ANC Global

Why Building a Sustainable Talent Pipeline is Essential in 2024

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The war for talent is intensifying, and businesses are facing a crippling talent shortage. A recent report by ManpowerGroup, a leading global workforce solutions company, revealed a staggering 75% of employers globally report difficulty filling open positions due to the talent shortage (read ManpowerGroup report). This widespread challenge isn’t unfounded. The competition for skilled workers is fierce, and businesses are struggling to find the talent they need to thrive. This widespread concern isn’t unfounded. Experts are calling it a “talent drought,” a phenomenon that threatens to stifle innovation, hinder productivity, and ultimately impede business growth.

The “Great Resignation” has further exacerbated this challenge.

Millions of employees have left their jobs, seeking better opportunities and a healthier work-life balance. In 2022, at the height of the “great resignation,” a record 4.5 million workers each month — about 3% of the U.S. workforce — were quitting their jobs.  This mass exodus left companies scrambling to fill critical vacancies and forced them to rethink their talent management strategies entirely.

In this environment, building a sustainable talent pipeline has become more crucial than ever before. It’s not just about filling open positions; it’s about cultivating a long-term pool of qualified individuals who are aligned with your company’s values and future goals. Think of it as a wellspring of skilled and motivated talent, continuously feeding your organization with the human capital it needs to thrive.

In our experience at ANC Global, we’ve continued to observe recent talent trends- especially when it comes to Gen Z talent- to develop robust talent pipelines for our clients. In the 20+ markets we operate in, you would assume talent needs would wary however, the reality is core talent needs of most employees continue to be the same.  Throughout this article, we’ll explore these strategies in detail, but first, let’s delve deeper into the specific challenges businesses face in building a sustainable talent pipeline.

Nearly half (46%) of professionals say they’re considering quitting in the year ahead — higher than the 40% who said the same ahead of 2021′s great resignation, according to new research from Microsoft and LinkedIn, which surveyed more than 30,000 people in 31 countries between February and March 2024.

The Challenges of Building a Sustainable Talent Pipeline in 2024

The talent landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. In 2024, businesses face a confluence of challenges in building a sustainable talent pipeline, making it more critical than ever to develop strategic solutions. This section delves deeper into these challenges, exploring the multifaceted nature of this complex issue.

The Evolving Skills Landscape: A Continuous Learning Imperative


Technological advancements are disrupting industries at an unprecedented pace. Automation and artificial intelligence are transforming entire job functions, while new roles emerge seemingly overnight. This rapid change creates a skills gap that traditional educational pathways often struggle to keep pace with. A 2020 World Economic Forum report estimates that by 2025, a staggering 50% of the global workforce will require reskilling or upskilling to remain relevant.

This challenge extends beyond technical skills. Soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and adaptability are increasingly crucial for success in the face of constant change. Businesses need to move beyond a “hire-and-fire” mentality and invest in continuous learning opportunities for their employees. This can involve internal training programs, partnerships with consulting firms for customized learning modules, and partnering with educational institutions for relevant courses.

The Rise of the Gig Economy: Redefining the Traditional Workforce


The gig economy, characterized by freelance and contract work, is experiencing explosive growth. Upwork’s 2023 study reveals that nearly one-third (38%) of the global workforce now participates in this flexible work model. This trend offers businesses access to a vast pool of skilled talent but also presents challenges in building a stable pipeline of long-term employees.

Attracting and retaining top talent in the gig economy requires a shift in talent acquisition strategies. Businesses need to develop flexible work arrangements and project-based opportunities that cater to the preferences of gig workers. Building a strong employer brand that emphasizes work-life balance and autonomy is also crucial to compete for this growing segment of the workforce. (Read ANC Global’s Employee Value Proposition EVP Solutions) 

The War for Talent: A Battle Won on Employer Branding


In today’s transparent digital landscape, a company’s reputation precedes it. Negative online reviews, disgruntled employee testimonials, and a weak employer brand can significantly hinder talent acquisition efforts. A 2024 Glassdoor report highlights this reality, revealing that 86% of job seekers now consult online reviews before applying for a position. Building a positive employer brand goes beyond simply crafting a mission statement. It requires genuine commitment to employee well-being, diversity, and inclusion (D&I). (Read ANC Global DE&I for more.)

