In recruiting, the terms’ talent pool’ and ‘talent pipeline’ are often used interchangeably, even though there is a difference between these two. A talent pool is a broader list of candidates with skills potentially relevant to your business that may include people suitable or unsuitable for your company. A talent pipeline is a narrowed-down list that includes people who have already shown active interest in joining your team and are currently in any relevant recruiting stages, from resume screening to job interviews. So, of course, a talent pipeline directly depends on a talent pool as its main building block, and it is important to carefully update and maintain both to ensure a smooth and effective recruiting process.
According to a study, it takes recruiters an average of 44 days to fill in an open vacancy — a timeframe not every business can afford in this competitive marketplace. Fortunately, a large enough talent pool, along with a streamlined recruiting pipeline, can minimize this time. Below, we will look at the top strategies that can help you build both — because even though the terms pool and pipeline are not exactly interchangeable, they are certainly interdependent.
Constantly assess your hiring needs
There is more than one way how to manage your recruiting pipeline, but it all starts with a careful assessment of your company’s needs. Here, it is important to understand that this is usually a continuous process, not a single-time action. As any company grows and evolves, so do its hiring needs. Here, a quality CRM can be of great help to automate some of the analysis efforts and get access to timely reporting. Of course, considering the abundant choice of CRMs, it’s not always easy to select the best option for your business needs. However, the top choices today include SalesForce, HubSpot, Monday, and FreshSales. Any of these systems can become a good addition to your recruiting efforts.
Amplify talent pool with the right tools
Quality CRMs can be very helpful in analyzing your hiring needs, creating forecasts, and managing candidates at different recruiting stages. But these tools, no matter how multi-functional, are not designed for increasing your talent pool. For this, you will need a professional contact finding tool, like SignalHire. The service has over 450 million verified professional contacts and a handy search that works individually (by name) and in bulk — by industry, company name, job title, and many other customizable parameters. So, it can be very useful not only for enlarging the overall talent pool but also for establishing contact with passive candidates, who, when properly engaged, can become extremely valuable assets for your business.
Do not ignore the power of social media
Social media is a powerful tool for attracting passive candidates through industry reports and other professional content. This step may seem like a part of the overall branding strategy, but there are recruiting and talent pool building motives, too. By promoting your company image, recruiters get a chance to attract more qualified talent to their existing teams. Besides, as they engage with other niche experts through posts, comments, and social shares, they can add experts’ contact details to the company’s existing contact database. SignalHire contact finder, for example, has a handy Chrome/Firefox extension that can pull contact data directly from social media sites — and not just from LinkedIn, but also GitHub, Facebook, and other social sites where qualified experts spend their time.
Make the most of employee referrals
Employee referrals are some of the best ways to ensure a faster hiring process. Besides, this strategy has another benefit — promoting fellowships within a team, which often results in more productivity. And, of course, this tactic saves quite a lot of time on pre-screening potential candidates.
On the other hand, employee referrals may result in nepotism, which is not something you want in a team. So, the trick is to implement straightforward, unprejudiced employee referral programs. The good news is that there is software to help with that, too. Some of the best tools to consider in this category include Hireology, workable, and Sense. And there is always LinkedIn, of course.
Still, just like with using CRMs and ATSs, the employee referral software can only automate half of the process. A lot will depend on your internal company policy, too. The best suggestion is to introduce a comprehensive reward system for referring experienced candidates. The system should be flexible enough to promote collaboration but unobtrusive enough to avoid stooping to the primitive ‘donkey and carrot’ approach.
Customize hiring for different candidates
This is another part where CRMs and a touch of creativity come in because you cannot treat candidates at different stages of a recruiting process in the same manner. The communication should be as personalized as possible, and even though recruiters can and should use semi-automated templates while communicating with different candidates, the successful hiring process still goes down to customizing your messages for different candidates.
In practice, this is often easier to achieve than it sounds. Most communication with candidates still happens over email, and you can use the same attention-grabbing tricks that work in email marketing. Start your messages with eye-catching subjects and snippets, and always keep the hiring stage in mind while addressing your prospects.
Make it proactive
Effective recruiting is about taking a proactive approach to candidate engagement — especially when passive candidates are concerned. The trick is to see recruiting as an ongoing, regular process — in other words, recruiters should always be recruiting. With active candidates, the most efforts apply to screening candidates. But with a streamlined recruiting pipeline, HR managers get a chance to engage passive, more valuable talents and explore different channels where the best human talent spend their time.
Proactive recruiting is a multi-layer process that involves a lot of steps — from constantly expanding your talent pool to promoting the company’s image across different social channels. And, like with everything else, the beginning can be a bit hard. But when the first organization steps have been established, it goes smoother and with less effort. This leads us to the last, but not the least, point on the pipeline-building list.
Onboarding is a must, too
Onboarding is the most underestimated stage of a recruiting pipeline. It may seem that after screening, interviewing, and hiring the most suitable candidate, the HR manager’s job is done. But it’s not; effective recruiting pipelines depend on your current employees — not just through referral programs but also through their social media activity and leisure time with peers. No business will ever stand a chance of promoting a good company image if its newcomers are left to their own devices. So, keep automating (CRMs will help here, too) and make sure every new employee is truly welcome on board.
These are some of the most effective tips for keeping your talent pool vast and your recruiting pipeline streamlined. Of course, many other strategies may prove equally effective — here, a lot depends on your industry niche and company specifics. But these steps should help you establish the backbone for your recruiting efforts — and later on, you can polish this process up and add more steps relevant to your industry specifics.