Nothing is worst than claiming to be an expert recruiter or staffing partner in a specific field and having no network or pipeline to back that up. It really is embarrassing and the rest of us are just shaking our heads at you. When you or your company are selling yourself as a M2.2“leader in IT staffing” and your client request an application architect, you should be able to deliver that over night. If not, it is probably because your pipeline sucks. Or you are just trying to grow market share without actually having the product or service to deliver on fluffed promises. Either way, when it takes you 7 to 10 days to deliver your first mediocre candidate, it’s not a good look.

What is a pipeline? It’s a complex answer and solely depends on who you ask. Some agencies or corporations will tell you that a pipeline is a database full of candidates that you can call and at a moments notice those candidates will drop what they are doing and go to work for you right away! After all, they are in your super-duper one of a kind database. Now let’s move on through my sarcasm and talk about a real pipeline. A pipeline should be candidates that you have a relationship with that goes beyond a LinkedIn profile. These should be candidates that you have talked to or at least corresponded with via email or social tool.These could be candidates that your company or peers have a good relationships with and are accessible to you also. Most of your “pipeline” should be pre-identified and have been through part of your vetting process if not all of it.

M2.3For the sake of this demonstration, let’s say you have determined that you do not have a good pipeline, how do you fix this? First, you want to identify your top skill sets, or most repeatable ones. Second, you want to dedicate time in your day to connecting with professionals in those skill sets, even if you don’t have an open requisition. These are the people who you want to always be connecting with and engaging in meaningful conversation. You want to become a trusted resource, so that once a professionals decides to put themselves out in the job market, they reach out to you. Third, you want to start keeping track of these candidates in a database, ATS, CRM, Excel Sheet, or something similar. You will need to organize your pipelines by skill set and level (example: mid level java developers and senior level java developers). At any given time you want to have 25-40 people in your pipeline that are available or at least would want to hear about an opportunity from you (40-50 if you are recruiting non IT or engineering positions).How on earth will you manage that many contacts? With technology of course!  Which brings us to the fourth step, also know as: Follow-up. You will want to set reminders in your email or calendar client to follow-up with pipeline candidates. Leave good follow-up notes and dates in your ATS or CRM tool. Pay attention to LinkedIn updates and job changes. Make sure you engage and acknowledge those moments with you members of your pipeline. Lastly, you will want to network with your pipeline to further grow it. What better way to find Java Developers than through other qualified Java Developers.  #worksmarternotharder #RoztheRecruiter

If you have questions or comments about this topic, please email them to or tweet me @roztherecruiter