Companies need to cultivate a work environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and professional development. Investing in D&I initiatives sends a powerful message to potential candidates, demonstrating a commitment to creating a workplace that is inclusive and welcoming to all. Additionally, positive employee testimonials and social media engagement can significantly enhance a company’s employer brand, attracting a wider pool of qualified talent.

Demographic Shifts: Rethinking Traditional Talent Pools


Demographic shifts are also impacting the talent landscape. The global population is aging, with a shrinking pool of young workers entering the workforce in many developed economies. With this reality, it becomes pertinent for businesses to understand how to mange Gen Z talent in particular. Our U30 programs are based on this understanding (read here) Additionally, focusing on underrepresented demographics like women and minorities can unlock a vast pool of untapped potential.

Building partnerships with vocational schools and community colleges can provide access to a pipeline of skilled workers who may not have a traditional four-year degree but possess the necessary skills and qualifications for specific roles.

The Great Resignation’s Lingering Effects: Rebuilding Trust and Engagement


The “Great Resignation” of 2021- 2022 wasn’t a one-time event; it exposed deep fissures in the employer-employee relationship. Rebuilding trust and engagement is critical to attract and retain top talent. Here’s why:

Firstly, trust and psychological safety are eroded. The mass exodus highlighted issues like burnout, poor work-life balance, and unfulfilled career development. This has led to employee disillusionment and a decline in trust towards leadership. Employees are now more cautious, prioritizing companies that prioritize their well-being and offer genuine growth opportunities.

Secondly, employee expectations have been redefined. The power dynamic has shifted. Employees expect flexibility, remote work options, competitive compensation packages, and a clear career path. Businesses that fail to adapt to these changing expectations will struggle to attract and retain talent.

Thirdly, the rise of employee activism is a significant challenge. Social media and anonymous review platforms empower employees to voice concerns. Businesses need transparency and responsiveness to prevent issues from escalating and damaging their employer brand.

Finally, there’s the “boomerang effect.” While some employees left for other opportunities, some might consider returning to their former employers. However, simply returning isn’t enough. Businesses need to address the reasons for their departure in the first place. This might involve offering improved compensation packages, career development opportunities, or a more positive work environment to entice former employees back.

At ANC Global- for example-  we have helped clients conduct employee surveys, develop trust-building strategies, design communication plans, benchmark industry standards, and implement programs to foster employee engagement and create a positive work culture. By acknowledging the lingering effects of the Great Resignation and taking proactive steps, businesses can position themselves as attractive employers in the competitive talent landscape.

While the initial wave may have subsided, the underlying issues remain. Businesses need to prioritize building a positive employer brand that reflects their commitment to employee well-being, diversity, and inclusion. (Read ANC Global’s Employee Mental Health and Psychological Safety (EMHPS) Matrix)

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ANC Global Talent Management Solutions

Learn more about how we can help you build a 'Sustainable Talent Pipeline'

ANC Global DEI Solutions

Learn more about how we can help you attract and retain 'Top Talent' with our DEI Solutions

ANC Global Leadership & Capability Development Solutions

Learn more about how we can help you build leaders ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow!
Gen Z

ANC Global Gen Z

Learn more on how we can offer guidance on 'Understanding & Managing' Gen Z Talent to make full use of their Potential!
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ANC Global Employee Mental Health and Psychological Safety (EMHPS) Matrix

Learn more on how we can offer guidance on to address mental, physical, and psychological health issues faced by employees in the workplace

Why Your Business Needs a Sustainable Talent Pipeline (and How to Build One in 2024)

As we’ve been discussing, the year 2024 presents a harsh reality for businesses: a looming talent crisis. The aftershocks of the “Great Resignation” are still evident, with employees prioritizing work-life balance, meaningful careers, and strong company culture. Attracting and retaining top talent has become a fierce competition. Remember Sarah, the brilliant software engineer who left your company for a competitor offering a better work-life balance and opportunities for professional development? Stories like Sarah’s are becoming all too common.

What is a Talent Pipeline?

