Hiring Pipeline: What is it & Creative Ways to Build and Nurture

Finding great talent has been somewhat easier during this COVID-19 pandemic in specific sectors, but it is still very competitive in others.

Forward-thinking HR and recruiting professionals should build a robust candidate pipeline, where they can quickly find the required talent.

To help you do that, in this article, we will be covering:

  • What is a recruitment pipeline?
  • Using a hiring pipeline to evaluate your recruitment process.
  • How to build a recruitment pipeline.
  • Benefits of using it.
  • How to nurture your hiring pipeline.

And more!

So let’s get started!

What is a recruiting pipeline?

The recruiting pipeline is your list of vetted candidates who have expressed a strong interest in your company or were runners up for one of your previous jobs or have shown a lot of potential in a phone screening or interview.

Some of the best recruiters are adept at building and maintaining a strong hiring pipeline.

Building a recruiting pipeline requires changing from on-demand hiring to continuous hiring. With this new mindset every time you talk to talent, you are thinking where they will fit in your organization.

You will start asking questions in your mind like:

  • Do we have a need for the candidate’s skills and experience now or in the future?
  • Does the candidate fit well with the culture of the company?
  • What type of roles will be ideal for the candidate?

This is a great way to reach out and build a personal relationship with passive candidates. As mentioned in this article, 73% of candidates are passive job seekers.

Hiring from the recruiting pipeline is fast, efficient, and leads to better hires.

Use a hiring pipeline to evaluate your recruitment process

A typical hiring process involves posting and publishing jobs, processing applications, shortlisting prospective candidates, rejecting candidates that are not a good fit. Additionally, it involves communicating with the various actors, building and maintaining your recruitment database leading up to the hire.

Essentially, it is highly time-consuming.

The important hiring metrics like time to fill is determined by how you can quickly reach as many applicants as possible, process the applications, and find the ultimate employee.

A strong candidate pipeline will cut short a lot of your recruitment steps and allow you to leverage the work you have already put in to screen and evaluate the candidate.

Recruiteze offers various features like tagging, filtering, email templates, and bulk emailing to help you build and nurture your hiring pipeline.

Recruiteze screenshot below shows how you can quickly filter your pipeline candidates to hire from the list or stay in touch with them.

Once you see the success of a strong candidate pipeline, you will make it a point to build a strong one.

It may not always be possible to hire someone from your hiring pipeline since your top candidates might also not be looking for change at that particular moment.

But suppose you compare the time to fill metrics between a normal process involving broadcasting jobs, processing and hiring the right candidate, and when hiring from the pipeline, you can notice a significant difference in the time to fill.

Here are some creative ways you can build a candidate pipeline:

Candidates applying from your website


If you have a well-designed career page with active jobs listed, and you have taken the time to create a screener questionnaire to capture the required information.

You will soon start getting profiles from great candidates who may not be a good fit for the applied job but can be a great fit for other jobs your company typically hires.

Experienced recruiters will not ignore these applicants but reach out to them, screen and evaluate them, and put them into the hiring pipeline by tagging and adding appropriate notes for future reference.

Referral Program


You can institute a referral program to encourage employees to refer their qualified friends or family. If you offer something reasonable for the referral leading to hiring, you will start receiving referrals.

If the referred candidate does not match an existing requirement, and their skills and experience might be a good fit for other jobs in the future, add them to the hiring pipeline.

Career Fairs


Attending career fairs is a great way to meet prospective employees. You can talk to them in an informal setting and understand their capabilities.

If you feel they may fit jobs that you might hire in the future, schedule another time to screen and evaluate them. Follow up screening will allow you to understand their skills and experience, to put them into the appropriate bucket in your hiring pipeline.

Also check: Campus recruiting

Virtual Job Fairs


You can also host virtual job fairs on scheduled days and times to encourage prospective candidates in an informal setting.

You can have a few of your employees attending the event to talk about the company, work, culture, and benefits. Having employees talking about the company can build a lot of trust and interest with the prospective candidates.

Start adding screened candidates with the potential to the candidate pipeline.

Sponsoring Meetups


Sponsoring any meetups relevant to your industry and jobs can also help you get in front of top candidates.

