Pipeline Recruitment Explained in Simple Terms | VP Team

Find out how Pipeline Recruitment can create a process that attracts quality talent for your business 

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FAQ Block

1. What does ‘pipeline’ mean in recruiting?

In recruiting, the term "pipeline" refers to the pool of candidates that a company is actively recruiting from. This pool can be made up of candidates who have already been interviewed and are being considered for a role, or it can be a group of candidates who have been identified as potential future hires.

The purpose of maintaining a pipeline is to have a ready pool of qualified candidates to choose from when a new position opens up. This can help to speed up the hiring process and ensure that only the best candidates are being considered for each role.

Building and maintaining a strong pipeline is an essential part of any successful recruiting strategy. If you're looking to improve your recruiting process, make sure to invest time in developing a strong pipeline of candidates.

2. How to create and maintain a recruitment pipeline

Creating and maintaining a recruitment pipeline can be a challenge, but it is essential to the success of any organization. It starts with identifying your recruitment goals so you can measure your success. Then you want to create a process for sourcing passive candidates, either from recruitment marketing, social media, job boards, and/or referrals. 

Next, you want to make sure you’re investing enough resource into recruitment marketing. An optimized marketing strategy that works alongside your ATS can attract some of the best talent you can find. Lastly, you’ll want to measure, track and improve the performance of each stage of your recruitment pipeline so you can continue to meet the goals you set at the beginning.

3. Why is a recruitment pipeline important?

Recruitment pipelines are important for a number of reasons. They help employers to keep track of candidates, manage the recruitment process, and identify potential talent. Pipelines also help to identify skills gaps within an organization and can be used to target specific recruiting efforts. In short, recruitment pipelines are a powerful tool that can help organizations to improve their recruiting efforts and hire the best candidates.

What Pipeline Recruitment Means for You and Your Business

The goal of any recruitment strategy is to source and hire the best candidates for the open positions within a company. But for product IT companies, the process of recruiting top talent can be even more challenging. That's because the skillset required for many positions in product IT is in high demand and can be difficult to find.

To meet the demands of these positions, product IT companies rely heavily on pipeline recruitment. Pipeline recruitment is a strategy that involves continuously sourcing and hiring candidates, even when there are no immediate openings. By building a talent pipeline, companies can be prepared to quickly hire when a position becomes available.

The term “pipeline recruitment” is one that you may have heard before, but what does it actually mean? Pipeline recruitment is the process of building a talent pipeline for your company. This means creating a database of potential candidates that you can contact when you have an open position.

If you’re thinking of implementing pipeline recruitment at your company, read on to learn more about what it means for you and your business.

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What Is Pipeline Recruitment?

Pipeline recruitment is a type of recruiting that involves creating a talent pipeline of potential candidates for future openings. This proactive approach to recruiting helps companies fill open positions more quickly and efficiently.

Pipeline recruitment can be done in-house or by using a staffing agency. In-house pipeline recruitment is often done by human resources departments, while staffing agencies usually have a team of recruiters dedicated to pipeline recruitment. 

There are several benefits of pipeline recruitment, including:

  • Reduced time to fill
  • Increased candidate quality
  • Improved candidate experience

What does your average recruitment pipeline look like?

The average recruitment pipeline generally consists of a number of steps, from initial contact with potential candidates to extending job offers. Here is a brief overview of the typical recruitment process:

1. Initial contact

This is the first step in pipeline recruitment, where you reach out to potential candidates and introduce them to your company. This can be done through various channels, such as job boards, social media, or employee referral programs.

2. Screening

Once you have a pool of potential candidates, the next step is to screen them to see if they are a good fit for the position. This usually involves conducting phone or video interviews, as well as reviewing resumes and other application materials.

3. Interviews

If a candidate passes the screening process, the next step is to invite them for an in-person interview. Product IT companies most commonly have a 3-stage interview process consisting of; first-meet, test-phase, and final vibe/culture check. However, you can decide to have more or fewer stages depending on how you like to structure your recruitment pipeline.


Once a candidate has passed the interviews, the company gives them the offer, either via phone and/or email. It’s at this point the control lies in the candidates’ hands, either accepting or rejecting the offer.


As it says on the tin, this stage wraps up the recruitment pipeline after the candidate has accepted the offer. They join the company and complete their journey in the recruitment pipeline.

Pipeline recruitment is an essential tool for companies that want to be prepared for the future and be able to fill open positions quickly.

What Are The Benefits of Pipeline Recruitment

The primary benefit of pipeline recruitment is that it allows companies to be more proactive in their hiring. By building a pipeline of potential candidates, companies can reach out to candidates before they are actively searching for a new job. This gives companies a better chance of recruiting top talent before their competitors do.

Other important benefits of pipeline recruitment include:

Saves you time and money (reduces time to hire)

Pipeline recruitment is a practice that can save you time and money in the long run. By building a talent pipeline of potential candidates, you can have a pool of qualified applicants to draw from when a position opens up. This can speed up your time to hire and ensure that you are able to find the best fit for the job in record time.

