At Talemetry we talk a lot about talent pools, pipelines, segmentation, and recruitment marketing. We are in the business of helping organizations centralize and optimize all their sources of talent to support better engagement, more proactive sourcing, and the myriad benefits of implementing a predictable hiring framework for recruiting.
The concept of pipelines and segmentation is simple on paper: On the one hand you have strategic job families that require specialized talent or high volumes of talent – or both – and on the other hand you have a pool of past applicants, talent network members, internal employees, external resume databases, and the like; your talent pool.
Pipelining is segmenting the candidates within your pool by skill, experience, and qualifications to match those strategic job families. Each pipeline shows you how many qualified candidates you have to meet hiring demand in any given timeframe.
But there is another level of segmentation that is just as important for evaluating the health of your pipelines: Stages. Of course, you probably have hiring stages or steps within your ATS hiring process. You should also designate stages or steps for your pre-applicant sourcing efforts so you understand how active and engaged the members of your pipeline are.
These stages should be the logical steps a candidate will go through as they travel your pipeline from new member to applicant. For example, here is a sample list of hypothetical pre-applicant stages:
- Untouched – No recruiter contact or activity
- Tagged – Recruiter has assigned a stage or qualifying tag to a record
- Responsive – Candidate has clicked or responded to email or phone outreach
- Invited – Candidate has been invited to apply for a position
- Applied – Candidate has applied for a position
- Cold – Candidate is unresponsive and/or not worth pursuing
Each organization needs to come up with their own stages that are relevant to their sourcing process and their data reporting needs. But no matter how you organize them, these stages can accomplish a few important things:
- They identify potential choke points in your sourcing process. If candidates get stuck in certain stages, you can potentially pinpoint process problems that are stalling engagement and evaluation and correct them.
- They allow you to refine your conversion metrics. It’s great to know that 3% of candidates in your entire talent pool convert to hires. It’s better to know that 5% of your Data Analyst pipeline convert to hires. It’s even better to know that 23% of candidates that get to the invited stage get hired. More granularity equals more reliable metrics and more predictable hiring outcomes.
- They show you how active your recruiters are in working their pipelines. You can analyze how many candidates move from one stage to another over time. The more movement, the more active your recruiters are.
- They let you understand how healthy your pipelines are. You could have lots of candidates in a given pipeline, but if they are all stuck in the invited to apply stage, then you may have a pipeline of candidates that are not interested in your jobs or are unresponsive for some other reason. Likewise, you could have a bulge in your untouched stage which could tell you that your pipeline is not being worked or warmed up and needs to be engaged, whether through mass email campaigns or individual recruiter outreach.
Centralizing your talent pools and organizing them into meaningful segments is the foundation of a more predictable, scalable, and proactive recruiting organization. Remembering to segment your pipelines by job families AND stages helps ensure your framework is designed to promote constant movement of candidates from one stage to another.