In my previous blog, I covered the dearth of qualified candidates in today’s workforce. Which begs the question: what can savvy recruiters do to protect their organizations from the shortfall?

The answer — on paper, anyway — is simple: build a talent pipeline.

In reality, of course, it’s more complicated than that.

Let’s take a closer look at the concept of pipelining, along with what you can do to get yours full and flowing.

Defining Pipelining

Just-in-time recruiting expert David Szary proposes the following definition:

“A network of talented professionals (active and/or passive job seekers, pre-screened or not) that you regularly communicate with regarding opportunities with your organization. A pipeline of candidates, that when an opening comes up, you can immediately contact and engage in discussions about the opportunity and/or to network.”

In other words, pipelining is about maintaining a constant source of engaged, qualified candidates at all times — as opposed to waiting until an opening arises. In a perfect world, this keeps recruiters ahead of the game.

Understanding the Challenges

However, this is easier than it sounds. Today’s pipelining process is very different than in years past. Rather than moving freely through your talent funnel in a predictable manner, candidates can now jump in and out of the stream at various points of engagement.

Factor in the inherent dynamism of your pipeline due to attrition caused by active candidates accepting other jobs or losing interest in your organization (there’s that ‘candidate experience’ thing again!), and, the fact that passive candidates aren’t necessarily primed to move according to your timeline, and the challenges of pipelining become even more evident.

Best Practices for Pipelining

All of this is not to say maintaining a pipeline is impossible. However, it does require a vigilant and proactive approach, along with top-down buy-in. Hiring managers, external recruiting partners, and employees must all be aware of the importance of pipelining, along with the critical roles they each play in remaining on the lookout for top market performers, feeding the funnel, and keeping candidates engaged.

It’s also important to understand which of your efforts are working and which require corrective action. Do certain sources yield the best hiring conversion rates? Do others continually fall short? With access to more data than ever before, the trick lies in leveraging this information into actionable insights.

Integrating ongoing relationship management campaigns into your pipelining strategy is essential, and require three t’s: technology, tools and time. While an upfront commitment is a necessary part of the process, long-term payoffs await organizations willing to make the investment.

To know more about how WittyParrot can help HR professionals and recruiters automate and personalize candidate outreach watch the video below.

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