Gives you access to the most talented candidates

Optimizing each stage of your recruitment pipeline for attracting candidates can give you access to the most talented candidates. In the best case, you can automate this process with tactics such as an automated social media strategy or a referral/feedback email sequence sent to candidates further down the pipeline.

Recruitment marketing strategies are a great way to passively attract candidates who naturally resonate with your brand. Plus, if they enter your pipeline via engagement with your social media channels, they’ll already be familiar with your brand and culture.

Providing a positive recruitment experience for all candidates in your recruitment pipeline improves employee satisfaction and increases the chances of new hires referring their equally talented friends and ex-colleagues. 

Provides a steady supply of candidates

Many product IT companies will decide to stop sourcing candidates after they’ve started screening and interviews because they believe; “one of these has got to be the right fit”.  But you’d be surprised.

A good rule of thumb is to continue sourcing candidates for a role until you’ve officially hired someone suitable. Because if you don’t, it’ll feel like starting from scratch and slow your whole recruitment process down. This is why a recruitment pipeline is a great tool to streamline a steady supply of candidates. It keeps everything in check and makes sure there are no blockages to slow things down.

Easier to track what’s working (and what’s not)

Dividing your recruiting process into a recruitment pipeline means you get to see a holistic view of all the potential candidates. Then you can start being analytical about which stages are working best and which are not. For example, if you only have 10 candidates in the interview stage, out of the 60 in the previous screening stage, you need to ask yourself, “is there a problem with my candidate outreach? Because the quality of candidates is low”.

There are an array of reasons why one stage is less streamlined than the others but if you can identify the problem and apply a solution as fast as possible, it will save you time and money moving forward. 

Improves employee & candidate satisfaction

Noting down interesting points from conversations with candidates in each stage of your recruitment pipeline is a great way to provide a more personalized experience to future candidates. These types of insights can help candidates feel more value and connection, which in turn will make them more eager to work for you.

Plus, even if the specific candidate who’s eager to work for you doesn’t get hired, you can maintain a strong client-to-candidate relationship that may benefit you in the future (e.g. referrals or a future hire). You never know!

How To Create a Recruitment Pipeline

There are a few different ways to build a pipeline. You can search for candidates yourself, or you can use a recruitment agency. You can also reach out to your network of contacts and ask them for referrals. However, if you’re looking to create a recruitment pipeline yourself, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to do so.

1. Identify and align your hiring goals

Almost all businesses have long-term hiring goals, which recruiters can use to create an efficient reruitment pipeline. Why? Because goals provide KPIs (key performance indicators). Recruiters can use KPIs to monitor their progress and see how succesful their recruitment pipeline is. For example, ‘hiring a certain number of candidates’ or ‘hiring specific level positions in the next quarter’ are great goals for a recruiter to aim for.

2. Create a process for sourcing passive candidates

There are a number of ways you can do this and the best types of processes allow each one to work in tandem, filtering through to benefit each other. And it starts with your employer branding. Work with your creative team to express branding that attracts and excites candidates who fit your company culture (and who are in pre-sourcing). If you do this, then your marketing team will be forever grateful as it removes any friction when candidates land on your site.

Next, we have your recruitment marketing. A great tactic you can use alongside your marketing team is to use the search functionality in your ATS to find candidates who match the job and use this list to create targeted marketing campaigns based on this high-quality audience. Facebook can then find similar people to advertise to (saving time and money). Share this blog post with your marketing team if you don’t understand it enough yet to action. They’ll know what to do.

3. Invest in recruitment marketing

I know we mentioned recruitment marketing already but there’s more to it than cheeky tactics. Especially when a large proportion of millennials are finding jobs on social media. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, 73% of millennial job seekers found their last job on social media, rather than through more traditional means.

Investing your time and money into; finding your best-performing channels, finding where your candidates hang out, automating the screening process using an ATS, and qualifying or disqualifying candidates according to keywords or attributes - will ignite the performance of your passive sourcing efforts ten-fold.

4. Measure, track and improve the performance of each stage

Always remember, your recruitment pipeline is iterative. Be prepared to add or remove stages depending on the role, your process, or your candidates’ needs. Track the time of each stage to plug any gaps, break them up or shorten them. Because some candidates may get stuck in a stage for whatever reason and you can keep them moving by finding out why they’re stuck in the mud. 

Some companies will perform regular pipeline reports, sometimes even weekly, to collate all the pipeline information for a specific role. Then they can do a more in-depth analysis of what’s working and use insights to iteratively improve on a regular basis. This stage of pipeline creation is one of the most important as it will help you to continuously improve the performance of your entire recruiting process.

To Wrap Things Up

Pipeline recruitment is a great way to find top talent for your company. It allows you to align your recruiting goals, automate your passive sourcing processes, streamline your recruitment team, provide the best candidate experience, and continue to improve your recruitment strategy by measuring and tracking each stage of the pipeline. It’s a no-brainer in our eyes.

At our agency, we have a strong track record of successful placements with product IT companies. If you're looking for a recruitment agency that can help you find the best candidates for your open positions, please get in touch. We would be happy to discuss your needs and see how we can help.