It is not very expensive to sponsor these meetups; it can be as simple as ordering pizza for a few people.



You can also start adding runner-ups for jobs that you hired to the candidate pipeline. Since you have already put all the effort to screen, interview, and evaluate them, these are prime candidates.

Press Releases & Announcements


Spread awareness of your company, business, and prospects by doing a press release for important events like landing a big contract, hiring a top executive, landing an investor, or any research or technical achievements.

Amplify these messages in social media and as many channels as possible. Being in the news will create interest in at least a few prospects who see the company’s potential.

Also read: Recruitment marketing

Benefits of a hiring pipeline

Time to fill


A strong candidate pipeline can significantly reduce your time to hire top employees. Since you will have vetted the candidates during the nurturing phase, it will considerably reduce the routing screening steps before hiring.

Reduce Hiring Costs


The average hiring cost is around $3000 per new hire. Hiring someone from the pipeline can significantly reduce the hiring costs.

Also check:

Hire Top Talent


The time you have spent nurturing the candidate can help you make a better hiring decision since you do not sift through hundreds of resumes and quickly decide on someone. Hiring from the pipeline can result in securing top talent.

Better Culture Fit


You can also determine if the pipeline candidate fits the company’s culture through the conversations, you will have while nurturing the talent. An employee who matches the company culture has a good chance that they will stay with the company longer. Every hire you make should be a long term hire.



Hiring properly vetted candidates for skills, experience, and culture fit can lead to long-term employee retention.

As mentioned in this article, retention is always better than hiring new employees. Retention is possible only if the employees are happy, which will result in significant time, cost, and training requirements.

Competitive advantage

Your organization will have a distinct advantage if it’s able to hire top talent very quickly. It can help you to fill critical roles quite fast.

Nurturing your hiring pipeline

Now that you know the various ways you can build your candidate pipeline and the resulting benefits, you will be curious to learn how to nurture the candidate pipeline.

You will need to be using modern online recruitment software like Recruiteze to help you keep in touch with the pipeline.

If you are using a recruitment spreadsheet to track your pipeline, that will not be as effective as using recruitment software.

If you are using legacy recruitment software, it is time to upgrade. Modern recruitment software is specifically designed to sort, filter, and communicate with a large number of candidates.

Recruiteze offers tasks and notifications, tagging, filtering, and search capabilities, which can help you quickly add a candidate to the hiring pipeline and stay in touch with them.

We’ve seen great results with the list of activities below:

Add Reminder Tasks


Set up reminders in the form of tasks and notifications to remind you to call or email the prospective candidate.

Personalized Communication


Make sure to record any personal conversations you have with your prospective candidate, like a hobby, childbirth, or vacation. When you contact the candidate next time, enquiring about these events can lead to a more personal relationship.

Email Newsletters/Announcements


Keep in touch with many candidates in the pipeline by sending out newsletters and announcements. Bulk emails are an excellent way to keep the prospects interested and excited about the company.

Meet over Coffee/Lunch


If you find candidates who are solid prospects for a future position, keep them engaged by meeting over coffee/lunch once in a few months. Meeting in person will help increase your rapport with the candidate and assess the candidates’ culture fit.

Invite them to Company Sponsored Events


You can also stay in touch with the hiring pipeline by sending out invitations to company-sponsored events like meetups, where you will get a chance to meet in person and establish your prospects’ trust.



Add your hiring pipeline to your LinkedIn profile. Spend at least an hour every week looking at the updates within your network. If there updates from your pipeline, congratulate them or comment on something they have shared. Ask them how they are doing. It is an excellent way to stay in touch on a personal as well as professional level.



A company is as good as its employees. Every recruiter’s goal should be to hire top talent for the company.

By building and nurturing a robust recruiting pipeline, you will have access to top talent resulting in better output and profitability for the company.

Maintaining a candidate pipeline requires modern recruitment software like Recruiteze, which can help you build and nurture your hiring pipeline.

With Recruiteze you can add tasks and reminders, which will be essential to stay in touch with candidates. You can also track your activities, notes, and communications to have highly personalized messaging.

Recruiteze’s highly customizable tagging and filtering features can help you quickly build and manage your hiring pipeline.

Thank you for reading!

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