Building a pipeline pays dividends

Written by
Matthew Mellor

11 May 2016

11 May 2016 • by Matthew Mellor

What is changing?

In-house talent acquisition teams are larger and more sophisticated than ever before which means they are far more demanding in their requirements when they bring in an external partner to provide support.

Recent client assignments at Armstrong Craven have indicated that, for many corporates, the real value now lies in the mapping and pipelining of talent – both for today and the future.

A leading global healthcare company recently asked us to help it identify and recruit a large number of external hires across Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States.

We mobilised a dedicated client account team of specialist healthcare recruiters including project managers for each of the areas in which it was recruiting – the UK, Switzerland, United States and Singapore.

Just under 1,300 individuals working in healthcare R&D were identified from which 65 candidates were shortlisted.


Identifying talent

This was a major talent mapping and pipelining project on a global scale. As a result of our work, the client was not only able to identify the talent it needed for immediate vacancies, it also now owns the intellectual property of the pipeline of talent working in the area of healthcare R&D.

We calculated that there was a 50% saving compared to traditional executive search suppliers as well as a 28% saving if the client had gone down the path of ramping up the size of its own internal talent team.

Another high-profile example demonstrates how varied pipelining work can be.

As we know from this week’s lavish Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, the issue of diversity – or, rather, the lack of it – is high on many people’s agenda.

We recently partnered with a global financial services client which was struggling to attract and retain female leaders in corporate roles in Asia Pacific.

Our team engaged with over 200 senior female professionals in the region to understand their career drivers and the challenges they faced. We also captured views on the client as a brand and a prospective employer.

The result was a powerful evidence-based research report that informed our client about how it could become a more attractive employer to the targeted cohort. The organisation responded by implementing a number of changes to its employee proposition to improve its prospects of engaging with and attracting the best talent.

A pipeline was created of 35 senior females across the region. Placements are already being made and regular networking is enabling our client to manage this talent pool directly.

All data is our client’s intellectual property and our work has dramatically reduced the cost and time to hire, providing an immediate and longer-term return on investment.

All the evidence is telling us that the organisations which embrace diversity and make it an ingrained part of their culture are most likely to attract and keep the best talent which, in turn, enables them to achieve above-average financial returns.

We are increasingly being asked by clients globally to help them put in place more diverse and inclusive recruitment strategies.

Diversity is not something you can pay lip service to. It is not about tackling issues like gender or race or age or sexual orientation in isolation. It is about developing robust policies and practices and embedding them into the way a corporate does business across all of its territories.

It should go much further than quotas. Dynamic diversity is about ensuring your Board or senior leadership team includes people from varied sectors and backgrounds.

Methodical and systematic pipelining has many benefits. One of the major benefits is the ability to target all potential candidates, including the notoriously hard-to-reach passive talent. Another very attractive benefit is the ability to shave millions of pounds a year off a corporate’s recruitment bills.

It is the job of external partners to meet the demands of our clients, to provide them with the agile and flexible support they require in order to ensure they are identifying and attracting the very best talent in their particular world.