In simplest terms, a candidate pipeline is a set of partially vetted individuals who may be interested in filling a future opening. This term is used interchangeably with “talent pipeline.”
Employers typically establish a candidate pipeline strategy by identifying individuals whose skill-sets and background may make them a good fit for their organization, even if there is no urgent need for those candidates skills. Recruiters or human resources professionals then cultivate ongoing relationships with the prospective candidates to keep them warm in case a future opportunity arises as a result of a role being vacated or newly created. Individuals in the candidate pipeline may be internal, past co-workers the recruiter knows personally, referrals from other employees, LinkedIn finds based on relevant keywords, or even individuals scouted through industry publications and events.
A proactive recruiter will maintain a pool of several potential candidates for every mid and high level role in their organization, as these positions are typically more difficult and time-consuming to staff than entry level ones.
This relationship-centric approach hinges on clear communication between recruiters and candidates alike. The uncertainty of the timelines in play requires recruiters to be up front when setting expectations. Leading candidates in the pipeline to believe an opening is imminent when it is not will likely cause a lack of trust that affects the candidate satisfaction.
The benefits of building and maintaining a candidate pipeline framework are considerable, positively influencing both the efficiency of the hiring process and the long-term success of the person chosen for a role. By reducing the scramble that comes with reactive recruiting, talent pipelines allow organizations to increase candidate quality, engage passive candidates, focus on diversity initiatives, and rely less on serendipitous timing.
ConveyIQ’s talent management tools can improve your efficiency in building a pipeline by cutting down on the time spent on candidate outreach communication, improving how attractive your organization appears to prospective candidates, and allowing applicants to go through screenings and interviews on terms that are convenient for them. For guidance on choosing the right software to help you build your candidate pipeline from ConveyIQ’s array of candidate relationship tools.