Recruiting and sourcing pipelines are often overlooked, yet essential, for companies looking to find and hire the best talent. These pipelines involve a series of intentional steps designed to attract, engage, and evaluate candidates, with the ultimate goal of identifying the best fit for a given position. This is something you should work on BEFORE you have a need, in anticipation of future openings.

1. Define your hiring needs and target audience.
The first step in building a recruiting and sourcing pipeline is to define your current and future hiring needs and target audience. This involves understanding the skills, experience, and traits you’re looking for in a candidate, as well as the demographics of your target audience. You should also consider the type of position and/or job family you’re hiring for, as well as your company’s culture and values (which is why employer branding is so important!).

2. Develop a multi-channel sourcing strategy.
This involves identifying the channels and platforms where you’re most likely to find the right candidates. This could include job boards, social media platforms, employee referrals, layoff lists (see #7 below), past applicants, talent communities and professional networks. By using multiple channels, you can cast a wider net and reach a larger pool of candidates. Insider tip – I’ve always had recruiter friends and we often share candidates (with permission), typically in a once a week recruiter network meeting.

3. Create compelling job descriptions and employer branding.
Yep. I’m going to mention it again. Employer branding is so important in the recruitment process! You don’t want to attract just any candidate – you want to attract the right candidate who will thrive at your company. This involves highlighting the unique aspects of company culture, as well as the benefits and opportunities available to employees. You should also focus on crafting job descriptions that are clear, concise, and accurately reflect the skills and experience you’re looking for. Insider tip – The first two sentences of your job description are considered critical space. A powerful intro to the job and company will go a long way!

4. Engage with candidates through multiple touch points.
Successful recruitment never comes from a “one-and-done” strategy. You need to engage with your candidates on numerous occasions and through a variety of channels. Your strategy might include email campaigns, drip campaigns (GEM is a great tool), social media, and your cell phone (don’t be afraid to text candidates). Arranging a video chat is a great way to personalize the recruitment process. By maintaining a consistent presence and keeping candidates engaged, you can build stronger relationships and increase the likelihood of finding the right fit. Insider tip – Don’t discount those candidates who have been rejected in the past. They can be a great source of referrals, but only if they have a good candidate experience.

5. Store candidate data in a centralized system.
Throughout the recruiting and sourcing process, you’ll be collecting a lot of data about potential candidates. To effectively manage this data, it’s important to store it in a centralized system. This could be a recruitment software system, an applicant tracking system (ATS), or a customer relationship management (CRM) system. By storing candidate data in a centralized system, you can easily access and analyze it, which can help you make more informed hiring decisions. I know this seems simple, but so many of our clients do not store this data and it is critical to future success. You can even create your own system using Google Sheets and Docs. It’s better than having nothing!

Recruitment software systems like Lever, Greenhouse, and Workable are designed specifically for managing recruiting pipelines and can store candidate data in one place. Applicant tracking systems, like JazzHR, Breezy HR, and Jobvite, can also be used to store candidate data and track progress through to hire. Customer relationship management systems, like Salesforce or GEM, can also be repurposed to store candidate data and manage relationships throughout the hiring process.

6. Use data to optimize your pipeline.
It’s important to use data to optimize your recruiting and sourcing pipeline. By analyzing key metrics, such as time to hire, cost per hire, and candidate quality, you can identify areas in need of improvement and make data-driven decisions about pipeline. This might involve tweaking your sourcing strategy, adjusting your job descriptions, or refining your engagement tactics. Insider tip – Measure the best source of hire, look at entry points to your career site, and hawk the career site analytics! Fish in the candidate pools that work the best!

7. Utilize other company layoff lists.
With all the layoffs, especially in tech, companies are creating and sharing layoff lists. Utilizing layoff list can help you quickly fill open positions during a busy time and reduce the time and cost associated with recruiting and sourcing. You can find lists in several places, including It’s important to keep in touch with these potential candidates. Create an email campaign and add people to specific job families and market to them about your organization. Recruiters should connect with potential fits on LinkedIn and provide them with links to jobs and other resources.

I have spent my entire career in talent acquisition and am happy to share these tips and tricks that I’ve learned. By following these key steps and leveraging the right tools, you can build a more effective and efficient pipeline that helps you find and hire the best talent for your organization, especially in the long run.