How to build a robust recruiting pipeline

Building a Robust Recruiting Pipeline: Trends, Challenges and Solutions

4 Ways to Nurture a Solid Candidate Pipeline

Recruiting can be unpredictable, with even the most seasoned recruiting professionals experiencing peaks and valleys trying to hire top talent. And when it comes to the scarcity of tech talent, it can be a real challenge to build and maintain a robust recruiting pipeline of great candidates. Here are some of the most common challenges recruiters face:

Tech Recruiters and Candidates Alike Feel the Competition

Candidates that are in highest demand receive at least one communication a day for a new job (usually many more!), and recruiters – in an effort to source quickly – can get stuck in the rut of sending out dozens of messages a day to prospective candidates with copy-and-paste messages that feel spammy. This pattern does no one any good, and can actually harm your company brand.

When you spend most of your time on high-volume sourcing, you’re not focused on the most value-added part of your job: evaluating, relationship-building and closing. And you might actually be turning off great candidates.

It’s Easy to Miss the Big Picture

In the old days, hiring managers focused on whether or not a candidate had the specific skill sets they were looking for. You could do a search on key attributes like Java programming or Ruby on Rails to gauge the fit and drill down after making contact.

By focusing too much on empirical skills, recruiters can easily miss the big picture. What is the progression of each candidate through his or her career, and what are they looking for now? How do your candidates’ values compare to your company’s values and culture?  If recruiters only focus on keywords on a resume, it’s likely they’ll pass up some great candidates.

Conversions Can Fall Short and Hurt Recruiting Pipeline Success

A pipeline is only as good as the quality of the candidates in it, and the best measure recruiters can rely on is how many actually convert into a new hire. The more consistent your conversion rates, the easier it is to predict your hires and meet your goals. But when conversions fall short of expectations, a common reaction is to scramble instead of identifying and targeting the area that needs to be improved.

Compensation Conversations Require Confidence

Many recruiters also find it hard to discuss and negotiate salaries properly. Leaving any mention of salary expectations to the end of the recruiting process is risky. Often a lack of visibility into real hiring data contributes to a lengthy, adversarial and unpredictable closing game. Candidates look to recruiters for honesty and transparency around this very important aspect of a job offer.

How to Build a High-performance Recruiting Pipeline

So how do recruiters overcome these challenges and become masters of the pipeline? The solution can be broken down into a few tangible categories, with a focus on making your recruiting pipeline more predictable to ensure better results.

1. Hit the Ground Running with an Instant, Active Pool of Candidates

When you access candidates who are interested in finding a new job now, you’re able to get off to a fast start with people who likely have the same level of urgency as you. You’ll generate higher connect rates with the right candidates, see exactly what they’re looking for and the status of their searches. This kind of precision increases sourcing speed, lowers your time to fill, and helps you predict your pipeline better.

2. Drill Down on More than Just Attributes

There’s no doubt that skills and experience are vital to your searches. The more you know about each candidate on a personal and professional level, however, it’s easier to hone in on the right talent and matches.

Many profiles tell you what the candidate has done in the past, but more forward-looking profiles give you clear insights into:

  • what really drives and motivates each candidate,
  • the intent behind their searches and
  • where they are trying to go in their career.

It’s always good for you and your hiring manager to remember that you’re hiring a whole person, not a combination of keywords and skills.

3. Create a Positive Experience for Candidates

You know that candidate experience is critical to your success. Tech candidates are in high demand and require a personal touch to feel comfortable with their searches. Creating personalized messaging and connecting on a genuine one-to-one basis with your candidate, generates trust. It also increases your chances of closing the perfect fit for your organization.

Related: Improve Candidate Experience with Aligned Hiring Teams

4. Use Real-time Market Data to Speed Your Close

In this era of Big Data, companies must leverage the power of real-time data to improve business results. Wherever possible, use validated market data, so everyone gets full visibility into the hiring value of each position. This also gives full transparency into the process. Transparency improves your acceptance rates and contributes to the predictability of your pipeline.

With each of these efforts in a few tangible categories, you’ll be able to focus on making your recruiting pipeline more predictable and ensure better results.

Need a sourcing and hiring solution? Need to make progress with DEI goals? Get a customized demo for your specific business needs.

Originally published 2/28/2018, revised 4/18/2022