When you’re looking for top talent, your hiring pipeline is your most critical asset.

Build a high-quality recruitment pipeline, and you open the door to better candidates, smoother interviews, and stronger hiring decisions.

Better still, you’ll make your life and your day-to-day HR work a whole lot easier.

That’s easier said than done, however. Hiring pipelines can get unwieldy — especially when recruiters don’t know how to properly assemble one. Let your pipeline woes persist, and you risk making corrosive hiring decisions that’ll sink your organization.

Below, we’ll share what a model hiring pipeline looks like, along with some strategies to build and use your effectively. Follow these tips to seal up any cracks in your process.

Meet with our hiring coaches today to see how AI can slash 90% of the time from your hiring process. Start filling jobs faster right away, with 10x higher quality people.

What Is A Hiring Pipeline?

A hiring pipeline is the list of steps involved in vetting and selecting candidates. Also known as a talent sourcing pipeline, it consists of multiple stages, and often processes hundreds of applicants. Due to their complexity, hiring pipelines tend to be automated by applicant tracking systems.

A strong recruitment pipeline process consists of the following five stages:



Attract qualified candidates by writing a compelling job description and posting it to popular job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn.



Use pre-employment assessments (like cognitive ability or critical thinking tests) to gauge on-the-job readiness and avoid dead-end phone calls.



Schedule interviews with hiring teams for high-potential candidates. Use behavioral interview questions to confirm whether a candidate is a good fit or probe for red flags.



Check references and verify work history to ensure you’re hiring people with integrity.



Come to a consensus with your hiring team and extend an offer letter to your top choice.

Benefits Of A Hiring Pipeline

When managed effectively, a hiring pipeline can revolutionize your recruiting efforts. Here are the biggest benefits:

  • Reduced time-to-hire: The average hiring process takes 24 days, per Glassdoor. By eliminating bottlenecks in your hiring pipeline, you’ll assess and hire candidates faster.
  • Cheaper cost-per-hire: According to SHRM, the average cost-per-hire is $4,683. An efficient hiring pipeline ensures you spend less time and money on an open role.
  • Better quality-of-hire: Strong hiring pipelines pre-screen your candidates with assessments and one-way video interviews that ensure you prioritize high-quality candidates who’ll succeed from day one.
  • Higher retention rates: When it costs $5,000 just to hire someone, imagine the pain when that person doesn’t pan out. By contrast, an optimized recruitment pipeline improves your chances of making the right hires, cutting down on churn.

How To Build A Hiring Pipeline

Here are some reliable ways to build a recruitment pipeline:

  • Invest in your brand: Popular brands like Apple or Amazon attract a wide talent pool with little effort. Not every business is a Fortune 100 behemoth, but you can close the gap by investing in social media marketing and designing a career page that sings.
  • Start a referral program: According to Indeed, 74% of employers say candidates hired for a job by referral were “extremely qualified.” Codify a process by which employees recommend high-quality talent in exchange for a referral bonus.
  • Use an applicant tracking system: Most hiring pipeline mistakes are due to human oversight or error. Eliminate potential risks by purchasing an ATS platform. The best ATS tools handle monotonous admin tasks, so you can focus on making great hires.

Pro Tip: Discovered is among the most respected ATS platforms on the market. Our software automates the toughest aspects of talent acquisition — from sourcing to interview scheduling — so you can cut down on time-to-hire.

How To Use Your Hiring Pipeline

Your hiring pipeline serves not just as a form of talent acquisition, but also as a critical diagnostic tool. Here’s how to use your hiring pipeline effectively:

Understand Your End-to-End Hiring Process

From sourcing to screening to interviewing to vetting to hiring, map your hiring process to get an idea of:

  1. Each stage in the process
  2. The time you spend on each step
  3. The stakeholders who work on each step
  4. The cost of each stage, and of the whole recruitment process

Having a map of your process can help you identify areas for improvement. Without this map in place, you don’t know where you are, so you can’t move toward goals like faster hiring time or lower recruitment costs.

Identify Gaps in Your Current Process

Think about your own recruitment process. For each of the stages above, determine whether your existing process is healthy or in need of improvement.

Take the “screening” step from above. If you’re not using pre-hire tests in your process, it’s a sign you’re underinvesting in screening and creating a bottleneck in your hiring pipeline. This can jeopardize time-to-hire as you weed through bad candidates you might’ve normally avoided.

Implement Changes and Measure the Outcome

After conducting a health check, align with your team on potential changes. If you’re screening is lackluster, invest in better pre-hire assessments. If your screening is strong, but your new hires are consistently weak, improve your interview questions and reference checking.

Note any changes, and track the outcome. Modern ATS tools — like Discovered — allow you to monitor hiring data via a customizable dashboard. Every improvement you make to your hiring process will improve your candidate experience and drive down costs while improving your quality of hire.

Let Discovered Automate Your Hiring Pipeline

You can slash 90% of the hourly HR work from your hiring pipeline with Discovered’s cost-effective performance hiring software. This popular tool can automate your job ad creation, job posting, resume parsing, and application processing. It even automates one-way video interviews, pre-employment assessments, and reference checking.

Better still, it can deliver 10 times more candidates, for a fraction of the cost of much more expensive hiring platforms. Book a demo to find out how Discovered can streamline your hiring pipeline today.