Similar roles? Why a pipeline approach pays

I’ve been having an interesting series of discussions with a recently floated company that continues to grow fast – organically and by acquisition.

They have ~10 different opportunities. Custom would dictate that they advertise each individually. That’s what they’ve always done and it seems like that’s what the world does too.

Almost all the roles  have different hiring managers. Which drives them to be treated as 10 different roles that need 10 separate processes.

But here’s the catch. When you actually read about these roles and the type of candidate they are after for each, all of the 10 are extremely similar to one another. Simply put, the same candidate could do any of the 10. So while they are certainly discrete roles (i.e, they do need to hire 10 people), they are actually not all that different.

So it begs the question – why advertise 10 and not 1? There’s no really good reason.

Quite the opposite in fact – it’s a lot less work on their side to advertise once – pitching towards a certain type of candidate with certain transferable skills. Then create a pool of candidates suitable across the board. And in the first interview, share the specifics of each role with them to discover any natural affinity.

This is a really strong candidate experience. I’ll give you an example. Some friends and family have been applying for opportunities recently. They’ve asked for my advice when they see 2 or 3 interesting roles at the same company. The question being: should I apply for all? It’s difficult to know either way. Far better to group of opportunities and create 1 seamless candidate experience.

On the recruitment side there are advantages too. Fewer applications to consider. No duplicates. Also – and perhaps most importantly – you can hire the 10 best people. Let me explain. If applicant B applies for job 1 but is pipped to the post by applicant A; applicant B would normally then be turned down. But what if they are the 2nd strongest applicant across the 10 roles? Shouldn’t they be offered job 2?

The above approach requires a level of coordination which some companies – for all sorts of reasons – can’t achieve. But if you have a centralised recruitment function, and the recruiters communicate well between one another, there’s no reason why this pipeline approach can’t be used. There’s a lot to suggest it should be.

– by Rich

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