November 11, 2015

Building the Talent Pipeline: An Implementation Guide

This implementation guide builds on the foundation set forth in the 2014 white paper, Managing the Talent Pipeline: A New Approach to Closing the Skills Gap, which identified how employers could leverage lessons learned from supply chain management and apply them to their education and workforce partnerships. The strategies identified in the current guide expands on this work and shows how key practices in supply chain management can inform employer action in organizing and managing the talent pipeline.

The guide is divided into six strategies that employers can use to be more effective end-customers of education and workforce partnerships. While each strategy can be pursued independently as a best practice, the strategies are intended to be coordinated as a systemic supply chain approach. Implementing the strategies in the recommended order will optimize the benefits received by employers.

Many of the strategies can be implemented by an individual employer, though they are designed to be shared activities among a consortium of employers. Small to midsize businesses will find immediate benefits in coordinating their efforts, while larger employers will find economies of scale and market leverage when working in concert with other employers to close the skills gap.

Each strategy begins with a description and definition. From there, each is divided into three steps with two levels of practice: Getting Started and Advanced Practice. Because users may be starting with different experiences, the guide is designed as a roadmap to help users achieve a more advanced level of practice relative to their unique starting points.

The authors recommend that users follow the steps sequentially and focus their efforts first on moving through the Getting Started practices. However, users may customize their approach and engage at the Advanced Practice level based on their needs and abilities.

Throughout the guide are examples that exemplify best practices from the national learning network. Finally, the concluding chapter, “Putting It All Together,” demonstrates how each of the strategies combines to form an employer-led talent supply chain approach.