A colleague recently asked me if I had any tips or advice on how to increase submittals and develop pipelines. This question got me thinking about the advice I had been given throughout my career:
“Pushing out more calls and sending out more messages means more submittals and placements – Don’t forget to ask for referrals!”
I decided to peel back the layers of what this advice really means and not just scratch the surface with a standard response. Of course, it works, but how do you reach the right talent vs. aimlessly hoping someone will respond? I believe this can be broken down into “quality vs. quantity” sourcing strategies.
When you are looking to increase submittals and build your candidate pipeline, you need to take a moment and pause, slow down, and think through your strategy to deliver on your workload. As Sourcers and Recruiters, we all have the go-to recruiting resources that help us hit the ground running. We have designed and adopted workflows incorporating all the new tools and steps necessary to succeed in this profession.
We have set our own instinctual processes to find, track, and nourish talent. What are we missing if the pipeline decreases, and our submittals aren’t where we need them to be? Did we become complacent? Is it just a bad week, or could we be doing something differently to spark that excitement in sourcing and target the right talent?
Here are some questions I want you to ask yourself:
- Are you looking for a unicorn? How do you know? No… really, can you actually define what these required skills are and why your candidate needs to have them, or is it just another keyword at this point in your Boolean?
- Is your search string incorporating the different ways candidates write their skills, related skills, clearances, and certifications on their resume?
- Do you know how to use your existing recruiting tools effectively? Can you call yourself a Master of your ATS, LinkedIn, or Hiretual, for example?
- Are you using the same old messaging and job postings you have always used? Could you be doing anything differently?
- Are you involved virtually in the communities in which your candidates hang out?
- What is your personal brand? Why would a candidate want to speak and respond to you?
- Have you taken the time for yourself to learn and be curious about your industry?
If you are not able to answer the above questions, you are likely on a mad goose chase and what I would consider quantity sourcing. You are attacking REQs with your limited resources and throwing a large cast to a broad ocean of candidates.
The likelihood of you reaching the ideal candidate and effectively screening them are slim. Your silver lining here will be in making more contacts, asking for referrals, and building your pipeline for other skill sets. I believe the quantity approach is fantastic for proactive recruiting, identifying what does not work, networking, and referrals. If your goal is to increase submittals to existing REQs and develop high priority pipelines, then this method might not be the most productive strategy.
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Strategic quality sourcing comes with time. You need to want to develop yourself and understand your craft and industry.
There are so many tools out there to help you become more knowledgeable and efficient. Investing in yourself and learning these things will help drive submittals and increase your pipelines. Researching will help focus your sourcing efforts, save time, and allow you to have more meaningful conversations with ideal candidates.
I don’t want to overcomplicate this article with 50 million websites and creative tools. Follow your curiosity to Google and start asking questions. Ask me! Ask the SourceCon community! Join Facebook Groups or Slack groups and seek to learn. I am confident that just searching your questions here will produce numerous results to get you started.
Let me know if you found this article helpful! I would love to learn where you started and how far you’ve come.