Get awesome marketing content related to Hiring & L&D in your inbox each week

Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news
How to build a candidate pipeline that cuts your cost and time to hire

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

How to build a candidate pipeline that cuts your cost and time to hire


Time to hire is a crucial recruitment metric for tracking hiring success and optimizing an organization’s recruitment process. This metric directly impacts the cost and quality of hire, making it imperative for an organization’s recruitment expenses, processes, and strategies.




What is a talent pipeline?

A talent pipeline is a ‘relationship-centric’ recruitment strategy that refers to a collection of quality candidates who are engaged and can be contacted when relevant job roles open in an organization. Affecting a shift from reactive to proactive recruitment strategies, building a talent pipeline requires establishing and cultivating relationships with passive talent for opportunities that may surface in the future.


Talent pool vs. talent pipeline

infographic 1

Talent pipeline:

It is a recruitment approach where interested as well as passive candidates are nurtured. It involves active relationship building and guiding relevant candidates through a journey towards working for the organization.


Talent pools:

This approach is about the categorization of candidates, grouped by aspects like job roles or location, for easy data management instead of a large database that must be mined every time there’s an opening.


The benefits of having a talent pipeline

According to research conducted by LinkedIn, passive talent makes up about 70% of the global workforce and 87% of candidates, both passive and active, are open to new job opportunities.

Building a talent pipeline is beneficial for organizations that constantly need to hire talent in competitive markets.

Reduced time to hire:

Using a talent pipeline for hiring reduces the time spent in active sourcing and shortlisting ideal profiles for job vacancies. Proper talent pipeline strategies make it easier for recruiters to find candidates that meet the organization’s hiring needs.

Strategically ensure candidates are a cultural fit:

A quality hire requires the candidate to be a perfect fit with an organization’s culture and values. The proactive approach of building a hiring pipeline allows recruiters to get to know prospective candidates in advance, even before their first interview. The insights recruiters get into candidates’ personalities help identify who will be a good cultural fit.

Reduced brand dependence:

For organizations that do not have a well-developed employer brand, the talent pipeline approach to recruitment is the best way to overcome brand limitations. With the right talent pipeline strategies, recruiters can help the talent visualize working for the organization.

Improved diversity of hiring:

Increased diversity in the workforce can help improve company culture and performance and help with better customer representation. A talent pipeline provides organizations with the opportunities they need to identify diverse talent and engage with them proactively.

Improved offer acceptance rates:

Filtering out the right cultural fits, building strong relationships, keeping the hiring pipeline engaged, and ensuring optimum candidate experiences cumulatively support a boost in offer acceptance rates.


How to keep the talent pipeline engaged

Leverage social media platforms:

According to Glassdoor, 79% of job seekers tend to use social media platforms in their job search. This makes it essential for recruiters to engage with candidates and present themselves as a preferred employer brand online.

Employee advocacy:

The workforce of an organization is the best brand ambassador and an effective tactic for building and engaging a talent pipeline.

Communicate frequently:

Even during times when there is no hiring, sending regular organization updates, statements by the management, sharing press releases, etc., to stay in touch with candidates is crucial.

Organizing events:

Create opportunities to bring employees and candidates in the hiring pipeline together to accelerate how candidates evaluate the organization.


Career-related content by the organization can be personalized for various potential candidate personas. Gearing the outreach around creating interest for difficult-to-fill vacancies can be a critical driver for talent pipeline strategies.

Collect feedback:

Actively engage the pipeline in providing feedback, suggestions, etc., involving them with the organization on a personal level.


Key talent pipeline metrics

Infographic 2


Time to fill:

Measured as the number of days between raising a job requisition and offer acceptance, time to fill can be tracked across functions, teams, sources, etc., to help optimize talent pipeline strategies.


Source of hire:

Tracking the number of hires by different candidate sources can help analyze and optimize strategies based on sources that are working for the organization.


Conversion rates:

This is the rate of progress candidates make as they move through the different stages of the talent pipeline. It helps understand recruitment efficiency and the quality of the sourced talent.


Rate of job offer acceptance:

The rate of offer acceptance by candidates helps understand if the candidate’s experience is good and if the remuneration is competitive. This aids in identifying the hiring strategies that have a positive impact on candidate decisions.


Building talent pipeline strategies

Modulate sourcing efforts:

Ensure sourcing efforts remain at par with the growth of the organization. Scalability is a crucial aspect of successful talent pipeline building.


Get referrals:

Leveraging employee referrals can fast-track pipeline building significantly. According to a report by LinkedIn, referrals are a top source for quality hires.


Curate personalized experiences:

Personalize outreach communications and focus on thoughtfulness, creativity, and making sure they are candidate-centric.


Involve the stakeholders:

Touch base with hiring managers regularly to ensure that the talent pipeline building and strategizing is in line with their expectations.


Focus on branding:

Candidates are more likely to join companies they have heard of, so ensure strategies focus on building the organization’s employer brand.



Transform conventional recruitment strategies into an optimized, ongoing, and efficient procedure by creating a quality talent pipeline. Mercer | Mettl’s suite of talent assessments helps businesses create and nurture their talent pipelines. For example, our pre-employment tests allow recruiters to gauge candidates for a given role and add them to the talent pipeline if they currently don’t meet job requirements but are talented and suitable for different roles. This helps create a resourceful talent pipeline for the future, ensuring quick and time-efficient hiring.



What are the best ways of cutting recruitment costs?

What is the pipeline in the hiring process?

How to maintain a pipeline of candidates?

How to speed up the time to hire?

Originally published September 4 2023, Updated September 4 2023

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

Talent acquisition is all about strategizing for sourcing, hiring, and retaining the talent an organization needs. This blog offers more insights on the topic.

Related posts

Would you like to comment?


Please write a comment before submitting


Thanks for submitting the comment. We’ll post the comment once its verified.

Get awesome marketing content related to Hiring & L&D in your inbox each week

Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news