10 Keys to Pipelining Success in 2014

December 23, 2013

This post was written in collaboration with Donna MacDonald

Want some quick and easy ways to jumpstart your talent pipelining efforts in 2014? We can help!

In this post, we’ll share 10 keys designed to help you build and maintain a healthy pipeline of leads by offering you tactical tips you can start implementing today.

And without further ado, here are the 10 keys:

1. Develop a recruiting strategy and act on it:

The first step to achieving pipelining success is to have a strategy. What are the goals you and your team are working towards in 2014? How can pipelining help you meet them?

If you are a talent acquisition leader, you may want to look at improving metrics such as time to fill and reduced agency spend. As an individual, perhaps you will measure how many leads it takes to make a hire or the quality of your hires. Make sure your strategy includes focusing dedicated time to strategic sourcing and you will be well-positioned to meet your goals.

Action Item:

  • Print this blog, highlight the Action Items sections and commit to investing one hour each day in January to work on those.

2. Think like a sales professional:

What is one trait that all good sales professionals have in common? They are proactive and often times proactive with a great passion because their livelihood depends on it. Very much like sales people, you have to be proactive to be a great recruiter. First, identify the critical skillsets sought by your company. Second, apply proactive thinking to your active searches by approaching every conversation as an opportunity to seek out prospects with those skills, rather than an opportunity to fill a current requisition.

Action Item:  

  • Evaluate your current pipeline for the critical skillsets in your organization and make it a goal to keep that pipeline robust in 2014.

3. Establish your credibility:

This tip has always been essential for recruiters, but establishing credibility in the era of social media is especially important. Your professional brand is easily discoverable by the talent you’re engaging with today and it’s crucial that you take control of it.

Action Items:

  • Boost your presence on professional networks like LInkedIn. Identify three recent hires you recruited and ask them to write a recommendation regarding their experience working with you. Establish yourself as an expert by participating in LinkedIn groups, sharing relevant articles and being an active member of the network. Don’t forget to add a profile picture – that’s simply a must.
  • Use several search engines to see what comes up when you search on your name. You’d be surprised at what’s out there. Make sure you take steps to delete or hide any information that does not enhance your professional identity.

4. Be a brand ambassador:

No-one knows your company better than you: the accolades you’ve received, what makes your culture unique, and why you and so many others remain committed to your organization. This valuable information should be stated proudly on your profile and shared with every quality candidate you source.

Action Item:

  • Develop a 30 second elevator pitch about your organization and why would someone want to work there.

5. Maintain a relationship with your network:

We each have people in our network who are talent “hubs.” These are the people who eat, live and breathe networking and they are masterful at making connections. Stay in touch with these people on a personal level and if they refer you someone to you, be sure to thank them personally.

Action Item:

  • Make networking a part of your daily job and set goals around growing and nurturing your network.

6. Leverage potential referrers:

Recruiters have access to a valuable set of ‘potential referrers’ that can be leveraged to identify talent. Potential referrers include your hiring managers, current and former employees, and those professionals following your company on LinkedIn. Each of these audiences is a direct conduit to an untapped pool of talent that’s just waiting to be discovered.

Action Item:

  • Host a Lunch and Learn with your internal assets and educate them on the power of LinkedIn. Help them understand how LinkedIn can benefit them professionally and the critical role their membership can play in helping the organization identify top talent.

7. Be inquisitive:

You’ve uncovered a prospect! Great, what’s next? Once a candidate agrees to have a conversation with you, it’s critical to have the discipline and patience to understand their needs before selling them the job. This will position you as a trusted advisor and you’ll be in a better position to influence the prospect when the time is right.

Today’s top sales professionals first uncover a prospect’s needs before presenting the right solution and you must do the same.

Action Item:

  • Develop a list of questions designed to help you discover the unique motivators that make your prospect tick.

8. Cultivate your candidates:

Now that you know what makes your prospect tick, you are in a better position to establish an ongoing relationship with them. Be sure to refrain from only contacting your prospects when you need something from them. Rather, develop a communication plan that will enable you to give back to your prospects. This simple act will lead to lasting relationships with your quality prospects.

Action Item:

  • Make it a habit to capture each conversation within LinkedIn Recruiter  so you can easily recall important details when talking to them in the future.

9. Be a team player:

Recruitment teams are having conversations with dozens of qualified prospects each day, but are they capitalizing on these conversations? Unless your team has access to all of the information being discovered, there’s a very good chance your team may be overlooking previously screened talent.

Action Item:

  • To ensure that prospect information is being shared across the team, make it a habit to document all relevant information inside LinkedIn Recruiter. This will help the team fill requisitions more quickly and allow the team to be informed about a prospect’s previous engagement with your team.

10.  Unlock the full potential of Recruiter:

Are you keeping your prospects on a personal spreadsheet, which often results in stale data, poor candidate experiences and limited team visibility? If so, using software like LinkedIn Recruiter can help. Each Recruiter seat now includes candidate pipelining functionality which makes it possible to manage ALL of your prospects within Recruiter - no matter the source.

Action Item:

1. Build and Manage Your Pipeline

2. Projects and Collaboration

For those of you who attended Talent Connect 2013 this information may sound familiar, because we presented the pipelining keys on two separate occasions on the first day of the conference. We feel so passionate about this topic that we wanted to share it through our blog.

The keys were designed to help you achieve pipelining success. Make the commitment now to dedicate a portion of each day to the action items outlined above. We guarantee that you’ll be happy with the results.