“Pipe dreams” refer to the visual hallucinations that occur after smoking a pipe full of opium. Despite the term’s origins, today, people refer to a pipe dream as an impossible goal. For many a recruiter with a bare pipeline, finding the tricks to keeping it full and flush may seem like a pipe dream.

Fear not, a full pipeline can be more than a hallucination. There are tried and true methods you can immediately implement to augment or streamline your current candidate recruitment process to continually drive new candidates – particularly qualified candidates – into your resources pool. Having a full pipeline takes a proactive approach.

Resources for recruiting may be lean, but getting and keeping a fresh pool of candidates doesn’t require a big budget. With creativity and engagement, you can attract top talent and keep your pipeline full.

Top Tips for Attracting Candidates

Candidates like to be engaged. Everyone wants to feel wanted, and having one’s ego stroked can help turn a candidate’s eye and attention in the right direction. Letting your candidates know that you are only interested in (and are staffed with!) the industries best can be the first step in engaging them in the process and getting them into your pipeline. Having a deeper relationship with your candidates can set you apart from the competition, but to begin that relationship, personally connecting and letting candidates know they have piqued your interest and why is the first step to starting a long-term conversation.

Go to Your Candidates

In a world where nearly everything seems to be mobile and social, finding top talent means jumping into new technologies head first. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are now being used by successful recruiters to source new candidates, start conversations, and fill pipelines. Creative recruiters are tapping into Pinterest, Instagram, and other technologies as they emerge, to be the first to engage qualified candidates by honing in on interests and using market segmentation in ways never before possible.

Recruitment is Continuous

You shouldn’t shop for new talent only when it’s needed. By then, it can be too late for you and your company. This is why building a full pipeline is critical. Forecast the needs to come, start conversations, and engage talent of all kinds on a continual basis to keep your behind covered. Most importantly, communicate regularly with talent once you bring them into your pipeline. Be open and honest. Not having information or feeling misled about opportunities can cause mistrust that jeopardizes your company brand and leads to frustration.

Be Honest with Yourself

Numbers don’t lie. Examine your ROI and establish a reporting system of HR Metrics like employee tenure, revenue per employee, and cost per hire to determine which methods work and which don’t. Once you get a better picture, take a look at what isn’t working and determine why. Maybe the process needs to be adjusted or maybe it’s outdated and needs to be eliminated. In today’s world, change is a part of everyday life, and it’s important that we don’t hold onto the old just because it’s the way we have always done it.

Don’t Blow Smoke Up Your Pipeline

The number one key to success as a recruiter is to be genuine and honest about you, the opportunity, and the company. Depending on the size of your company, you may be the first (and only) contact a potential candidate ever has with your brand. This is your time to let your personality shine. The most successful industry personalities are in it because they love people and building relationships.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.


  • Avatar Perry Stranton says:

    I find myself in a very difficult position. I have the vision that I believe will build a great recruiting process for my company, but I don’t have the resources. I ended up here trying to find ways to get it done without investing too much into it, and your common sense advices gave me a starting point. Thank you for that.

  • Avatar London girl says:

    I see how recruiting is starting to drift towards the social media, just like you say in the article. I’m not really social media savvy, so I was wondering if you have any tips and tricks on how a person like me, who is no longer in her 30ies and not up to date with all the new trends, can keep up with this new recruiting fashion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Topics

  • Subscribe to Our Blog

  • Latest Posts

  • Stay Social