5 Tips for Building Bigger Pipelines

Whether you are a solo recruiter, or a sourcing specialist on a recruiting team, pipelining can be extremely valuable to the quick recruitment of passive candidates for future requisitions.

Here are five key components to pipelining:

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  1. Ongoing company name generation: Build a list of companies. For some professionals, certain competitor companies are off limits. While this can be a hurdle, a successful strategy will focus on looking for more competitor names every day just as you would look for more people from the companies you already have on your “green” list. Dedicate yourself to finding a minimum of 2-3 new companies to add daily. Share the list either on an internal system or online collaboration tool like Google Docs (soon to become Google Drive) or Stixy (a very cool tool for recruiters on a $0 budget).
  2. Ongoing people generation: Build a list of people. Spreadsheets should be set up to have all the fields that would be easily sortable (i.e. Name, Title, Company, Location, Source, Contact Information, and Notes). Sort your list and collaboration lists by company and name, and look for new people. Sort by company and title to be sure you are capturing all the people with a specific skill set from target companies.
  3. Cross referencing: Cross-reference your personal pipeline with your ATS or other system as you’ll save time in the long run. People you find on a social media site might have applied five years ago, and their personal email address may still be valid. Also, if they interviewed and didn’t do well, you might not want to spend time trying to recruit them again for a similar role for the same hiring manager.
  4. Targeted lists of resources: A great resource list for targeted resources includes LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Jigsaw (which is Data.com and owned by Salesforce) for just about any search. They are proven resources for “scraping names” up front.
  5. Generating contact information: A best practice can include splitting up tasks #2, #3 and #5 from this list and dedicating sourcing time to each specific task. For example, spend two hours doing people generation, the next day spend two hours cross-referencing, and with remaining time, focus on finding contact information for the targeted candidates.

Ryan Phillips is a technical writer & sourcing researcher at AIRS. She lives in Helena, Montana. Joining AIRS in 2010, she transitioned to the role from the internal recruiting team at The RightThing. Phillips began her recruiting career working for a technical recruitment staffing firm in the Silicon Valley, where she recruited for IT, Engineering, Marketing, and Accounting. She later moved into the RPO field, where she did mainly niche engineering recruitment for Microsoft. She works on curriculum development for all AIRS courses, including the industry-leading AIRS Certification classes. She also continues to consult with RPO clients on their social media branding strategies, as well as support the internal RightThing sourcing team to develop client specific sourcing strategies.


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