illustration of a pipeline with various icons and people beneath it

Talent Pipeline Management: 5 Candidate Engagement Ideas

In a tight labor market, building candidate pipelines is essential. Gone are the days when you could simply post a job ad and get a flood of qualified applicants. Once you’ve established a pipeline, your next step is to focus on candidate engagement and candidate nurturing.

Your pipeline can consist of multiple types of talent, including:

  • Runners up or silver medalists who applied to one of your jobs but came in second place
  • Referrals or qualified professionals you sourced but aren’t ready to make a career change yet
  • Individuals interested in working for your company but don’t fit a need right now

All of these people are worth the effort to keep “warm” when the competition for talent is fierce. Here are 5 candidate engagement ideas you can try today.


1. Stay in Touch

Whether it’s a phone call, text, or email, stay in touch! Candidate nurturing and providing a positive candidate experience is really all about communication. When you reach out personally, it demonstrates genuine interest and helps build rapport. Schedule one-on-one lunch or coffee dates to see how they’re doing and gauge their continued interest in working for your company.


recruiter calling a candidate to touch base


2. Connect Future Team Members

Ask team members – especially the hiring manager – who would be working with candidates in the future to keep in touch as well. If you do end up hiring a prospect from your pipeline, they’ll onboard faster if they already have a great working relationship with their team members. Plus, these relationships will help safeguard against job ghosting.


3. Send Newsletters via Email

Next on our list of talent pipeline management ideas will require time and effort (and perhaps assistance from your marketing team) but is essential to candidate engagement. Create a company e-newsletter that people can subscribe to. Include open positions, of course, but even if you aren’t hiring, there is plenty of interesting and useful information you can provide in your newsletter:

  • Company news, such as product releases, major projects, or new clients
  • Employee news, such as promotions or awards
  • Industry updates that impact your field
  • Training programs that your company or another local organization is offering
  • Insider tips for applying to jobs and/or interviewing with your company
  • Special events candidates are invited to (more on that next)

networking event with employees and candidates


4. Host Events

A great way to improve your talent pipeline management strategy is to regularly invite potential hires to events. When it comes to candidate engagement, face-to-face time is invaluable. These can be purely social events like team lunches or happy hours, or – if you’re comfortable with it – you could invite them to attend your next all-hands meeting or team brainstorming session. Taking part in these exclusive events will help make candidates in your pipeline feel valued.


5. Keep Your Career Site Updated

Make your career site a place where candidates can go to get the latest and greatest news about your company and find out more about your organization’s workplace culture. Similar to the e-newsletter, post content on your career site that goes beyond open positions. Share fresh employee photos and videos. Publish and update employee stories and testimonials. A strong employer brand is essential to building candidate pipelines, so make sure it’s clearly communicated on your website.

Additionally, provide an email address or contact form that site visitors can use to express interest in working for your company – regardless of whether or not you’re currently hiring.


candidate reading an enewsletter on his smartphone


Creating and maintaining a talent pipeline isn’t easy, but having a shortlist of qualified professionals at your fingertips when a position opens up makes it well worth the investment. Whether you advertise jobs or search resumes to build your pipeline, remember to maintain it effectively through ongoing candidate engagement.

by: Natalie Winzer
April 15, 2019