Five Tips for a Successful Implementation of LinkedIn Talent Pipeline

May 21, 2012

As a charter customer of Talent Pipeline, PepsiCo was fortunate to be one of the first six companies on the planet to experience LinkedIn’s new product. So far, the recruiters have been raving about this tool and love using it.

As with any new product install, there are best practices you should follow to get the strongest results for your recruiting team. Below are five tips that helped us get up and running fast so that our recruiters could easily adopt and leverage the system.

1.  Prepare for upload
Since Talent Pipeline allows you to add leads gathered in spreadsheets, folders and elsewhere to the LinkedIn Recruiter platform, teeing up this data in orderly fashion will allow for quick uploading.  An old folder of resumes from a career fair, a campaign you did five years ago, that research list from an external third party… wherever it lives, make time in the week prior to launch to find and consolidate these items for upload into the system.  Create folders on your hard drive with specific source names and potential tags and drop this information in for future upload.


2.  Pre-wire your team
Educate leadership and potential users about the product. At PepsiCo, even though we were already leveraging LinkedIn Recruiter, there were a number of questions about the product.  Four basic questions came up a number of times, so pre-wire and make sure your team understands the answers to the following prior to training:
a. How is this different than LinkedIn Recruiter?
b. Why do we need this product if we track all candidates in our ATS?
c. Will we be out of compliance with EEOC if we track candidates in this system?
d. What if someone is currently not on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn now has best practice documentation and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that help with answering the questions above.

3. Create your system structure (Tags, Sources and Workflow)
        a. Map out your workflow for how you plan to use LinkedIn Talent Pipeline leveraging source names, tags
and a process workflow.  Doing this in a spreadsheet allows you to circulate it to your team and get
b. Assemble a small ad hoc team of power users that might help you build your source and tag list.
c. Don’t over-engineer the workflow. Initially, I tried to go into too much detail by creating over 30
workflow steps.  LinkedIn allows for this, but when I consulted our power user base, they said it was too
complicated and it might discourage use.  We ended up deciding on a more basic process and going
with LinkedIn’s standard workflow.
d. If you create sources, workflow and tags in a spreadsheet and get team buy in way ahead of the go-
live date, it helps your team in the gathering and preparation phase.  They can create folders to hold files
for future upload that have the correct source and tag in the title.

4. Create a project folder naming convention
Given that many things revolve around project folders and campaigns, having a solid procedure for naming folders will help you stay organized.  At PepsiCo, we decided on the following:


As you move prospects around using mass action updates in Talent Pipeline, you will sometimes need to select a folder name.  Being able to pick it out of a drop down list of folders is necessary (you will thank me later if you implement this step). If you are a current LinkedIn Recruiter user, all of your folders will be there when you migrate to Talent Pipeline.  Take this opportunity to do some folder renaming and organizing in advance of go-live.

5.  Get creative in training/user adoption
        a. I created a step-by-step walkthrough of the system for PepsiCo users.  It included a few basic items:
i.   Add a prospect
ii.  Now add a source and a tag to that prospect
iii. Now add a note and switch them to the workflow step of “Contacting”.
I then sent users through drills on uploading spreadsheets and associating leads with LinkedIn profiles.
It has helped with adoption of new features and functionality.
b. Do some fun things to encourage adoption.  Here are a few examples:
i.   Hold a LinkedIn Talent Pipeline scavenger hunt
ii.  Create an expert certification and build some excitement around it
iii.  Host a best practices competition
iv. Stage a sourcing competition leveraging the tool
v.  Launch a contest based on system usage from reporting
c. A.C.T. – Always Continue Training
Leverage your LinkedIn representative to run your initial rollout training as a webinar. Record the webinar
and utilize it for new users.   As a new best practice is discovered, use a tool like SnagIt to capture
your screen in video while you walk through the process.  Share the best practice and save it in a hub for
future user training. Check the LinkedIn customer newsletter or blogs for new ways to leverage the tool.

I’m sure that you will enjoy using the product with its new features and functionality.   If tags, sources and workflow are organized well, your data will remain in order and users will enjoy using the product.  Happy hunting!

What are your best practices for implementing Talent Pipeline? We invite you to share your tips here so others can learn from your success.

Jim Schnyder has spent the last 11 years within the recruiting organization at PepsiCo. He is SourceCon’s reigning GrandMaster Sourcer. He also headed up the initial rollout of LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline across PepsiCo’s global talent acquisition team. Read more about Jim's Talent Pipeline experience at