We’ll cover how you can run a more effective recruiting pipeline which will have a tremendous impact on the talent you identify and dramatically reduce time spent on hiring.
Not only that, you will understand more on how to test for real expertise when hiring for roles.
Get ready, we’ll cover:
- What is a recruiting pipeline?
- How to set up an effective pipeline?
- Example recruiting pipeline.
What is a recruiting pipeline?
A recurring pipeline is the steps each candidate goes through as you evaluate if they’re a good fit for your company. When setting up your pipeline, it’s important to not spend a lot of time on candidates early in process. It will save you and candidates a lot of time.
The process should include enough interactions with candidates to ensure they’re a good fit for the roles you’re hiring for.
How to set up an effective pipeline?
To set up an effective pipeline, you have to consider what you need to see in candidates you want to hire.
Setting up a pipeline is the easy part. Running it effectively is the harder part.
It’s also extremely important that the rest of your team understands it and can run it independently as you scale your hiring.
First, what kind of information do you need to learn from candidates as you interview them?
A properly built pipeline should allow for enough time with a candidate to understand if they’re a good fit for your company and the role.
Usually there are three types of information to look for:
- Deal breakers
- Soft Skills
- Hard Skills
Not surprisingly, interviewing for soft skills is probably the hardest thing you can do. However, there are tricks to it as we'll explain below!
Deal breakers are any type of information that means an instant ‘no’ to hire them. This can include things like errors in their CV, not open to full time role, wrong geographic location among others.
Spot deal breakers in CV screening.
Most of these you can already spot when screening their CVs. Also, ensure to make the first interview short, only 15 minutes, where you focus on identifying any deal breakers. You will find them!
Ask for candidate to answer a question
If you get a lot of applications another trick is to ask candidates to write a short response to a question as they apply. This will weed out any candidates simply spamming their CVs.
Soft skills are any traits this candidate needs to be successful in the role and at the company. Typical soft skills can include leaderships / management skills, ability to work in team, or customer empathy.
Ask about past performance
You can screen for soft skills by asking candidates about past experiences. Dig into the details and how they showed that skill in past roles. Your job is to coach the candidate to successfully show the skill!
Define what good enough looks like
To set an objective bar you need to upfront define what a good performance is for each skill. It's helpful to break them down on 4 levels (0 to 4) and for each define what it means to meet that criteria.
During the interview, the interviewers role is to coach the candidate to as high a level as possible.
Here's an example for you on how to define customer empathy. You should discuss a real example from the past with the candidate and spend at least 30 minutes on it.
Remember to let the candidate know ahead of time. You want them to have time to come up with an example, we're testing for specific soft skills and not how good they are on their feet (at least in this interview).
You can test for more than one soft skills during the 30 minute slot if they are adjacent and can be shown in a similar situation!
Hard skills are any specific skills the candidate needs for the specific job. For example, a senior developer needs to know the programming language at your company at sufficient skills level.
In the past, most companies screened for this only through interviewing about the candidates previous responsibilities.
The modern way you should consider is to do a case study with the candidate. Do this later in the process since it will take time for you and the candidate (and thank me later!).
For technical roles you want to test a specific skill. For example, if you're hiring for a Junior Ruby Developer you want to give them a test around coding in Ruby.
Make the test as close to a real work situation as possible! That way, you (and the candidate) can try working together to also get a feel for if it's a good fit!
Non-technical roles are harder but you can still test for a specific skill.
If you're hiring for a sales representative, formulate a case where they have to go through a sales process (similar to yours!). It gives you and the candidate a good understanding if their skill level is correct & if you can work well together.
Example recruiting pipeline
A recruiting pipeline you can implement today looks like the following. You should aim to run this process as quickly as possible and not keep any candidates longer than 2 weeks in the pipeline (if no delays from their side).
This is an initial screening with the goals to quickly pass on anyone that's not a fit. Perhaps they don't know the working language, or are unable to relocate to your geography?
A short, 15 min, interview to understand more about the candidate. Here you also try to weed out anyone that's not a fit!
By schedling for only 15 minutes, you ensure you can leave without cutting it short if it's an obvious pass after already 5 minutes.
Remember to give each candidate a great experience!
Note: You can always stay on the phone longer with the candidate if they seem amazing. If it's a real good fit you should quickly go into pitch mode and make them excited!
Detailed Interview (Soft Skills)
Here you spend more time with candidates you believe are a good fit. You aim to dig into their soft skills and motivations.
This should be done by a manager at the team or even the founder at the early stages.
Time for you to test their technical chops! Coding assessment for developers and case studies for others!
Remember, make it as similar to the real work as possible. Include someone from your team who knows what to look for!
Overall, it's not difficult to set up recruiting pipeline. What's important to focus on is quickly rejecting candidates that are not a fit and know what you're looking for.
In our opinion, you can get started with almost any software but ensure everyone on the team knows what's expected off them in terms of recruiting!
As the end of the day it's your company and you have to follow a workflow you're comfortable with.