What is Candidate Pipeline?

Definition and examples of Candidate Pipeline
By Abhishek Kathpal Updated 16 August, 2022

High employee turnover rates and tight competition in the labour market require a shift from reactive to proactive approaches when hiring. As recruiters find innovative ways to solve recruitment problems before they arise, the candidate pipeline increases in importance as an effective strategy to bolster a company's workforce.

What is Candidate Pipeline

Candidate Pipeline meaning and definition

A candidate pipeline is a group of prospective job employees recruiters rely on to fill specific job roles. It is a shot at predicting future skill gaps and proactively finding solutions. This goes beyond documented names of potential candidates or an organized database of resumes. Its core principle is maintaining close communication to nurture an excellent company-prospect relationship, which is the main factor differentiating it from a resume database and a talent pool despite several similarities. Another noteworthy difference is that candidate pipelines are often for short-term and for positions that often require new hands.

Why Is a Candidate Pipeline Important?

Initially, building and maintaining a pipeline can be daunting, but the dividends afterwards are immense. Establishing a close-knit relationship with candidates stimulates their readiness, keeping their interest in your company high. This is especially important for high in-demand skills in the job market as companies maintain close ties with prospects and remain at the top of candidates' priority lists.

More than simply wrapping up the hiring process faster, keeping in touch with prospects adds credibility to your company as one that provides the best hiring experience. Many candidates complain of a terrible hiring experience having to go through stages in the recruitment funnel before finally landing a job, or worse still, facing rejection. Staying ahead of the game by providing a warm experience during hiring might just be the trick to building your company's brand name and attracting the best talent.

The more candidates, the higher the chances of quality recruitment. Engaging more candidates and broadening the candidate pipeline opens the door for recruiters to hire the best hands, increasing workforce quality and overall company productivity.

How Do You Build a Candidate Pipeline?

Regardless of how many CVs or resumes it holds, an applicant-tracking system ATS is an ideal place to source candidates to be included in a pipeline. Browse through your ATS and organize resumes according to role type or qualification.

To build a promising pipeline, recruiters should look beyond their existing database of applicants and keep in touch with professional associations where they can connect with more prospects. In such associations, recruiters are assured of quality job seekers and can communicate with them at once during job fairs, seminars, info sessions, and other activities. Apart from professional associations, the internal labor force, schools, job portals, and referrals are good sources of potential candidates recruiters must consider.

After organizing a list of contacts, companies must come up with ways to establish a connection. The idea is to provide them with relevant information through cost-effective means such as emails, newsletters, or mass texts. Besides getting information on relevant openings in your company, candidates want to stay alert by getting essential info like company news. However, care must be taken to avoid flooding their inbox with tons of messages.

Tips to Improve the Candidate Pipeline Process

The perfect candidate does not exist. Despite drawing up a candidate persona to profile the "ideal candidate," recruiters must understand that it is unrealistic to find a match. It is, however, essential to be clear on what qualifications are must-haves and those that are bonuses.

Under-promising and over-delivering are better when communicating with prospects on potential job openings rather than dragging them along unnecessarily. Even though job seekers like to have opportunities as early as possible, avoid making promises on how soon there will be vacancies.

It is better to start sooner rather than later when it comes to investing in your pipeline. The more recruiters waste time in building a candidate pipeline, the more qualified candidates escape their grasp. As a result, companies risk losing out to the competition when they let talented people go out of their reach as they are likely to work with other players in the industry.

How Do You Maintain a Candidate Pipeline?

Maintaining a promising pipeline entails consistent practices to keep up with competitors. Personalizing updates on job postings for each candidate makes them feel appreciated and valued by the company, resulting in possible referrals to others. Companies should also maintain a solid social media presence to engage with candidates, know what interests them at a given period, and keep up with trends. Using various methods like search engines and job boards to outsource for candidates helps recruiters cast a wider net to capture more talents and keep an updated database. Recruiters, to maintain quality, must screen resumes carefully as well as stay in touch with candidates who were interviewed but not hired.

About the Author

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder at Longlist.io. Funded by US based OnDeck, Longlist is currently enabling 50+ businesses to increase their candidate and client reach outs, automating the workflow across stages.

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