Tips To Build a Strong Recruiting Sales Pipeline

recruiting sales pipeline

As an HR recruitment professional, you are likely to come across scenarios where you have been actively recruiting for a while and then everything just stops. That is, only until the next set of recruitment starts. You start all over again trying to figure out your ideal candidate profile and where to source from. This is a very reactive method of recruiting that drains your energy in the spurts of recruitment activity and then there is a lull.

What is Recruiting Sales Pipeline

Recruiting Sales Pipeline refers to the process of identifying, engaging, and hiring professionals for a company. It involves building a pool of potential candidates and then moving them through different stages of the recruitment process until a successful hire is made.

Seasoned and proactive recruiters know that having a recruitment pipeline, something similar to a normal sales pipeline, helps in knowing when and where to get your ideal candidates for the jobs on offer and how soon you could convert them into an offer. While this sounds like a reasonable plan and is easy to implement, it does require a bit of planning. It will also require additional work to build the pipeline while parallelly recruiting for active vacancies.

Steps to Building a Recruiting Sales Pipeline

Sourcing and Screening

The first step is to source candidate resumes and screen them to evaluate fitment to the roles on offer. Sourcing of resumes is done via many methods including job postings on job sites and the company’s career page, social media campaigns, employee referrals and special recruitment drive events. As the resumes are streamed in, they must be reviewed to see if there is a match in terms of skills and experience. On occasions, recruiters should conduct the screening via audio or video calls with the candidates. For some entry-level roles, recruiters can roll out online assessment tests for evaluating candidates. At the end of this step, recruiters should have a set of resumes short-listed for each of the roles on offer.


As the candidates clear screening, they move to the next step in the pipeline. These candidates are invited for an interview either physically or on a video conference call. For some of the roles or depending on the organisation, the interview process could have several rounds of evaluation including technical and behaviour related. At the end of this step, a set of candidates are short-listed and sorted in the order of preference for each role.

Offering and Onboarding

The final step is to make the offers to selected candidates. If for any reason, the offer is rejected by the candidate, the next candidate in the prioritised list of selected candidates will be made the offer. The offer process also includes negotiating salary and benefits. The candidates who accept the offer are then onboarded. This process involves ensuring that the required paperwork is in order, identifying training requirements and assigning to the relevant team and integrating into the company and its culture.

Engaging Candidates

The recruitment process may seem like a sequential process where the next step is taken immediately after the previous one. In real life, various constraints like the unavailability of an interview panel could cause delays. Recruiters should keep the candidates engaged and informed by providing them with their application status and any relevant feedback. This engagement is one of the key factors in generating a positive candidate experience.

The Benefits of Building a Recruitment Sales Pipeline

Building a strong recruitment pipeline can have several benefits for companies looking to hire top talent for their teams. Some of the key benefits include:

Improved time to hire

It is as simple as turning the tap on to get the pipeline flowing. Having a strong recruitment sales pipeline enables faster engagement with the identified candidates and hopefully convert too. Reducing the time to hire will eliminate or diminish any adverse impacts of job vacancies on the business.

Better quality of hire

Since most of the vetting of the candidates is already done while creating the pipeline, the quality of the hires is usually better. Top talents directly and positively impact business outcomes for the company.

Diminished recruitment costs

Since recruiters can take advantage of the strong pipeline to efficiently and effectively identify potential candidates, the costs of recruitment are reduced considerably. This has an overall improved return on investment for recruitment.

Visible employer brand

Building a recruitment pipeline involves putting the company’s mission, values, and culture out in the digital space. This will automatically make the company brand more visible. Attracting and hiring top talent by thus having improved brand visibility will further improve the brand.

Improved candidate engagement

There is an early engagement with candidates while building the recruitment pipeline. As the candidates are nurtured over a period of time, the relationship-building happens organically. This level of engagement and strong relationships will result in top talent getting hired more often than not.

Greater flexibility

Building a strong recruitment pipeline enables companies to maintain a talent pool of potential hires, even if they’re not currently looking for new opportunities. This can provide greater flexibility to companies, enabling them to fill critical roles quickly when needed.

Tips to Build a Strong Recruitment Sales Pipeline

The aim of a strong recruitment pipeline is that it enables to identify, engage, and convert potential candidates into hires efficiently and effectively. The following are some tips to help in building a strong recruitment pipeline:

Develop a strong employer brand

There is little chance that brands get built overnight or they become stronger quickly. It takes purposeful investments in terms of effort and money to build a strong brand. Organisation culture usually plays a big part in building a strong brand that resonates with potential employees. A strong employer brand helps to attract top talent and makes it easier to identify potential candidates.

Build a pool of talent

This is a very creative work where the candidates are identified by various means. Seasoned recruiters have the names and current places of work for their identified top talent usually having special or niche skills. Recruiters source the candidates via their own networks, social media engagements or events like job fairs etc.

Make data-driven decisions

Learning from past recruitment data by analysing trends around useful metrics is important to continuously improve the sales pipeline. Many key metrics like time to hire, cost of hire and quality of hire should indicate the effectiveness of the pipeline. Understanding the data and improving strategies to better engage with candidates will help build the pipeline stronger.

Establish an efficient screening process

If all the screening happens by manually reviewing resumes, it will be very time-consuming. There are AI-based tools that can quickly sift thru hundreds of resumes and narrow down the search to match the current requirements. Using phone or video calls for screening should be really for special cases like senior hires.

Build relationships with candidates

A constant “work in progress” item for recruiters is to build relationships with potential candidates and keep them warm even when they are not looking for jobs or the company is not looking to hire immediately. This becomes a potential talent pool to tap into in case of vacancies.

Continual improvement of recruitment pipeline

A strong recruitment pipeline can be built over a period by continuously assessing the effectiveness of the process and optimised to improve recruitment outcomes. There are a few metrics that organisations need to measure and monitor to ensure continuous improvement in the HR processes.


The aim of a strong recruitment pipeline is that it enables to identify, engage, and convert potential candidates into hires efficiently and effectively. Finally, what attracts top talent is the organisation’s culture and a strong brand.