The Recruiting Game: How to Build a Strong Recruiting Pipeline

Recruiting is a complex and ever-changing game. As the workforce continues to evolve, so too does the way that organizations go about finding and hiring top talent. Today’s hiring managers, recruiters, executives, and HR professionals need to be equipped with the right tools and strategies to build a strong recruiting pipeline.

During this podcast episode, we’ll discuss the key elements of a successful recruiting pipeline and provide actionable tips for building and maintaining one. Whether you’re a hiring manager, recruiter, executive, candidate, or HR professional, this post will help you stay ahead of the game and build a strong talent acquisition strategy.

What is a Recruiting Pipeline?

A recruiting pipeline is a structured process that organizations use to identify, attract, engage, and hire top talent. It’s a proactive approach to talent acquisition that involves building relationships with candidates over time, rather than waiting for open positions to become available.

A strong recruiting pipeline includes a diverse pool of qualified candidates who are interested in working for your organization. It allows you to quickly fill open positions with the best possible talent, reducing the time-to-hire and improving the quality of your hires.

Key Elements of a Successful Recruiting Pipeline

To build a strong recruiting pipeline, you need to focus on four key elements: sourcing, engagement, assessment, and hiring.


Sourcing involves identifying and attracting potential candidates to your organization. There are many different sourcing channels available, including job boards, social media, employee referrals, and career fairs. To build a strong recruiting pipeline, you need to use a combination of these channels to reach a diverse pool of candidates.

One of the most effective sourcing strategies is employee referrals. According to a study by LinkedIn, employee referrals are the top source of quality hires for organizations. Encourage your employees to refer their friends and colleagues to your organization by offering incentives and rewards for successful referrals.


Engagement involves building relationships with potential candidates to keep them interested in your organization. This can be done through various channels, including email, social media, and in-person events. The goal is to keep candidates engaged with your organization and excited about potential job opportunities.

One effective engagement strategy is to create a talent community. A talent community is a group of potential candidates who have expressed interest in your organization but are not yet ready to apply for a job. By providing these candidates with relevant content and opportunities to connect with your organization, you can keep them engaged and build a strong talent pool for future hiring needs.


Assessment involves evaluating potential candidates to determine their fit for your organization. This can be done through various methods, including resumes, interviews, skills assessments, and reference checks. The goal is to identify the most qualified candidates who are the best fit for your organization.

One effective assessment strategy is to use skills assessments. Skills assessments are tests that evaluate a candidate’s skills and knowledge in a particular area. They can be used to assess technical skills, soft skills, or a combination of both. By using skills assessments, you can ensure that you’re hiring candidates who have the right skills and knowledge for the job.


Hiring involves making job offers and onboarding new employees. This is the final step in the recruiting pipeline and involves ensuring that new employees are set up for success in their new roles.

One effective hiring strategy is to provide a positive candidate experience. The candidate experience refers to the overall experience that a candidate has during the recruiting process. By providing a positive candidate experience, you can improve your employer brand and attract top talent to your organization.

Actionable Tips for Building a Strong Recruiting Pipeline

Now that we’ve covered the key elements of a successful recruiting pipeline, let’s dive into some actionable tips for building and maintaining one.

Create a Comprehensive Talent Acquisition Strategy

To build a strong recruiting pipeline, you need to have a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy in place. This strategy should outline the specific steps you will take to identify, attract, engage, assess, and hire top talent. It should also include specific metrics to measure the success of your recruiting efforts.

Your talent acquisition strategy should be aligned with your overall business goals and should take into account the specific needs of your organization. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions and hiring trends.

Use Data to Drive Recruiting Decisions

Data can be a powerful tool for improving your recruiting efforts. By tracking metrics like time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and candidate conversion rates, you can identify areas where you need to improve and make data-driven decisions to optimize your recruiting pipeline.

One effective way to use data in recruiting is to implement an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS is a software application that allows you to track and manage your recruiting pipeline. It can help you automate many of the manual tasks involved in recruiting, such as posting job openings, screening resumes, and scheduling interviews.

Leverage Technology to Improve Recruiting Efficiency

Technology can be a valuable tool for improving recruiting efficiency. For example, video interviews can help you streamline the interview process and reduce the time-to-hire. AI-powered tools can help you screen resumes more efficiently and identify the most qualified candidates for the job.

Another technology that is rapidly gaining popularity in recruiting is chatbots. Chatbots are software applications that can simulate human conversation through text or voice commands. They can be used to answer candidate questions, schedule interviews, and provide updates on the recruiting process.

Build and Maintain Relationships with Candidates

Building and maintaining relationships with candidates is key to building a strong recruiting pipeline. This involves engaging with candidates throughout the recruiting process, providing them with relevant information about your organization and job opportunities, and keeping them informed about the status of their application.

One effective way to build relationships with candidates is through personalized communication. This can include customized emails, text messages, and social media interactions that are tailored to the specific needs and interests of each candidate.

Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion should be a key focus of your recruiting efforts. A diverse workforce can bring different perspectives and experiences to your organization, leading to greater creativity, innovation, and productivity.

To ensure that your recruiting pipeline is diverse and inclusive, you need to take specific steps to attract candidates from underrepresented groups. This can include posting job openings on diversity job boards, participating in diversity career fairs, and using inclusive language in your job descriptions.

Measure and Refine Your Recruiting Pipeline

Finally, it’s important to continually measure and refine your recruiting pipeline to ensure that it is meeting the needs of your organization. This involves tracking key metrics like time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and candidate conversion rates, and making adjustments to your strategy as needed.

By continually refining your recruiting pipeline, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your recruiting efforts, attract top talent to your organization, and build a strong talent acquisition strategy that can help your organization achieve its goals.