What's the difference between a talent pipeline and a talent pool? 

A talent pool is a database or a network of possible candidates you can consider for your role, which may consist of both active and passive candidates. For most recruiters, when there is an opportunity on the table, they will look at their talent pool and plan a sourcing strategy - from crafting EVPs to working out the referral network and messaging countless people on LinkedIn who may or may not be willing to have a discussion. 

A talent pipeline, on the other hand, consists of candidates that you have already pre-qualified for a particular position. If you are an agency, a talent pipeline can be a network of eligible candidates who are both qualified and have expressed through conversations with you their interest in potentially joining a certain type of company or space. You can reach out to these candidates when an opportunity becomes available.

A talent pipeline could also be built internally and is most often called succession planning or bench building. It is usually established to identify and develop new leaders who can take over their predecessors when the right time comes. However, talent pipelines can also be done across the entire business and are usually used to recruit new talents. 

So, is it going to be Pooling or Pipelining?

There are no right or wrong answers; it will just depend on your need and preference. While both practices have pros and cons, there are certain parameters you can consider if pipelining would be a better idea.

Creating talent pipelines requires a lot of effort and time to yield consistent results. So consider this with certain kinds of roles such as management or those with positions that require highly specialized skill sets. That way, when faced with a requirement, you have a lineup you can consider, and the sourcing won’t take too much of your time.

At the end of the day, both practices require building relationships with candidates; if that’s not a concern, then you’re free to pool or pipeline talents as you see fit.