Think of a talent pipeline as a wellspring of qualified candidates, continuously flowing into your organization. It’s a proactive approach that goes beyond the reactive scramble to fill open positions. Imagine a scenario where you have a readily available pool of individuals – pre-vetted for cultural fit and possessing the necessary skills – waiting in the wings for opportunities. This proactive approach starts with attracting potential candidates. You can engage them through employer branding initiatives, a vibrant social media presence, and participation in industry events that showcase your company’s values and commitment to innovation.

Why you Need a Sustainable Talent Pipeline?


The benefits of a robust talent pipeline extend far beyond simply filling open positions:

  • Cost Savings: By having a pre-qualified pool of candidates, you can streamline your hiring process, reducing advertising expenses and the time it takes to fill open positions. This translates to significant cost savings, allowing you to reinvest those resources into further developing your talent pipeline or enhancing employee well-being initiatives.

  • Employee Engagement and Retention: A well-managed talent pipeline fosters a culture that values employee well-being and development. This, in turn, leads to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates. Engaged employees are not only more productive and innovative, but they also act as brand ambassadors for your company. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews can become powerful recruitment tools.

  • Leadership Development: A sustainable talent pipeline isn’t just about attracting new talent; it’s also about cultivating future leaders from within. Your pipeline allows you to proactively identify high-potential candidates who align with your company culture and possess the skills needed for future growth. This ensures you have a steady stream of qualified individuals ready to contribute to your strategic goals.

  • Innovation: Diversity of thought and experience breeds innovation. A talent pipeline that attracts individuals from various backgrounds and skillsets fosters a culture of creative problem-solving. This empowers your workforce to tackle complex challenges from different angles, leading to the development of groundbreaking solutions and services that keep you ahead of the competition.

  • Employer Branding: In today’s market, where employee experience is paramount, your employer brand is crucial. By showcasing your commitment to employee well-being and development through your talent pipeline practices, you attract top talent and stand out in the competitive landscape. This creates a virtuous cycle – a strong employer brand attracts top talent, which in turn strengthens your brand even further, leading to a sustainable competitive advantage.

By implementing these strategies and fostering a culture that prioritizes employee experience and growth, you can build a sustainable talent pipeline that attracts, develops, and retains the top talent needed for your organization to thrive.

The question then becomes: what do we do now? how do we really build this pipeline?

How to Build a Sustainable Talent Pipeline


Building a sustainable talent pipeline in 2024 requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some key strategies to consider from our experience on the ‘How’ of Talent Pipeline Building:

  • Craft an Employer Brand for the Modern Workforce: Showcase your company culture through engaging social media content, positive employee testimonials, and highlighting your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. Remember, just like you’re competing in the for consumers or customers market, you’re competing in the labour market. You need to convince them that you’re worth it. And no, your brand name is no longer enough (I’m looking at you Fortune 500 organizations). 

  • Prioritize Employee Experience: Invest in comprehensive benefits packages that cater to work-life balance needs, offer personalized development opportunities through training programs and mentorship initiatives, and actively solicit employee feedback to address concerns and improve the work environment. (Read our Employee Engagement and Culture Solutions)

  • Embrace Upskilling and Reskilling Programs: The skills gap is a constant challenge. Address it by providing in-house training, online learning resources, and opportunities for external certification to equip your workforce with the skills needed for future roles.

  • Leverage Technology: Utilize online recruitment platforms, applicant tracking systems (ATS), and social media recruiting tools to reach a wider pool of talent and streamline the candidate journey from initial contact to onboarding. Here your trusty best friend AI also features. AI is revolutionizing recruitment ensuring you’re not missing out on the top talent.

  • Embrace the Power of Employee Referrals: Your current employees are your strongest brand ambassadors. Encourage employee referral programs with attractive incentives to leverage their existing networks and attract qualified candidates who are already familiar with your company culture.

  • Go Beyond Traditional Sourcing: Look beyond universities and traditional job boards. Explore talent communities, industry events, and professional networking platforms to connect with niche skillsets and diverse candidates who might not be actively searching for new positions but could be a valuable addition to your talent pool.

How ANC Global can help:

Consultants such as ANC Global can be valuable assets in developing and managing a sustainable talent pipeline. They can offer expertise in areas such as workforce analytics, where they can analyze data to identify skill gaps, diversity metrics, and areas for improvement within your talent pipeline.