your talent pipeline is there to enhance  your business  and should be representative of your overall strategy as an organization. Like any new practice or endeavor, you must start at the very beginning, examining the core of your business.

Ask yourself ”“ what is your business′s primary revenue source? Is it research? Consulting? Manufacturing? Sales? You need to tailor your talent pipeline to cater to what drives your business, and how to make it a sustainable pipeline.

Next, make an assessment of the essential roles in your company that are invaluable to your operation. These are the roles you must focus on for developing leadership talent first, as these roles provide the greatest organizational results for the short-term and long-term goals for your company.

The essential leadership skills in these roles that yield that highest revenue for your company, along with the development of these talents, need to be tied in with the core strategy of your business. Design your pipeline not just for your current strategy, but that of your company′s future as well. Remember, when anything ceases to grow, it is beginning to die.

2. A Pipeline Not Just For The Present

Your business is going to continue to grow (as long as you really are CEO material), and your business is going to change. Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”   Your talent pipeline needs to function in exactly that way; it is honing your existing talent for future responsibilities and duties.

During your initial assessment of your organizational talent pool, think of the future. Do you have existing talent to take your company to the next level, and achieve your long-term goals? Or, have you been hiring enough management staff that have adequate leadership skill?

There are people that are born with congenital  leadership abilities, but most leaders have been  educated  and  trained  to be organizational leaders.

talent management

As shown above, as of last year, 37% of companies are now using a talent pipeline instead of recruiting on social media sites like LinkedIn. When a sustainable talent pipeline is in place, it prepares your staff, and thus you as the owner, for the future.

As any CEO with business acumen knows, what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Your organization′s talent pool must be equipped not just for the here and now, but the  next.

Incorporating a sustainable talent pool does not mean that you should avoid outside hiring as if it is cancerous; there are appropriate times to hire outside talent. When you are planning for the future, and assessing your talent pool, determine whether your team has the leadership skills required to train subordinates, and adapt to meet your future company plans. If not, you should reevaluate your hiring practice.

3. Talent Management As Culture

A sustainable pipeline also boosts employee morale. Low morale has a  lethal effect on your company′s turnover rate.  If a company′s culture reflects that leadership is actively encouraged, and the company prefers to promote from within, your retention rates will skyrocket. Your management leaders should be accountable for talent management with the same degree of concern they have for revenue and operations.

Why do people quit their jobs? According to studies, the top two reasons why people quit a job are  1) Negative supervisors and 2) Unsatisfactory job placement. A sustainable talent pipeline minimizes both of these issues.

When a low-level employee witnesses how their company promotes from within, it gives them a sense of hope for their future career with your company. When an associate watches a fellow associate get a promotion, they realize that it can happen to them as well, producing encouragement to work harder and achieve the company′s goals.

50% of employees cite that they quit their jobs due to bad management. As CEO, make sure that your supervisory staff are engaging your low-level staff, as engaged employees are far less likely to be seeking work elsewhere. Leadership is not a trait that should be exclusive, only for upper-level staff; at every level in your company, each employee should be honing leadership skills. When you implement a sustainable talent pipeline, these lower-level staff are going to be your company′s future leaders.

Employees that are engaged will also be willing to voice concerns over their job fit, and even if they do not raise the concern themselves, your management will ascertain whether or not an employee is in the proper role in the first place, during your talent pool assessment.

4. Make It Sustainable

Making your talent pipeline  sustainable  does not mean you run it on solar power (though, that would cut down on your company′s utility bills” ¦think about it” ¦). A sustainable talent pipeline means that once it is in place,  it will adapt to new talent, and old talent emerging into new roles.

Have a schedule for meeting with your upper-level employees, and review your approach to your talent pipeline. Ideally, you can get away with doing this only once a year. A culture of succession training should already be fostering growth, the expansion of your employee′s individual skills and abilities, yet it is savvy to have a formal review of the pipeline. This will ensure that your pipeline is adaptable, and is empowering your staff to become future company leaders.

“If You Build It, They Will Come” 

Talent management through a dedicated company pipeline, is necessary to succeed in the current business world.  Millenialls, the new workforce, are especially demanding in growing within an organization, and they have more options to choose from than any previous generation.

Don′t just build a talent pipeline for your company, but  brand  it as well!  Naming and advertising your talent pipeline  makes your company seem sexier to the newer generation. Your pipeline is your baseball diamond; “If you build it, they will come.” 

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