Recruiting is hard work, and it’s expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve compiled these expert tips to help you build a consistent recruiting pipeline that’s tailored to your company’s needs.
What is a recruiting pipeline, and why do I need one?
A pipeline is another name for how prospects enter and move through your recruitment process. It represents recruiting stages — from first hearing about your company to hiring and beyond.
Strong pipelines guide your candidates through the process, drawing in high-quality, interested prospects and turning them into long-term employees.
A consistent pipeline is the difference between reactive and proactive hiring. Instead of scrambling to pull together qualified candidates for each job opening, you can return to an established set of resources and prospects.
Recruiting pipelines help companies to:
- Speed up recruitment
- Increase candidate engagement
- Improve the quality of your prospects
- Minimise risk of employee turnover
- Ensure a steady flow of talent
Challenges to creating a robust pipeline
Pipelines may be crucial, but they can be hard to build and maintain. Here are three key roadblocks you should be aware of when building your pipeline:
Labour market competition
No matter the industry or skill level, the labour market is extremely competitive — especially in the UK. It’s difficult to secure talent when multiple companies are vying for the same candidates.
Increased labour market competition is fuelled, in part, by skills shortages. Companies often have openings with overlapping requirements, and so find themselves recruiting for the same skills profile. This makes onboarding difficult — if your process isn’t attractive, candidates can easily jump ship.
In today’s world of information overload, company brand awareness is hard to optimise. Whoever shouts the loudest often attracts the most attention, even when their offer isn’t the strongest. If your company doesn’t have a strong reputation and message that can cut through the noise, you’ll have fewer candidates entering your pipeline.
Tips for a stronger recruiting pipeline
Despite the challenges, a strong pipeline is worth the effort. We’ve identified the top seven strategies that can help you create a holistic recruiting plan and reap the benefits of a streamlined pipeline.
1. Send a consistent message
Before you begin your recruiting efforts, your company needs to define its brand around a strong message. This message will be the foundation of your pipeline efforts.
The key here is consistency. While this message can express various ideas (such as the unique culture or mission of your business), its meaning should stay the same in every interaction a prospect has with you.
2. Spice up your adverts
Job postings don’t need to be dull! Use social media, digital, and print ads in a variety of ways. Nowadays, people want to see work as an extension of their lifestyle. While posts should still express key job details, they should also be engaging and express your company culture.
Above all, you should carry your employer brand through your ads.
3. Get involved with the people around you
The community you’re based in can be a great resource for both branding and recruiting. Get involved in charity events and job fairs, host open days at your company… the possibilities are endless. Word of mouth and company reputation can have enormous positive impacts on your pipeline.
You should also invest in the happiness of your employees and encourage them to refer prospects. Referred candidates tend to be better-qualified and more likely to stay long term.
4. Have a communication strategy
Prepare a cohesive communication strategy in advance. This way, all of your communication will tie into your company message. Candidates should feel the same tone from you no matter the channel or platform.
Every email or call should create a positive interaction and feel personal. Communication should be quick — no one wants to feel neglected.
You should also stay in touch with all your contacts, not just current candidates. Keep them engaged with new content, or check in with them by phone or text once in a blue moon.
5. Manage your talent pool
Don’t let your talent pool lie stagnant. After all, contacts are the fuel of your recruiting pipeline.
Keep track of everyone who interacts with your company. An applicant tracking system (ATS) or contact relationship manager (CRM) can help to organise your database. Bracket people in your system and sort them by skills or qualifications — when a job opens up that might fit those people, you can easily reach out.
6. Look to the future
Make a workforce management plan for the long term. Your HR team should sit down with Operations, Finance and other hiring managers to see what roles you might need in the future, and what you can afford in both the near and far future. From there, you can shape your communication to reflect the long-term plan and keep prospects in mind for future openings.
7. Keep the human in Human Resources
HR should never be isolated in an ivory tower. Humans are your most valuable capital, and at its core, recruiting is about people.
When you engage with your candidates, you share a positive experience and show them that your company cares about them as individual human beings.
With these seven tips in your back pocket, you can ensure your recruitment efforts are successful long-term. A consistent strategy will draw the right calibre of prospects into your talent pool, and the right message will pull those candidates through your pipeline.